Reworded Thesis Definition Dissertation

Thesis Statement Guide Development Tool

Follow the steps below to formulate a thesis statement. All cells must contain text.

1. State your topic.

2. State your opinion/main idea about this topic.
This will form the heart of your thesis. An effective statement will

  • express one major idea.
  • name the topic and assert something specific about it.
  • be a more specific statement than the topic statement above.
  • take a stance on an issue about which reasonable people might disagree.
  • state your position on or opinion about the issue.

3. Give the strongest reason or assertion that supports your opinion/main idea.

4. Give another strong reason or assertion that supports your opinion/main idea.

5. Give one more strong reason or assertion that supports your opinion/main idea.

6. Include an opposing viewpoint to your opinion/main idea, if applicable. This should be an argument for the opposing view that you admit has some merit, even if you do not agree with the overall viewpoint.

7. Provide a possible title for your essay.




Thesis Statement Guide Results

Thesis Statement Model #1: Sample Thesis Statement

Parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch.

Thesis Statement Model #2: Thesis with Concession

Notice that this model makes a concession by addressing an argument from the opposing viewpoint first, and then uses the phrase "even though" and states the writer's opinion/main idea as a rebuttal.

Even though television can be educational, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch.

Thesis Statement Model #3: Thesis with Reasons

Here, the use of "because" reveals the reasons behind the writer's opinion/main idea.

parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans, it inhibits social interaction, and it isn't always intellectually stimulating.

Thesis Statement Model #4: Thesis with Concession and Reasons

This model both makes a concession to opposing viewpoint and states the reasons/arguments for the writer's main idea.

While television can be educational, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it inhibits social interaction, shortens children's attention spans, and isn't always intellectually stimulating.

Remember: These thesis statements are generated based on the answers provided on the form. Use the Thesis Statement Guide as many times as you like. Your ideas and the results are anonymous and confidential. When you build a thesis statement that works for you, ensure that it addresses the assignment. Finally, you may have to rewrite the thesis statement so that the spelling, grammar, and punctuation are correct.

Thesis Statement Guide: Sample Outline

Use the outline below, which is based on the five–paragraph essay model, when drafting a plan for your own essay. This is meant as a guide only, so we encourage you to revise it in a way that works best for you.

Introductory Paragraph

Start your introduction with an interesting "hook" to reel your reader in. An introduction can begin with a rhetorical question, a quotation, an anecdote, a concession, an interesting fact, or a question that will be answered in your paper. The idea is to begin broadly and gradually bring the reader closer to the main idea of the paper. At the end of the introduction, you will present your thesis statement. The thesis statement model used in this example is a thesis with reasons.

Even though television can be educational , parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans, it inhibits social interaction, and it is not always intellectually stimulating

Paragraph #1

First, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans.

Notice that this Assertion is the first reason presented in the thesis statement. Remember that the thesis statement is a kind of "mapping tool" that helps you organize your ideas, and it helps your reader follow your argument. In this body paragraph, after the Assertion, include any evidence–a quotation, statistic, data–that supports this first point. Explain what the evidence means. Show the reader how this entire paragraph connects back to the thesis statement.

Paragraph #2

Additionally, it inhibits social interaction.

The first sentence of the second body paragraph should reflect an even stronger Assertion to support the thesis statement. Generally, the second point listed in the thesis statement should be developed here. Like with the previous paragraph, include any evidence–a quotation, statistic, data–that supports this point after the Assertion. Explain what the evidence means. Show the reader how this entire paragraph connects back to the thesis statement.

Paragraph #3

Finally, the most important reason parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch is it is not always intellectually stimulating.

Your strongest point should be revealed in the final body paragraph. Also, if it's appropriate, you can address and refute any opposing viewpoints to your thesis statement here. As always, include evidence–a quotation, statistic, data–that supports your strongest point. Explain what the evidence means. Show the reader how this entire paragraph connects back to the thesis statement.

Concluding Paragraph

Indeed, while television can be educational, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch.

Rephrase your thesis statement in the first sentence of the conclusion. Instead of summarizing the points you just made, synthesize them. Show the reader how everything fits together. While you don't want to present new material here, you can echo the introduction, ask the reader questions, look to the future, or challenge your reader.

Remember: This outline is based on the five–paragraph model. Expand or condense it according to your particular assignment or the size of your opinion/main idea. Again, use the Thesis Statement Guide as many times as you like, until you reach a thesis statement and outline that works for you.

Linking words (also known as transitions) are one of the most important elements in writing, since they allow readers to see the relationships between your ideas. There are several categories of transitions, ranging from words and phrases that signal contrast to words and phrases that signal agreement.

Because they are so important, it’s critical that you don’t misuse them. This article presents some commonly misused linking words that you should be aware of, and then presents some of the most common types of linking words, along with examples.

The most important thing I can emphasize here is to always be aware of the definition of any word or phrase you use. You may be familiar enough with a word to feel comfortable using it, but if you don’t actually know its definition and you don’t take the time to look it up, you may occasionally (or frequently) misuse it.

Linking words present a particularly important case in which you should be aware of definitions, since your audience will be easily lost if you misrepresent the connections between your sentences and ideas.

Linking words often (Ab)used

Therefore

Easily one of the most commonly misused linking words, therefore indicates a logical relationship between two things, such that the first thing proves or necessitates the second. Think of it as equivalent to the phrase “as a result.” Confused uses of therefore often imply odd logical connections.

Example of misused transition: Therefore

Law firms are known for their highly competitive environments. Therefore it is important for lawyers to set themselves apart from their colleagues.

Problem: To see the problem more clearly, simplify the sentence: “We know it’s a competitive environment, so it’s important for lawyers to set themselves apart.” The implication here is that lawyers need to set themselves apart because people know that law firms are highly competitive.

However, the fact that people know of the highly competitive environment is more or less irrelevant to the reasons lawyers set themselves apart from each other.

Therefore used correctly

Law firms are highly competitive environments. Therefore it is important for lawyers to set themselves apart from their colleagues.

Explanation:  Here, the logical connection is between law firms being highly competitive environments and lawyers needing to set themselves apart from each other.

Herewith, therewith, hereby

These are all examples of transition words not in common use. They are most common in the technical definitions of legal documents, and often sound archaic when used in other contexts. Though they have their uses, it’s best to avoid these words.

Example of misused transition: Hereby

One of the best ways to understand poverty is as a disease.  Hereby, we not only see that it is hereditary, but acknowledge that it has devastating effects on a person’s health.

Improved Example

One of the best ways to understand poverty is as a disease.  Understanding it this way, we not only see that it is hereditary, but also acknowledge that it has devastating effects on a person’s health.

Explanation:  “Hereby” was above being used as an equivalent to “herewith,” meaning roughly “along with this,” “in this way,” or “by means of this.”  The language is simply much more natural in the rephrasing.

And/or

This slash-transition (and with most other words joined by a slash) can be very difficult to understand. Some writers mean “eitherAor B or both A and B,” yet others simply mean A and B, and still others simply mean A or B. It gets confusing.

Avoid and/or altogether in formal writing. Almost always the context of the discussion will clarify your meaning if you use simply and or or. In cases that might be confusing, it’s generally best to spend the extra words to clarify your meaning.

Example of misused transition: And/or

On her way to work, she will take the bus and/or the train.

Explanation:  It’s difficult to tell whether she might take 1) either the bus or the train, 2) both the bus and the train, or 3) either the bus or the train or both. Making the ambiguity worse, the intended meaning will change depending on the writer. This confusion of use among beginning writers makes it difficult for a reader to decide among the choices.

Solution:  Simply avoid “and/or” and spell out the option that you mean:

  1. the bus or the train
  2. the bus and the train
  3. the bus and the train, or both of them.

As well as

The phrase “as well as” is often used as a substitution for “and,” but the meaning is not quite the same. “As well as” implies a difference of emphasis or importance, with whatever comes after “as well as” being less important, so receiving less emphasis. “And,” on the other hand, is used between two equally important things.

Example of misused transition: as well as

The mayor will decide on next week’s meeting time, as well as whether or not staff will be paid for that meeting.

Problem:  The emphasis seems not to be right here, at least if we think that whether staff will be paid is at least as important as the time of the meeting.  To see the problem more clearly, we can keep the emphasis as it is and rephrase the sentence: “The mayor will decide on not only whether or not staff will be paid for their time, but also on next week’s meeting time.”

Here it should be obvious that the “not only … but also” sentence structure downplays the importance of a seemingly important issue (whether or not staff gets paid).  The emphasis is the same in the original sentence.

Solution

The mayor will decide on next week’s meeting time and whether or not staff will be paid for that meeting.

Explanation:  “And” gives equal emphasis to both the time of the meeting and the issue of staff pay.  If we think these are issues that should receive equal emphasis, we need to use “and.”

Different examples of linking words*

Note that many of these may appear at the beginning, middle, and end of sentences. If in doubt about the use of any of the linking words below, a quick search for example sentences should help clarify.

Additive linking words

These show addition, introduction, similarity to other ideas, etc.

Additionindeed, further, as well, not only x but also y, also, moreover, as a matter of fact, and, furthermore, additionally, besides x, or, in fact, too, let alone, nor, alternatively, on the other hand, not to mention x
Introductionsuch as, as, particularly, including, as an illustration, for example, like, in particular, to illustrate, for instance, especially, notably, by way of example
Referencespeaking of x, considering x, regarding x, in regard to x, as for x, concerning x, the fact that, on the subject of x
Similaritysimilarly, in the same way, by the same token, in a like manner, equally, likewise, as
Identificationthat is (to say), namely, specifically, thus, more precisely
Clarificationthat is (to say), I mean, (to) put (it) another way, in other words

Adversative linking words

These linking words are used to signal conflict, contradiction concession, dismissal, etc.

Conflictbut, by way of contrast, while, on the other hand, however, (and) yet, whereas, though, in contrast, when in fact, conversely, still, whereas
Emphasiseven more, above all, indeed, more importantly, besides
Concessioneven so, nevertheless, even though, on the other hand, admittedly, however, nonetheless, despite x,    notwithstanding x, (and) still, although, in spite of x, regardless (of x), (and) yet, though, granted x, be that as it may
Dismissaleither way, whichever happens, whatever the case, in either event, in any case, at any rate, in either case, whatever happens, all the same, in any event
Replacement(or) at least, (or) rather, instead

Causal linking words

These linking words signal cause and effect, reason and result, etc.

Cause or Reasonfor the (simple) reason that, being that, for, in view of x, inasmuch as, because (of x), seeing that, as, owing to (x), due to (the fact that), in that, since
Conditionon (the) condition (that), in the case that, granted (that), if, provided that, in case, in the event that, as/so long as, unless, given that, granting (that), providing that, even if, only if
Effect/Resultas a result (of x), consequently, hence, for this reason, thus, because (of x), in consequence, so that, accordingly, as a consequence, so much (so) that, so, therefore
Purposefor the purpose of, in the hope that, for fear that, so that, with this intention, to the end that, in order to, lest, with this in mind, in order that, so as to, so
Consequenceunder such circumstances, then, in that case, if not, that being the case, if so, otherwise

Sequential linking words

These linking words are used to signal a chronological or logical sequence.

Numericalin the (first, second, etc.) place, initially, to start with, first of all, firstly (etc.), to begin with, at first, for a start
Continuationsubsequently, previously, eventually, next, before x, afterwards, after x, then
Conclusionto conclude (with), as a final point, eventually, at last, last but not least, finally, lastly
Digressionto change the topic, incidentally
Resumptionto get back to the point, to resume, anyhow, anyway, at any rate, to return to the subject
Summationas previously stated, so, consequently, in summary, all in all, to make a long story short, thus, as I have said, to sum up, overall, as has been mentioned, then, to summarize, to be brief, briefly, given these points, in all, on the whole, therefore, as has been noted, hence, in conclusion, in a word, to put it briefly, in sum, altogether, in short

* List of transitions taken with slight modifications from https://www.msu.edu/~jdowell/135/transw.html with credits to Prof. Campbell, Prof. Buckhoff, and Prof Dowell at Michigan State University (License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/)

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