Thesis: The Umbrella of Your Essay

"Writing is a struggle against silence."
--Carlos Fuentes

A thesis is:

1.                A statement that sums up the main idea or the purpose for writing

2.                An umbrella that should cover everything in your essay (similar to a topic sentence for each paragraph)


For the writer, a thesis:

1.                   Is a planning tool

2.                   Helps determine focus and clarity

3.                   Acts as a hook on which to hang ideas

4.                   Anticipates questions

5.                   Provides a unifying thread


For the reader, a thesis:

1.                   Serves as a map

2.                   Prepares the reader to read

3.                   Keeps the reader focused on main ideas

4.                   Engages the reader


General characteristics of a thesis:

1.                   It is focused and specific.

2.                   It is a contract between the reader and the writer.

3.                   It makes an assertion and states conclusions. It is not merely a fact or an observation.

4.                   It is flexible.