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UNI 110/ASU 120 Critical Reading & Thinking

Creating a Thesis Statement

What is a Thesis Statement?


A thesis statement expresses the conclusion you have reached on an issue or topic. It is what you plan to prove with the evidence and reasoning presented. A good initial thesis helps focus your information search. The initial thesis can be posed in the form of a question that will guide your research; your final thesis should be a statement indicating your position.


A Good Thesis:

  • Clearly takes a stand or position on a topic
  • Justifies the position or opinion with reasons
  • Expresses one idea
  • Serves as a roadmap or structure for the paper


Before writing a thesis statement, you must do some initial research and reading to familiarize yourself with the topic.  This will help you identify the controversies surrounding the topic and assist you in formulating your position or opinion.


Sample Thesis Statement:

Your Stand:

Plagiarism policies at Arizona State University must be more consistently defined, applied, and publicized across departments.....


Supporting Reasons for This Position: order to avoid potential legal conflict, and augment the quality of scholarship at the university level.


According to this thesis, the main body of the paper will have two major sections---avoiding legal conflict, and augmenting the quality of scholarship---containing three sub-sections each---defining, applying, and publicizing plagiarism policies.

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Additional Resources

  • Creating a Thesis Statement      
    This resource from the OWL at Purdue provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.
  • Developing a Thesis Statement      
    Information from the Writing Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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