What is the purpose of the thesis statement?

Thesis statement is the foundation on which your whole paper is eventually built. The reader should be able to predict the content of the essay just from this one sentence because it’s a reflection of your writing purpose. However, something not everyone is aware of is the fact that there is more than one type of thesis statements, and they are predetermined by the type of a research paper you’re dealing with. To decide which one you need to compose, answer these questions first:

  • are you dealing with an analysis of a concept?
  • do you need to defend an opinion and convince the reader to support it too?
  • are you simply describing a concept?

The question on which you answer affirmatively determines the type of your essay – analytical, argumentative, or expository accordingly. While the initial purpose of the thesis statement will stay the same (to introduce the reader to the ideas), each type of essay will still have specific features you need to include in the thesis. Let’s look closer into them.

Analytical Thesis Statement

In an analytical thesis statement, you need to express the assignment of an analytical essay – to divide a complex concept into smaller pieces and analyze each of them thoroughly. The purpose of such essay is to clarify the topic in a way that it would be understandable even for a reader who has no prior knowledge of the given subject. According to many, this is not the most challenging type of an essay. However, with such assignment, you should always make sure that you include two components – what exactly you’re going to analyze and why it’s needed. The following examples of a thesis statement for analytical essay will give you a better understanding.

  1. A careful examination of human behavior and legislative missteps regarding compulsory recycling will shed light on the issue of water pollution caused by plastic.
  2. Despite the fact that a sufficient number of clues was discovered directly on the crime scene, the investigation was not prepared for the pieces of evidence that were found later.
  3. Once you examine the number of activities we try to combine in the morning, it is easy to understand why this time of the day is regarded as the most hectic one.
  4. Despite some people arguing against involving their children in numerous extra curriculum activities, such hobbies as sport, music, or drawing have shown to bring an ample of positive effects that still find their representation even in adulthood.

Expository Thesis Statement

Expository essay is often also known as descriptive one because it introduces the reader to a topic he or she might not know much about. This is arguably the easiest type of essay because you simply need to present information in a clear manner without trying to convince the reader of anything. Usually, however, an expository essay focuses on some particular features of the described concept instead of the full picture. This also needs to be present in the thesis statement.

  1. Milk is a source of many elements that are vital for a good functioning of your body.
  2. To achieve a good quality photo of the lunar eclipse, the photographer needs to go through a very thorough preparation that involves many steps.
  3. The Spanish Inquisition was basing its actions on religious beliefs yet often crossed the lines.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that oftentimes, you’ll have to rewrite parts of a thesis statement after finishing the essay in order for them to really be a reflection of the full text. It is completely normal, and you don’t have to put too much pressure on yourself.

Argumentative Thesis Statement

If your assignment is to support or debunk a certain point of view on a controversial issue, you’re dealing with an argumentative essay. Since your stance is the foundation of the whole paper, it should already be obvious from the thesis. Sometimes, a compare and contrast thesis statement may also be appropriate in such essay. Another thing that might appear is a hint on supporting pieces of evidence that you’ll use in the body paragraphs, but you’re free to decide if you want to include it. It might be useful to find out what approach your professor expects because some are very particular about such detail. Here are some examples of argumentative thesis statements.

  1. Exposure to graphic materials that show potential tragic outcomes of texting while driving has a big influence on young people and helps to make them better drivers.
  2. Hydraulic fracturing for accessing gas has many negative effects including the possibility of causing earthquake and water pollution.
  3. Surveillance cameras in public places and on streets are a direct invasion into everyone’s privacy.

As you can see, these thesis statements already reveal the author’s opinion and sometimes even suggest the arguments as second example does.