How to Write a Thesis Statement

I recently touched up an old handout, and would welcome feedback.

How to Write a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is the single, specific claim that your essay supports. A strong thesis answers the question you want to raise; it does so by presenting a topic, your precise opinion on the topic, and a reasoning blueprint that sketches out the organization for the rest of the paper. A good thesis is not merely a factual statement, an observation, a personal opinion or preference, or the question you plan to answer.

  • Black Elk Speaks accurately represents Indian lifestyle through its attention to cultural detail, its use of Indian words, and its direct quotes from Black Elk.
  • Topic: The representation of Indian lifestyle in the book Black Elk Speaks
  • Precise Opinion: the book is accurate
  • Reasoning Blueprint: the book pays attention to cultural detail, it uses Indian words, and it uses direct quotations from Black Elk. (The rest of the paper will establish the truth of teach of these supporting points, and then explain why they add up to support the truth of the thesis statement.)