Once you’ve constructed your thesis, ask yourself the following:
- Is the thesis present at the end of the introduction paragraph?
Your introduction provides necessary background information on the topic. Your thesis presents a strong stance you’re going to take on a particular topic. It’s like the final word of a debate. You want it to be strong, and you want it to engage the reader.
- Does the thesis answer the “why” or “so what” question for the reader?
Readers need to see why an argument might be important. Does your interpretation change the meaning of something you’re investigating? Does this argument prove a theory of some kind? Can this outlook solve a problem? Why should readers care about it?
- Is your thesis an actual statement?
Asking a question at the end of the first paragraph is not a strong thesis statement. Review the question. A strong thesis might answer it, and you can use that question to lead up to your argument.
- Does your thesis make an argument that can be proven through source material?
It’s difficult for source material to prove a generalization such “everyone feels this way” about a specific topic. The trick is to make sure that your thesis is as specific as possible.
- Is the thesis your own argument?
The thesis should be your argument and supported through evidence from your sources in the body of the paper. If you’re citing the argument, you’ve likely either quoted or paraphrased someone else’s thesis. Make sure the argument is your own.