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Forming a Thesis Statement

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Forming a Thesis Statement

Forming a Thesis

The whole purpose of writing is to transfer an idea from your head into someone else's. If you can state your idea in a single, clear sentence, your reader can easily grasp it.

Use this simple formula to craft an effective thesis statement (for an essay) or topic sentence (for a paragraph).

Topic (who or what am I writing about?)

+ Focus (what specific thought or feeling do I have about my topic?)


= Thesis Statement (or Topic Sentence)

Here are some examples of the formula in action with different forms of writing.


Antibiotic resistance (topic) creates superbugs through the misuse of modern medicine (focus).


Sex and gender (topic) are related but different, one defined by biology and the other by culture (focus).

Narrative Writing

My hectic senior year of high school (topic) embodied the word overcommitment (focus).

Your Turn Use the formula to create thesis statements for the following topics. Note: The focus is up to you.

  1. Career opportunities
  2. Community involvement
  3. Generational differences
  4. The search for colleges
  5. Lasting lessons of high school

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Answer Key:

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