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Norfolk State University Writing Center
Other Writing Centers
Many other U.S. universities also have excellent undergraduate writing centers. Check these out for more information.
Writing Your Thesis Statement
What is a thesis statement?
- A thesis statement comes at the beginning of your paper.
- It is a statement that answers your research question.
- The statement is supported throughout your paper with examples and evidence.
What makes a good thesis statement?
- It takes a position, or advances an opinion.
- It is specific, not too broad, but not too narrow.
- It is an arguable statement; there is room for discussion or disagreement.
- It provides focus and generates interest in the reader.
Taking a Position -
Poor (doesn't take a position):
- I'm going to write about the high rate of suicide and depression in transgender adolescents.
Improved (takes a position):
- The standard story of binary gender in our society creates a hostile environment for gender variant adolescents, as demonstrated by high rates of depression and suicide.
Poor (very general):
- Europe is a great place to visit.
Improved (more specific):
- World travel is an important element to a well-rounded college education.
Poor (not much here to argue with):
- Exercise is good for the elderly.
Improved (specific position that can be argued):
- Exercise, combined with antidepressants, is more effective in reducing depression in older adults given the prevalence of treatment-resistant depression in late life.
- Contact the Library
- 700 Park Avenue
- Norfolk, VA 23504
- Phone: (757) 823-2418
- Email: Library@nsu.edu