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Honors College: Format a Thesis Statement

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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.

Three Examples:
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.