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So let me clarify what I mean by the term "thesis statement." By the way, some of the explanation that follows will be more specific or slightly different from some things you find in your handbook. mean by the term "thesis statement." A thesis statement, as we will be using the term this semester, is not necessarily a sentence that appears in the first paragraph of your essay.Your thesis statement might appear in the first paragraph, or the last paragraph, or it might not appear in the essay at all.It just means that a thesis statement is a statement.
A thesis statement, in other words, is only one sentence, not two or three or more. Because the thesis statement is the main point you want to make in one essay; so it should be one sentence.
Frederick Crews defines an essay as "a short piece of nonfiction that tries to make a point in an interesting way." What makes it an essay is that it aims to make a point, one point.
I do not mean by a thesis statement something that you necessarily write before writing the essay.
I will often ask you to write a "trial thesis statement" before submitting a draft of your essay; the term "trial" means that this is not a thesis statement you are committed to.
But a thesis statement is not necessarily part of the introduction, and in developing your thesis statement you should not be thinking primarily about how you want your essay to start.
You should be thinking about what you want the whole essay to say, what you want the reader to know or believe at the end of the essay, not the beginning.Almost any good essay will have to inform the reader at some points and persuade the reader at others.But every good essay is unified, moves toward a single major point.Some textbooks attempt to break down the kinds of essays into categories like "informative," "persuasive," "expository," or "argumentative." These categories can sometimes be useful in thinking about your essay, but they are always a little artificial.No good essay is entirely informative or entirely persuasive.Whatever kind of essay you are writing, you want to decide before you finish it what the point will be, where it's going.Thus you want your thesis statement to express in a sentence what your whole essay says, what you want your readers to know or believe or understand by the end of the essay.You may often start work on your essay with a question in mind. Different essays will have different purposes, depending on your message and your audience.If you are writing about a topic that your readers know very little about, you will write differently than you would if you were writing about a topic about which your readers were well informed.You may have been asked in a previous class to put your thesis statement in the first paragraph of your essay.There is nothing wrong with putting the thesis statement in the first paragraph, if that will help you to get your point across to your readers.