Creating A Thesis Statement For An Expository Essay Facts

Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements


This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.

Contributors: Elyssa Tardiff, Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2018-01-24 02:29:37

Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement

1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing:

  • An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.
  • An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.
  • An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.

If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.

2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.

3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.

4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Examples

Example of an analytical thesis statement:

An analysis of the college admission process reveals one challenge facing counselors: accepting students with high test scores or students with strong extracurricular backgrounds.

The paper that follows should:

  • Explain the analysis of the college admission process
  • Explain the challenge facing admissions counselors

Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:

The life of the typical college student is characterized by time spent studying, attending class, and socializing with peers.

The paper that follows should:

  • Explain how students spend their time studying, attending class, and socializing with peers

Example of an argumentative thesis statement:

High school graduates should be required to take a year off to pursue community service projects before entering college in order to increase their maturity and global awareness.

The paper that follows should:

  • Present an argument and give evidence to support the claim that students should pursue community projects before entering college

The Thesis Statement

An expository essay should begin with a strong introductory paragraph that contains a thesis statement. The thesis statement should be clear, concise, and well-defined. Remember, the thesis statement is the writer’s main point, argument, or central idea and should be carefully narrowed to explain where the essay is headed. A weak thesis statement will make composing an effective or argumentative essay difficult.

The Body of the Essay

The body paragraphs in an expository essay should contain evidence or support to explain the thesis or explore its complexities. This evidence or support should always connect to the thesis statement and should be explained with facts, statistics, logic, or anecdotes. Strong evidence or support is precise and allows the writer to convey something that matters to the thesis. Weaker evidence or support, however, is often general and fails to convey what the writer thinks about the topic. Each body paragraph should only include one piece of evidence or supporting idea to give the reader clarity and direction throughout the essay.

The Conclusion

One of the most important tips on expository essay writing is to concentrate on the conclusion. The concluding paragraph is your final opportunity to leave a lasting impression on your reader, but many students experience difficulty creating that impression.

Two things you should avoid in writing your conclusion are simply restating the thesis and presenting new information in it. Instead, you should consider the implications of what you have discussed in the body of the essay. Presenting a brief summary of your main points is fine, but then you should think about answering the question, “so what?" You can answer this question by providing an explanation of the importance of the topic, or asking some questions that arise from it but which you have not addressed. The latter approach will keep your reader thinking about what you presented.

Additional Tips:

  • Develop an argument clearly and logically. Your reader should not have to guess what you are trying to communicate.
  • Avoid the use of personal pronouns. Remember, support your thesis with facts, not your opinions.
  • Be sure to develop your points sequentially. That is, think about the order of your points and make sure they make sense. Does the order provide the most impact? Readers remember best what is said last.
  • Use transitions between the introduction, body, and conclusion. These transitions should be clear, logical, and help guide the reader through the essay’s argument and structure.
  • Proofread for spelling, grammatical, and typographical errors.

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