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Updated by Emily Roediger on Sep 13, 2016
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Writing an Effective Thesis Statement

Use this list of free, open resources to learn how to write an effective thesis statement.

Writing an Effective Thesis Statement (YouTube video)

This video gives the viewer a brief introduction to the main parts of a an effective thesis statement (topic, claim/argument, specifics). Examples are given and explained as well as diagrammed for the viewer.

This page from the Harvard Writing Center gives an overview of effective thesis statements, walks a writer through the steps of developing a thesis statement, and also covers a few examples. This resource also covers what writers should NOT do when trying to write a thesis.

This handout from the UNC Chapel Hill Writing Center describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can craft or refine one for your draft. Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion--convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. The tutorial also covers what makes a strong thesis as well as a weak one.

How to Write a Thesis for Beginners (YouTube video)

This video gives writers a crash course in thesis writing and walks them through a step-by-step process using an example (Superman!).

The Thesis Statement (Flocabulary tutorial)

This tutorial from Flocabulary includes a rap video on what a thesis is and how to write one, a fill-in-the-blank worksheet, and a review quiz. Teaser from the rap: "Make your thesis tight like skinny jeans. Take your time to scrub it down, Mr. Clean." Is there a better way to learn about a thesis?? I think not.

This three-step tutorial from Northern Illinois University includes a review quiz as well as links to related tutorials (effective style, introductions, conclusions, etc.) A good overview of the academic thesis.

Thesis Statements: Four Steps to a Great Essay (YouTube video)

This video from Jenny Sawyer of 60 Second Recaps covers the four steps to an effective thesis and a great essay, using an example from "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It's an excerpt from the series "How to Write an A+ Essay: A Step-by-Step Guide."

Writers Workshop: Writer Resources for Thesis Statements (tutorial page)

This tutorial from the University of Illinois covers questions to ask when formulating a thesis statement as well as tips for revising weak thesis statements.

These graphic organizers from from the Chicago History Fair and walk writers through the thesis-drafting process. They also prompt writers to think about how their evidence in the body paragraphs should stem directly from the thesis. A great checklist for effective thesis statements is included.

This infographic from Jen London covers the basics of an effective thesis statement and also provides a few formulas to help writers get started.