What is a Thesis Statement?
- tells the reader your opinion about the subject of the question.
- may also give the reader information about the organization of the essay.
- is the final sentence of the introduction.
Exercise 1 | Organize the introduction
To what extent do you agree or disagree?
It is clear that classroom teaching is still important in educating young people as it provides a different type of education to the material that they encounter online or on the TV.
The youth of today are not just educated in the traditional classroom setting, but also in more modern and less conventional ways by the internet and television.
- The first sentence of the introduction paraphrases the information in the question. The words internet and television don’t have synonyms and so they are not paraphrased.
- The thesis statement logically follows on from the introduction sentence as it provides the writers opinion about the question and topic.
- Notice how the first sentence of the introduction is very general while the thesis statement directly answers the question. This is typical in academic writing which follows the pattern of general to specific information.
Exercise 2 | More Practice
Why is this happening? What will be the effects on families and society?
While people often used to spend time eating with their family in the past, in recent times this tradition has broken down.
This is happening due to changes in lifestyle and culture, and, unfortunately, is unlikely to have a positive effect.
- The thesis statement suggests that the topic of the first body paragraph will be about lifestyle and cultural changes that have resulted in families not eating together. It then suggests that the second body paragraph will be about the negative effects of families not eating together.
Exercise 3 | A look in more detail
To what extent do you agree or disagree.
There is often debate about the relevance of traditional arts subjects in the school curriculum when computing and business skills are so important in the world of work. However, I strongly believe that the arts are a valid part of school education as they provide students with a chance to express themselves and also because a school education is about more than preparing young people for work.
Are the following statements about the introduction true or false?
- The first sentence of the introduction tells the reader the topic of the essay.
- Key words and phrases such as ‘relevance’ ‘arts subjects’ and ‘computing and business skills’ are used to make the topic clear to the reader.
- The writer limits himself to ‘arts subjects’ and ‘computer and business skills’.
- ‘However’ and ‘on the other hand’ are good phrases to introduce contrasting ideas in your writing.
- The first idea mentioned in the thesis statement is that the arts provide students with a chance to express themselves. This will logically be the topic of the first body paragraph.
- The second idea mentioned in the thesis statement is that school education is about more than preparing young people for work. As this is the second idea mentioned in the thesis statement, it is logical that this will be the topic of the second body paragraph.
Now move on to our lesson about how to write good paragraph topic sentences.
Follow our other lesson for more introduction writing practice.