The thesis statement is that sentence or two in your text that contains the focus of your essay and tells your reader what the essay is going to be about. Although it is certainly possible to write a good essay without a thesis statement (many narrative essays, for example, contain only an implied thesis statement), the lack of a thesis statement may well be a symptom of an essay beset by a lack of focus. Many writers think of a thesis statement as an umbrella: everything that you carry along in your essay has to fit under this umbrella, and if you try to take on packages that don't fit, you will either have to get a bigger umbrella or something's going to get wet.
Does my thesis pass the "So what?" test? If a reader´s first response is likely to be "So what?" then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue. Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. It´s okay to change your working thesis to reflect things you have figured out in the course of writing your paper. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary. Does my thesis pass the "how and why?" test? If a reader´s first response is "how?" or "why?" your thesis may be too open_ended and lack guidance for the reader. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning.
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