A strong thesis statement justifies discussion. Your thesis should indicate the point of the discussion. If your assignment is to write a paper on kinship systems, using your own family as an example, you might come up with either of these two thesis statements: My family is an extended family. This is a weak thesis because it merely states an observation. Your reader won’t be able to tell the point of the statement, and will probably stop reading. While most American families would view consanguineal marriage as a threat to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families, like my own, believe that these marriages help reinforce kinship ties in an extended family. This is a strong thesis because it shows how your experience contradicts a widely_accepted view. A good strategy for creating a strong thesis is to show that the topic is controversial. Readers will be interested in reading the rest of the essay to see how you support your point.
Avoid merely reporting a fact. Say more than what is already proven fact. Go further with your ideas. Otherwise, why would your point matter? Original thesis: Hoover's administration was rocked by scandal. Revised thesis: The many scandals of Hoover's administration revealed basic problems with the Republican Party's nominating process. Do not expect to come up with a fully formulated thesis statement before you have finished writing the paper. The thesis will inevitably change as you revise and develop your ideas and that is ok! Start with a tentative thesis and revise as your paper develops.
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