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.
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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