Context matters! Think about your course materials and lectures. Try to relate your thesis to the ideas your instructor is discussing. As you go through the process described in this section, always keep your assignment in mind. You will be more successful when your thesis (and paper) responds to the assignment than if it argues a semi_related idea.
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.
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