Significance Of The Study Example Thesis Statements

A thesis statement:

  • tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
  • is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
  • directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.
  • makes a claim that others might dispute.
  • is usually a single sentence somewhere in your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.

Paragraph 1

In The Box Man, by Barbara Lazear Ascher, the protagonist reveals that a life of solitude need not always be lonely. Though the Box Man lives a life of solitude as a homeless wanderer, Ascher describes his “grand design” and “grandmotherly finger licking” to convince readers that their assumptions about homeless people are unfounded – and that they can live a dignified life. By describing the Box Man as “dignified” and “at ease”, Ascher paints a vivid picture of a man who chose a life a comfort and solitude and defeated loneliness by becoming his own friend.

Paragraph 2

In Upon the Burning of Our House, Anne Bradstreet ponders her unfortunate circumstances and appreciates that it was God’s will that her house burned to the ground. Bradstreet believed that every misfortune she encountered served to remind her of God’s will – in this case, she was reminded that “All is vanity” – a Biblical allusion meaning that everything in life is futile and the only worthy goal is entry into heaven. Bradstreet’s attitude is further revealed when she says “The world no longer let me love, / My hope and treasure lies above.” Bradstreet clearly feels that worldly life is fruitless; her sole concern is God.

Paragraph 3

In The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck characterize the protagonist, Tom Joad, as a morally conscious person who stands up against evil. The image of Tom’s mother “slow with weariness” sitting and scraping potatoes affects Tom very much – so much that he is willing to give his life to rebel against the people who seek to harm his family. Through the use of imagery and diction, Steinbeck reveals Tom’s noble conscious and characterizes him as a rebellious – albeit rash – young man.

Paragraph 4

In the His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman, the setting is an essential element in the development and outcome of the plot in more ways than one. The protagonist, 11-year old Lyra Belacqua, lives in the precincts of Jordan College in Oxford growing up as an orphan among the old scholars. Her cheerful existence consisted of playing on the rooftops of the college and “waging war” with the local children. This contrasts sharply with the bright and exciting future she soon experiences after she escapes from the drudgery of college life. After escaping, Lyra begins a grand adventure, journeying to the north to meet armored bears, witches, and gyptians. The initial setting is important to the development of the plot because Lyra’s future resourcefulness and quick-wittedness in difficult situations were fine-tuned during the numerous challenges she faced as a child while fighting “wars” with the other local children. In addition, by understanding Lyra’s humble background, the reader can appreciate her future accomplishments.

Aboukhadijeh, Feross. "Sample Thesis Statements" Study Notes, LLC., 17 Nov. 2012. Web. 13 Mar. 2018. <>.

Thesis and Purpose Statements

Use the guidelines below to learn the differences between thesis and purpose statements

In the first stages of writing, thesis or purpose statements are usually rough or ill-formed and are useful primarily as planning tools.

A thesis statement or purpose statement will emerge as you think and write about a topic. The statement can be restricted or clarified and eventually worked into an introduction.

As you revise your paper, try to phrase your thesis or purpose statement in a precise way so that it matches the content and organization of your paper.

Thesis statements

A thesis statement is a sentence that makes an assertion about a topic and predicts how the topic will be developed. It does not simply announce a topic: it says something about the topic.

Good: X has made a significant impact on the teenage population due to its . . .

Bad: In this paper, I will discuss X.

A thesis statement makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of the paper. It summarizes the conclusions that the writer has reached about the topic.

A thesis statement is generally located near the end of the introduction. Sometimes in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or an entire paragraph.

A thesis statement is focused and specific enough to be proven within the boundaries of the paper. Key words (nouns and verbs) should be specific, accurate, and indicative of the range of research, thrust of the argument or analysis, and the organization of supporting information.

Purpose statements

A purpose statement announces the purpose, scope, and direction of the paper. It tells the reader what to expect in a paper and what the specific focus will be.

Common beginnings include:

"This paper examines . . .," "The aim of this paper is to . . .," and "The purpose of this essay is to . . ."

A purpose statement makes a promise to the reader about the development of the argument but does not preview the particular conclusions that the writer has drawn.

A purpose statement usually appears toward the end of the introduction. The purpose statement may be expressed in several sentences or even an entire paragraph.

A purpose statement is specific enough to satisfy the requirements of the assignment. Purpose statements are common in research papers in some academic disciplines, while in other disciplines they are considered too blunt or direct. If you are unsure about using a purpose statement, ask your instructor.

This paper will examine the ecological destruction of the Sahel preceding the drought and the causes of this disintegration of the land. The focus will be on the economic, political, and social relationships which brought about the environmental problems in the Sahel.

Sample purpose and thesis statements

The following example combines a purpose statement and a thesis statement (bold).

The goal of this paper is to examine the effects of Chile's agrarian reform on the lives of rural peasants. The nature of the topic dictates the use of both a chronological and a comparative analysis of peasant lives at various points during the reform period. . . The Chilean reform example provides evidence that land distribution is an essential component of both the improvement of peasant conditions and the development of a democratic society. More extensive and enduring reforms would likely have allowed Chile the opportunity to further expand these horizons.

For more tips about writing thesis statements, take a look at our new handout on Developing a Thesis Statement.

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