Thesis Statement Guide Development Tool
Follow the steps below to formulate a thesis statement. All cells must contain text.
1. State your topic.
2. State your opinion/main idea about this topic.
This will form the heart of your thesis. An effective statement will
- express one major idea.
- name the topic and assert something specific about it.
- be a more specific statement than the topic statement above.
- take a stance on an issue about which reasonable people might disagree.
- state your position on or opinion about the issue.
3. Give the strongest reason or assertion that supports your opinion/main idea.
4. Give another strong reason or assertion that supports your opinion/main idea.
5. Give one more strong reason or assertion that supports your opinion/main idea.
6. Include an opposing viewpoint to your opinion/main idea, if applicable. This should be an argument for the opposing view that you admit has some merit, even if you do not agree with the overall viewpoint.
7. Provide a possible title for your essay.
Thesis Statement Guide Results
Thesis Statement Model #1: Sample Thesis Statement
Parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch.
Thesis Statement Model #2: Thesis with Concession
Notice that this model makes a concession by addressing an argument from the opposing viewpoint first, and then uses the phrase "even though" and states the writer's opinion/main idea as a rebuttal.
Even though television can be educational, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch.
Thesis Statement Model #3: Thesis with Reasons
Here, the use of "because" reveals the reasons behind the writer's opinion/main idea.
parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans, it inhibits social interaction, and it isn't always intellectually stimulating.
Thesis Statement Model #4: Thesis with Concession and Reasons
This model both makes a concession to opposing viewpoint and states the reasons/arguments for the writer's main idea.
While television can be educational, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it inhibits social interaction, shortens children's attention spans, and isn't always intellectually stimulating.
Remember: These thesis statements are generated based on the answers provided on the form. Use the Thesis Statement Guide as many times as you like. Your ideas and the results are anonymous and confidential. When you build a thesis statement that works for you, ensure that it addresses the assignment. Finally, you may have to rewrite the thesis statement so that the spelling, grammar, and punctuation are correct.
Thesis Statement Guide: Sample Outline
Use the outline below, which is based on the five–paragraph essay model, when drafting a plan for your own essay. This is meant as a guide only, so we encourage you to revise it in a way that works best for you.
Start your introduction with an interesting "hook" to reel your reader in. An introduction can begin with a rhetorical question, a quotation, an anecdote, a concession, an interesting fact, or a question that will be answered in your paper. The idea is to begin broadly and gradually bring the reader closer to the main idea of the paper. At the end of the introduction, you will present your thesis statement. The thesis statement model used in this example is a thesis with reasons.
Even though television can be educational , parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans, it inhibits social interaction, and it is not always intellectually stimulating
First, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans.
Notice that this Assertion is the first reason presented in the thesis statement. Remember that the thesis statement is a kind of "mapping tool" that helps you organize your ideas, and it helps your reader follow your argument. In this body paragraph, after the Assertion, include any evidence–a quotation, statistic, data–that supports this first point. Explain what the evidence means. Show the reader how this entire paragraph connects back to the thesis statement.
Additionally, it inhibits social interaction.
The first sentence of the second body paragraph should reflect an even stronger Assertion to support the thesis statement. Generally, the second point listed in the thesis statement should be developed here. Like with the previous paragraph, include any evidence–a quotation, statistic, data–that supports this point after the Assertion. Explain what the evidence means. Show the reader how this entire paragraph connects back to the thesis statement.
Finally, the most important reason parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch is it is not always intellectually stimulating.
Your strongest point should be revealed in the final body paragraph. Also, if it's appropriate, you can address and refute any opposing viewpoints to your thesis statement here. As always, include evidence–a quotation, statistic, data–that supports your strongest point. Explain what the evidence means. Show the reader how this entire paragraph connects back to the thesis statement.
Indeed, while television can be educational, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch.
Rephrase your thesis statement in the first sentence of the conclusion. Instead of summarizing the points you just made, synthesize them. Show the reader how everything fits together. While you don't want to present new material here, you can echo the introduction, ask the reader questions, look to the future, or challenge your reader.
Remember: This outline is based on the five–paragraph model. Expand or condense it according to your particular assignment or the size of your opinion/main idea. Again, use the Thesis Statement Guide as many times as you like, until you reach a thesis statement and outline that works for you.
 In the course of the twentieth century, Henry David Thoreau gained a reputation as a pacifist mainly because advocates of non-violence such as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King claimed him as an inspiration for their concepts of passive resistance to tyranny. However, a survey of Thoreau's major writings shows that he never strayed from the conviction that violent action is sometimes required either to prevent greater violence or to preserve political liberty. By exploring Thoreau's remarks on violence in three of his most famous works, Walden, "Resistance to Civil Government," and "A Plea for Captain John Brown," this essay will show that he consistently rejected "non-resistance," the pacifist philosophy embraced by many political reformers in his time.
 Present-day proponents of lower taxes and limited government often cite Henry David Thoreau as an historical source for their philosophy. One of their favorite quotes in this connection comes from Thoreau's "Resistance to Civil Government," which begins with a motto he borrowed from an anti-slavery journal, "That government is best which governs least." 1 Likewise, pointing to Thoreau's refusal to pay his poll taxes, advocates of reduced government spending imply that if he were alive today, he would support their efforts to shrink what remains of the American welfare state in the name of personal freedom. However, an examination of "Resistance to Civil Government" shows that Thoreau was not concerned with individual rights to property or the burdens of government bureaucracy, but only with the ways in which government undermined the capacity of individuals to conform to higher laws.
1 Henry David Thoreau, "Resistance to Civil Government," Aesthetic Papers, edited by Elizabeth Peabody (Boston:1849), 189.
 Since its publication in 1849, Henry David Thoreau's "Resistance to Civil Government" has inspired political leaders and activists ranging from pacifist Leo Tolstoy to anarchist Emma Goldman to civil rights icon Martin Luther King. However, while Thoreau's influence on these prominent historical figures is well-known, his role in shaping the tax-resistance movement has received comparatively little attention, in part because tax-resistance, which takes aim, not at taxes in general, but at government spending on war, has never been widely practiced. By summarizing major moments in the history of tax-resistance in the U.S., this essay will explore the part played by Thoreau's writings in spurring individuals to engage in this especially difficult form of political protest.
Concord Jail, Mapping Thoreau Country
James Duban, "Conscience and Consciousness: The Liberal Christian Context of Thoreau's Political Ethics," The New England Quarterly , Vol. 60, No. 2 (Jun., 1987), pp. 208-222. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/365606
"History of War Tax Resistance," War Resisters League.
Lawrence Rosenwald, "The Theory, Practice & Influence of Thoreau's Civil Disobedience," Thoreau Reader.