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Example Box for Thesis Statement

I revisited my assignment, the rubric, and the essential question.  My thesis statement needs to answer my essential question, using the notes from my research to back it up.

The assignment:  Argue a position in relation to a current issue, a problem, or solution associated with the use of this drug.

My essential question:  How can steroid use among high school students be prevented?

After doing my research, I have learned how many students take steroids and why they take them.  I’ve learned that body image is changing among young people and now it’s more important than ever to look not just lean, but muscular. Sports heroes from almost every sport have confessed to using them, which has lessened the public perception that they are dangerous.  Because of steroids, students feel like they have more of an edge.  This is important not only because of self-esteem, but also the competitive nature of college scholarships.   I’ve also learned a lot about what high schools are doing to prevent students from using steroids.   I’ve decided that high schools do have a role to play and have come up with some ideas of my own.  All students should be educated around the topic of body image and illegal drugs at some point in high school.  Student athletes especially need to be educated around the use of steroids.

In addition to answering my essential question, I would like to offer a solution to combat this problem.  So my thesis statement is:

"Because of the high level of competition in sports, changing attitudes in body image, and the perceived safety of steroids, high school students resort to using these illegal drugs.  To combat this problem, schools must educate high school students about body image and the harm in using steroids.”

Now I can start my outline.  I first will need to prove that high school students use steroids.  Then I need evidence as to why.  Then I need to explain education from the high school is important, what schools are currently doing (and if it’s effective or not), and what they could do to prevent students from using steroids.

The Thesis Statement

What is a Thesis Statement?

The thesis statement is a sentence or two that summarizes your main idea (informational) or point of view (persuasive) and directs your entire paper or research project.  Once you have finished taking notes and organizing them, you are ready to finalize your thesis statement.  Review your essential question.  The thesis statement should answer your essential question, which was what you used to guide your research.  The thesis should be the last sentence in your introductory paragraph.   The entire paper should relate back to your thesis.  Because it is so important, you must make sure that your thesis is strong and defined. 

Informational papers

You will define, explain, summarize, describe, or illustrate a topic.  Your goal is to link ideas together and inform the reader.  You will describe how things are connected.  You may compare, contrast, cause and/or relate.   Do not write a thesis that is common knowledge. 

ExampleExplain why a battle from World War II was important.
A poor thesis is “The Battle of the Bulge was an important battle in World War II.”  This is common knowledge and isn’t focused.   A better thesis would be “The Battle of the Bulge was the final turning point in World War II.  Because of the high number of German casualties, Hitler used up his strategic reserves of men and equipment and made it possible for Russia to succeed in seizing Berlin.”

·    The first thesis needs facts about the Battle of the Bulge.
·    The second thesis needs facts about the Battle of the Bulge, will explain why Hitler’s reserves were diminished, and will end with Russia’s invasion of Berlin.
·    The second paper has direction and a focus!

Persuasive papers

Your thesis should be debatable or controversial.  You will need to assess, prove, justify, respond to, support, or argue a point of view.   Your goal is to persuade the reader.   You will use data, statistics, facts, and other evidence to support your thesis.  Do not write a thesis that is so obvious that everyone would agree with it. 

Example:  Argue a position in relation to a current issue, a problem, or solution associated with the use of this drug.

A poor thesis is "Steroids are bad for your health."  Everyone would agree with that and it doesn’t have a point.   A better thesis would be something like: "Steroids are bad for the individual using them, but also for the world of sport.  Because of this, it is an issue that needs proactive measures among national leaders."

·     The first thesis only needs facts about the harm for a person in using steroids.
·     The second thesis needs facts about the harm in using steroids, the effect on the sporting world, a description of what has been done, what's currently being done, and what should be done worldwide to combat the issue.
·     The second is a more interesting paper to read with a lot more research!

For more help on constructing thesis statements, go to:

Subject Guide

Jennifer Jourdain's picture
Jennifer Jourdain
Montachusett Regional Voc Tech School
1050 Westminster Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420
(978) 345-9200 x5125