Almost 99% of the time, we can tell if a piece of writing is good based on the thesis statement alone.

• Is the writer focused on a clearly described topic issue?
• Does the writer clearly indicate their position or perspective on that issue?

If a reader can easily answer those two questions, then the paper that is developed based on that purpose statement is typically good. If a reader can’t easily answer those two questions-or the thesis is bogged down in complexity or wordiness-then the chances of the paper being a good one (i.e. well organized and written) is reduced.

First tip–a thesis statement is never phrased as a question. It is not coy nor does it make a pretense of being modest.

Consider the thesis a one-sentence mission statement for the paper.

Keep it to around 20 words or less if you can. You have a whole introductory paragraph to provide the expected preview summary of the main points to be developed. Don’t overcrowd your thesis sentence with that stuff or any stuffiness in general.

Don’t try to sound smart–be S.M.A.R.T–Specific, Manageable, Appropriate, Realistic, and Thought-provoking. Download our free S.M.A.R.T. Writing and Thesis chart, which defines what writing S.M.A.R.T. is along with a basic explanation to help you out with this.

I hope this helps.

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