The University of Sydney The Write Site
Home Glossary Site map Help
Module 1: Grammar Module 2: Sources Module 3: Structure
Home » Module 3 Unit 1: Planning your essay » Constructing a working thesis - page 1/4
Unit 1: Planning your essayUnit 2: Structuring paragraphsUnit 3: Introductions & conclusionsUnit 4: Writing persuasivelyUnit 5: Writing cohesively

Constructing a working thesis

In this section you will see how you can construct a working thesis statement from your synthesis grid.

A thesis statement is:

  • a clear, concise statement of the position you will defend in your essay. It should argue a position, not summarise information.
  • a preview for the reader, giving information about the scope, purpose and direction of your essay.
  • generally located near the end of the introduction. Sometimes, in a long essay, the thesis statement will be expressed in several sentences or in an entire paragraph.

A thesis statement is NOT:

  • a fact or observation 

    For example: ‘Learning to read is very important’

  • the title of the essay rewritten

    For example: 'Current educational philosophies say that reading is a shared, social activity'

  • a broad, vague or general statement

    For example: ‘Reading a lot with different people is the best way to learn to read’