Illustration essay topic ideas: getting handle on the matter


When you start writing an essay, the thesis statement seems to be one of the most challenging parts for many students. Let’s go over some myths related to thesis statements to try and make them easier:

  • Myth 1: Every paper has to have a thesis statement.
  • This is not true. Some assignments you will be given ask you to explore a subject and not prejudge it, or to write a personal response to a topic. Essays that require an interpretation of literature should be freer, allowing you to explore a multitude of effects rather than only one view point.

  • Myth 2: Your thesis statement has to be the final sentence of your first paragraph.
  • This is also not true. While this is a natural position for the thesis sentence to assume, you are not confined to this structure when you write your essay. You can play around with the thesis until you find what works best for the flow and structure of your essay. Sometimes the thesis fits better as the opening sentence for your paper, while other times it cannot be introduced in its entirety until you have introduced something.

  • Myth 3: Your thesis has to be one sentence, no matter how many clauses are contained in it.
  • This is false. Clear writing is more important than following a rule like this. If you need to make a complex argument requiring a couple of sentences, then do it. A complex argument might even need an entire paragraph to state your initial position. You are the writer, so you have the flexibility to be creative.

  • Myth 4: You cannot write your paper until you have a thesis.
  • While many teachers might advise that you don’t start your research or writing for a large project until you have the hypothesis or thesis, you can change or refine it as your ideas change. Chances are you will not have the perfect thesis right at the start. Some projects require deep exploration and you cannot achieve this if you are confined to a thesis statement you crafted at the start. Be flexible and keep your thesis tentative until you are finished with your research.

  • Myth 5: Your thesis must offer three supporting points.
  • The number of support points you provide for your thesis is not a specific number. It is based on the essay you are writing, as well as how long it is, and how much evidence you require. You might only need one point, or perhaps eight, to make your argument air tight.



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