Thesis statements are nothing to be afraid of. The term is just a fancy way of describing the argument or main point of your essay. The thesis is usually a single sentence, included towards the end of the introduction, that simply states the argument you are making throughout your essay. Once you've got your thesis set up, you have the blueprint for the rest of your paper.
Begin composing your essay by creating your thesis. Keep your thesis straightforward and directly address the topic or subject of your essay. For example: The film "Apocalypse Now," directed by Francis Ford Coppola, is a contemporary adaptation of Joseph Conrad's "The Heart of Darkness."
Split your essay into three sections: the introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. Use the introduction to grab the reader's attention by including an anecdote or interesting fact at the beginning. Put the thesis towards the end of the introduction as a segue into the body of your essay.
Use the body paragraphs of the essay to build support for your thesis. Include direct quotations from your research to back up any claims or suggestions. Don't leave the quotes hanging, write a sentence or two after each quote explaining exactly how it pertains to your thesis. For short essays, include at least three body paragraphs, while longer essays can contain numerous body paragraphs.
Wrap up your essay in the conclusion section. Restate your thesis in a different way from the introduction and tie in how the body paragraphs support your essay. Avoid using phrases, like "In conclusion" or "To summarize..." Instead, get right to the point and tell the reader why your argument makes sense.
Include a "Works Cited" page after the conclusion. Include any articles, books, websites or scholarly articles you included in your argument.
Jason Taetsch graduated from The College of New Jersey with a degree in English. Taetsch co-founded the on-campus literary magazine, "Paperclips." In 2006 he began writing professionally. He wrote news articles and independently authored op-ed columns for the on-campus newspaper, "The Signal" and had articles published in "Garden State Surf Magazine."