The thesis statement (which may be more than one sentence) usually appears at the end of your introduction and presents your specific argument or claim to the reader. The thesis should cover only what you discuss in your paper and be supported throughout the paper with evidence. A thesis statement serves many purposes, including the following:
- Prepare your readers for the purpose of your paper and the content
- Set the focus for your paper
- States your side on an issue
- Previews the ideas you will address
Steps to Writing a Thesis
Brainstorm by answering the following questions about your argument.
1. What is your main argument?
Miami University should install refill stations on its water fountains.
2. Why are you making this argument?
So students and faculty at Miami University can refill their water bottles easily, instead of purchasing bottled water.
3. What support will you give for your argument? What ideas will you discuss in your paper?
Refill stations can discourage waste and thus are better for the environment. Students will be more likely to use these stations if they are required to purchase reusable water bottles and do not have the option to buy bottled water on campus.
Then, combine these ideas into a thesis statement. Your thesis can be one- to two sentences long.
Miami University could improve its sustainability efforts and discourage waste through installing refill stations and encouraging their use by limiting the sale of bottled water on campus and requiring all first-year students to purchase reusable water bottles
Problems to Avoid When Writing a Thesis
1. Don’t write a highly opinionated thesis. You may alienate readers, especially the ones you are trying to convince.
Example: With characteristic clumsiness, campus officials bumbled their way through the recent budget crisis.
Better: Campus officials had trouble managing the recent budget crisis effectively.
2. Don’t make an announcement. Include your attitude toward the subject as well as the subject. Otherwise, you’re just stating your intent, not your thesis or claim.
Example: My essay will discuss handgun legislation.
Better: Banning handguns is the first step toward controlling crime in America.
Example: In this essay, I will discuss cable television.
OK: In this essay, I will present three reasons why cable television has not delivered on its promises. (Though this includes the writer’s attitude about the subject, it is still announcing intent and is not as sophisticated and direct as the following thesis.)
Even better: Cable television has not delivered on its promise to provide an alternative to network programming. (This directly states what the writer will discuss and attempt to prove.)
3. Don’t make a factual statement. Your essay will develop an issue. Stating a fact doesn’t give you anything to develop; there’s no where to go. It just is.
Example: Many businesses pollute the environment.
Better: Tax penalties should be levied against companies that pollute the environment.
Example: Today’s movies are violent.
Better: Movie violence provides a healthy outlet for aggression.
4. Don’t make a broad statement. Your thesis should focus on the point(s) you will make; limit your subject. Use specific rather than vague or general terms.
Example: Education is often meaningless.
Better: A high school education has been devalued by grade inflation.
Specific Purpose: To persuade the audience to stop using plastic bottles because of the health concerns and its harmful effects on the environment. Introduction: How many people know that in the Pacific Ocean there’s a huge island consisting of plastic bags, bottles, and even toys that’s estimated to be twice the size of Texas? For those you didn’t know now you do, environmentalists refer to this island as the Great Plastic Vortex. As plastic use increases, the vortex will only grow more and more.
In 2007 8. billion tons of bottled waters were sold, so the number of plastic water bottles is only increasing and ends up accumulating to the great plastic vortex. We can start helping the environment by stopping the usage of plastic water bottles. Thesis statement: Plastic water bottles are being questioned about their safety to both our health and our environment as well. Preview: Today, we will discuss the problems that come about with plastic water bottles and the causes and solutions to help our health and our environment as well. Body: I.
There are multiple problems with plastic water bottles, which include danger to people’s health and the harmful effects to our environment. A. Plastic bottles contain a toxin called BPA, which can be a danger to our health. 1. According to Kate Barrett from ABC News, retrieved on April 15, 2008, a report found that exposure to this toxin could have effects on young children and infants by causing changes in the brain development. 2. As we are being exposed to this toxin at younger ages, we stand a higher risk of diseases and health problems. B. There are several ways in which plastic bottles are harmful to the environment.
In an article on October 29, 2007 issue of Blast Magazine, Jack Bell says and I quote plastic generates toxic emissions and pollutants that contribute to global warming. 2. As a result of this, promoting the usage of plastic bottles will only create more chaos to our environment. Transition: The problems of the BPA’s potential to harm people combined with the dangerous effects of plastic water bottles on the environment can be associated with two main causes, which we will now go into.
I. The two specific causes can be identified as: consumer’s ignorance and the producers lack of responsibility.
A. Consumers have certain habits that don’t even faze them; it is in fact second nature to them. 1. Plastic water bottles are meant for one time use only, yet tons of people reuse them. Most of us think using the same bottle again helps the environment as well as saves us money, but it may be costing us our health. 2. According to the “Time Magazine”, Lisa Cullen says, plastic bottles are meant for disposable and for one time use only. Reusing them causes bacteria to build up, spreading it throughout the mouth. B. The food and drug administration has deemed BPA safe, but studies and research doubt their decision.
1. According to the “Time Magazine”, Bryan Walsh states this toxin might be linked to a variety of diseases, such as cancer and reproductive problems. 2. Even though the FDA has been unintentionally endorsing the use of this chemical, they have been effectively exposing people. Transition: Now that we have explored the causes, we examine the solutions we can do ourselves personally.
II. Most of the solutions have to do with a little bit of self -effort. A. One solution is to write to the members of congress, the FDA, and/or the governor to urge for stricter regulations for bottled water labeling, public disclosure, and safety. .The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) recommends writing to producers to display information about whether it has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. 2. According to the natural resources defense council there approach will be to write about setting strict limits about contamination and bacteria. B. Another solution is to try to use a non-plastic water bottle. It is recommended that people try to change to either stainless steel or aluminum water bottles.
Conclusion: I. Conclusively, now you are aware of the dangers of plastic, more importantly plastic water bottles.
With a better understanding of what is causing these problems-consumers ignorance as well as the producers lack of responsibility- we can concentrate on solving this threat. II. As more and more water bottles are disposed, they are only adding to the already giant land fields of plastic bottles. As more and more people drink from water bottles, it is only causing a higher risk for health problems. III. We can take from this as a realization- we need to start doing our part to help save our environment as well as our health.