Thesis statements introductions and conclusions
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Thesis Statements, Introductions, and Conclusions. Techniques for Variety. BROUGHT TO YOU BY YOUR UNIVERISTY LEARNING CENTER ACI 160 / PC 247. Developed by Jeniffer Viscarra. Thesis Statement.

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Thesis Statements, Introductions, and Conclusions

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Thesis statements introductions and conclusions

Thesis Statements, Introductions, and Conclusions

Techniques for Variety



Developed by Jeniffer Viscarra

Thesis statement

Thesis Statement

  • Just as a paragraph has a topic sentence that expresses its central point, an essay also has a main idea called a thesis. This is the most important sentence of your essay!

But Mary, how can I know the main idea of something I haven’t written yet?

More on the thesis

More on the Thesis

  • Like a topic sentence, a thesis can be stated or implied.

  • In most student essays the thesis is stated.

  • In most essays, the thesis presents the author’s opinion – sets forth an argument.

You have to plan what you are going to write. Your thesis is the basic plan, Howard.

Characteristics of a thesis statement

Characteristics of a Thesis Statement

  • Presents the focus or central idea of the essay

  • Uses specific language

  • States a generalization demanding proof. It is not a statement of fact.

  • Gives major subdivisions of the topic (list) or remains more general (umbrella).

Thesis placement

Thesis Placement

  • Your thesis statement can appear anywhere in a paper.

  • Sometimes it is the opening sentence.

  • However, most students are asked to put it at the bottom of the introductory paragraph.

Final comments on the thesis

Final Comments on the Thesis

  • A thesis statement is the central message of an essay.

  • It should reflect the content of the essay and guide your writing.

  • As you are writing, if you discover that the content of your essay and the thesis do not match…

    Revise one or the other

    – or both!

Introductory paragraphs

Introductory Paragraphs

  • Introductions hook the reader’s interest, provide a bridge to the thesis, and present the thesis to the reader, which should frame your argument.

  • Hooks you may want to consider are: citing a quotation, raising a question, providing relevant statistics, challenging a common perception.

Citing a quotation

Citing a Quotation

  • If you use a quotation to begin your essay, be sure to include the source.

  • You must also show your reader the connection between the quote and and the subject of your paper.

  • Otherwise, it will seem “tacked on.”

Quotation example

Quotation Example

World War I aviator, Eddie Rickenbacker, once motivated

young pilots by saying that “Courage is doing what you’re

afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared”

(Smith 12).If fear is necessary for courage, then many

students starting their college careers are certainly courageous.

Two types of college students are the recent high school

graduate and the returning student who seeks a new




Techniques for conclusions

Techniques for Conclusions

  • Redeliver your thesis without using exactly the same words (you may want to use the list and umbrella techniques)

  • Return to the approach you used in your intro: citing a quotation, raising a question, providing statistics, giving background information, challenging a common perception.

Conclusion for intros with quotes

Conclusion for Intros with Quotes

  • Refer to the opening quotation

    Both the recent high school graduate and the

    returning student play important roles in the

    college classroom. With motivation and

    perseverance, they, like Eddie Rickenbacker,

    can overcome their fears and achieve their


Raising a question

Raising a Question

  • Make sure that the question is clearly tied to your topic.

  • Remember to provide a bridge to the thesis or it will seem tacked on.

  • Second person pronoun you is generally accepted (although in the rest of a formal essay it should be avoided).

Example of a question

Example of a Question

Do you remember what it was like the first day of your

first college class? Were you surprised to find so many

students of varying age and background? Many of

today’s college classrooms feature an intergenerational

student population. Two types of college students are

the eighteen-year-old who just graduated from high

school and the returning student who seeks a new



Conclusion answer the question or predict an outcome

Conclusion: Answer the Question or Predict an Outcome

Both the recent high school graduate and the returning student have important contributions to make in any college class. Eventually, however, age diversity will not be as surprising because returning students will outnumber eighteen-year-olds in many classrooms. As the economy becomes more diverse and increasingly international, more workers will return to the classroom for retraining, and the average age of a college student will continue to climb.

Providing relevant statistics

Providing Relevant Statistics

  • A statistic, particularly one that may be surprising, is often an effective way to open an essay.

  • When you use a statistic, you should provide its source just as you do with a quotation.

  • Make sure you do not use misleading statistics.

Example of use of statistics

Example of Use of Statistics

According to this year’s college admissions booklet,

the average student age at FIU is 28.3 years, which means that many students in FIU’s classrooms are over the age of 30. Most of these mature students have discovered that they need to upgrade their job skills if they are to compete in an increasingly technological society. Consequently, they find themselves in classes with younger students. Two types of college students are the recent high school graduate and the returning student who seeks a new career.


Conclusion referring to statistics

Conclusion Referring to Statistics

As the demands on the workforce continue to

take a technological turn, universities will see a climb in the average age of their students. Because so many individuals in their late 20’s seek to enhance their professional lives through education, the averageFIU student can look forward to sharing his/her university experience with peers who already know what it’s like in the “real world.”

Reference to Statistic

Challenging a common perception

Challenging a Common Perception

  • This type of intro entices the reader to learn something new by challenging the reader’s preconceived ideas.

  • Think about what beliefs your readers might hold and what ideas you might use to counter these beliefs.

Example of challenging perceptions

Example of Challenging Perceptions

When thinking of a freshmen classroom, many people envision rows of eighteen-year-olds eager to begin their college experience.However, the average age of a freshman at most colleges and universities is well above eighteen.Many men and women are coming back to the classroom after an absence of many years. Some want to learn a new skill while others pursue a particular academic interest alongside the younger students.Two types of college students are the recent high school graduate and the returning student who seeks a new career.

Conclusion challenging perception

Conclusion: Challenging Perception

Clearly, the recent high school graduate is not the only type of student in the university classrooms today. As the workforce demands more technological skills, the traditional eighteen-year-old students will find themselves studying side by side with those who have returned to build up their career credentials.


New Perception Thesis



  • Your thesis statement is essential (list or umbrella)

  • Not all of the techniques work for every topic

  • Often, writers combine techniques

  • Intros have a hook, bridge, and thesis statement

  • Accept that your intro paragraph is subject to change as your essay develops

  • Make sure your conclusion addresses the hook (quote, question, stats, perception) you used in your intro.

Sources consulted

Sources Consulted

  • Campbell Martha. Focus: Writing Paragraphs

    and Essays. New Jersey: Prentice Hall,


  • Hacker, Diane. A Writer’s Reference.

    Boston: Bedford, 2003.

  • Troyka, Lynn. Quick Access. New Jersey:

    Prentice Hall, 2000.

Thank you for joining us

Thank You for Joining Us!

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