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Thesis Statement. National History Day. Grafton, McVey, Phillips 2012. Before the Thesis: Prewriting. Brainstorming ideas/ events relevant to your topic Generating questions for your topic (and answers) Concept Map or web Discussing with stakeholders about your topic

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Thesis statement

Thesis Statement

National History Day

Grafton, McVey, Phillips 2012

Before the thesis prewriting
Before the Thesis: Prewriting

  • Brainstorming ideas/ events relevant to your topic

  • Generating questions for your topic (and answers)

  • Concept Map or web

  • Discussing with stakeholders about your topic

  • Reading about your topic

  • Collecting notes about your topic

Grafton, McVey, Phillips 2012

Thesis statements basics
Thesis Statements: Basics

  • One sentence statement

  • First Paragraph

  • Takes a Stance

  • Declarative Sentence

Grafton, McVey, Phillips 2012

Purpose of a thesis statement
Purpose of a Thesis Statement

  • Roadmap

    • Know your direction

    • Know your path

    • Know your destination

Grafton, McVey, Phillips 2012

Thesis formula
Thesis Formula

Topic + Claim/Position = Thesis Statement

Organized sports improve students’ academic performance through discipline, competition, and socialization.

Grafton, McVey, Phillips 2012

Locate the thesis statement
Locate the Thesis Statement

Grafton, McVey, Phillips 2012

America has long been known as a nation of immigrants, but what effect has this had on its immigration policy? Although immigration is useful in many ways, a prejudice against people who are different has always been prevalent. Over the course of American history, citizens have shown biases towards the Irish, Asians, Jews, southern Europeans, and now Mexicans. Immigration restriction has been used as a tool to limit unwanted immigration, in which the results of the Dillingham Commission were very influential. The reformation of immigration, instituted by the Dillingham Commission, whose purpose was to limit immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe, provided a legal framework to severely limit Asian immigration and encourage prejudices against different races.



  • Technology has changed how people interact in society.


  • Interstate highways facilitated the development of the United States.

  • Exercise improves your health.

Grafton, McVey, Phillips 2012

Characteristics look for
Characteristics (Look for..)




  • Statement

  • Controversial

  • More than one-side

Grafton, McVey, Phillips 2012

Words to avoid in a thesis statement
Words to AVOID in a Thesis Statement







Grafton, McVey, Phillips 2012

Essential questions
Essential Questions

  • Are you interested in your topic?

  • Is the reader going to be interested in your topic?

  • Is the answer to your thesis statement obvious?

  • Is there more than one position for your thesis statement?


  • Can one source support your thesis statement?

  • Does the thesis statement lead to a conversation?

  • Are there tangible sources available for your topic?

  • Does your topic and your claim/position justify developed paragraphs?

  • Is the scope of the project appropriate for the time frame, purpose and audience?