3 Ways to Help Students Write a Better Thesis Statement

3 Ways to Help Students Write a Better Thesis Statement
Many times students seem to have a difficult time writing their thesis statements. It looks like it has nothing to do with the ideas presented in the paper, or can just be the students trying to take on too much. For middle school and high school teachers, it is important to teach thesis statements early, so students don’t struggle with them too much down the line. In college, students will be expected to write a poignant thesis statement without any instruction or help from the professor. There are a couple of ways to work on thesis statement writing with students, but these are my favorite three to talk about.


3 ways to help middle school and high school English students write better thesis statements
1. Have students look at their body paragraphs and follow the main idea through.
The thesis statement is mostly a guiding statement of the paper’s main idea without stating the conclusion. Have students read over their papers, and have them write a sentence about what the entire paper is about. That means waiting for the final drafting process to create the intro, but for many students, this tends to work a little bit better for when they start to learn about the essay writing process. This is also very helpful for students who experience writer’s block at the beginning of an essay. Sometimes they just need to write the meat of the paper first, and then go back and write or revise the introduction and thesis.n

2.  Have students map out their main ideas.
When students map out their ideas for a paper, they usually have some topics that they have in mind to discuss. Have students sum up those few main topics for their big idea into a few phrases that they can make into a connecting statement. This helps to make one of the easiest thesis statements and gives them something to build off in future English class.

3. Have students focus on why the information they present matters.
Why the student has written the information can be very important in persuasive papers. The research is important, but unless a reader knows why the paper will fail to make an impact. If a student can sum up why their topic is important for the reader, then they have a thesis statement, or at least the start of one, and all they need to do is write it down.

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