What does a thesis statement do?
- makes a specific statement about the topic of your essay
- provides a "road map" for those who read your essay
- gives your analysis of the character
- makes a claim that might be disputed
- concludes your introduction paragraph
Example of a GOOD THESIS
Abigail Williams is a victim of her strict Puritan society. Witnessing the violent death of her parents, living under the strict leadership of her uncle, and hoping for a life with a man she falsely believes to be in love with her all contribute to making her into the vindictive character she becomes.
- This thesis is specific. The essay will obviously discuss these people and events in Abigail’s life
and how they formed her character. At the same time, it can be argued. Some readers may point out that life was difficult for many Puritans, but they did not all essentially become murderers, as Abby did.
Example of a BAD THESIS
Abigail Williams accused others of witchcraft because she hoped to kill Elizabeth Proctor and marry her husband, John.
- This is a bad thesis. It is vague, with no specific details. There is not enough there to inform the reader of how the essay will describe Abigail’s character. Most importantly, there is no opinion involved. This is simply a short summary of events in the play. On top of that, it is written in the past tense, while literature is always written about in present tense.