How To Write A Thesis Statement For A Descriptive Essay: Basic Tutorial
To write a strong descriptive essay, you should appeal to five senses of your reader (hearing, smelling, seeing, tasting, and touching) by means of sensory details, figurative language, and lots of adjectives. It doesn’t matter what you describe in your paper (person, place, thing, or event.) What really matters is how you describe it. As a rule, students with imagination don’t encounter difficulties with creating body paragraphs of their essays. However, introductions, especially thesis statements, may be somewhat troublesome.
A thesis statement is a short and specific guide through your paper. This is where you state your position and summarize what the whole piece of writing will be about. It may be rather embarrassing to come up with a good thesis statement for your descriptive paper. You should make your argument just like in any other essay type. However, it should be more your impression of the issue rather than its objective assessment. Keep in mind the following guidelines on how to compose a brilliant thesis statement for your descriptive essay:
- Come up with your position.
- Look for the reasons.
- Formulate your thesis statement.
- Check your thesis statement.
- Add details.
Think what you feel about the object of description. For example, “I like walking in the park after the rain…”
To make a strong argument, you should provide at least three reasons for why your position is like this. In this particular case, you may like the smell of air, the sights of everything around being clean, and the sounds of streams running down the pavement.
Now, combine all information together. You are supposed to provide a lot of details in your descriptive essay. In the introduction you should prompt on the information that will be included further in your paper. For example, “The smells, sights, and sounds of the park after the rain make me walk there again and again as soon as the next thunderstorm is over.”
Firstly, it should represent an opinion or point of view upon some issue. Remember that it is supposed to be your personal view, not someone else’s. Secondly, the key words of your topic should be mentioned there (only if you were assigned to write a descriptive essay on some particular topic.)
Your thesis statement will be good as it is. However, you may make it even better by adding some descriptive details: “The dizzy freshness of air, clear green colors, and gentle whisper of water beneath my feet make me walk over the park again and again after the rain is over.”
A thesis statement is a sentence (or sentences) that expresses the main ideas of your paper and answers the question or questions posed by your paper. It offers a quick and easy-to-follow summary of what the paper will be discussing and what you as a writer are setting out to tell them. The kind of thesis that your paper will have will depend on the purpose of your writing.
General Thesis Statement Tips
- A thesis statement generally consists of two parts: your topic, and then the analysis, explanation(s), or assertion(s) that you're making about the topic. The kind of thesis statement you write will depend on what kind of paper you're writing.
- In some kinds of writing, such as narratives or descriptive essays, a thesis statement is less important, but you may still want to provide some kind of statement in your first paragraph that helps to guide your reader through your paper.
- A thesis statement is a very specific statement -- it should cover only what you want to discuss in your paper, and be supported with specific evidence. The scope of your paper will be determined by the length of your paper and any other requirements that might be in place.
- Generally, a thesis statement appears at the end of the first paragraph of an essay, so that readers will have a clear idea of what to expect as they read.
- You can think of your thesis as a map or a guide both for yourself and your audience, so it might be helpful to draw a chart or picture of your ideas and how they're connected to help you get started.
- As you write and revise your paper, it's okay to change your thesis statement – sometimes you don't discover what you really want to say about a topic until you've started (or finished) writing. Just make sure that your final thesis statement accurately shows what will happen in your paper.
Analytical Thesis Statements
In an analytical paper, you are breaking down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluating the issue or idea, and presenting this breakdown and evaluation to your audience. An analytical thesis statement will explain what you are analyzing, the parts of your analysis, and the order in which you will be presenting your analysis.
Example: An analysis of barn owl flight behavior reveals two kinds of flight patterns: patterns related to hunting prey and patterns related to courtship.
A reader who encountered that thesis in a paper would expect an explanation of the analysis of barn owl flight behavior, and then an explanation of the two kinds of flight patterns.
Questions to consider when writing an analytical thesis statement:
- What did I analyze?
- What did I discover in my analysis?
- How can I categorize my discoveries?
- In what order should I present my discoveries?
Expository (Explanatory) Thesis Statements
In an expository paper, you are explaining something to your audience. An expository thesis statement will tell your audience:
- what you are going to explain to them
- the categories you are using to organize your explanation
- the order in which you will be presenting your categories
Example: The lifestyles of barn owls include hunting for insects and animals, building nests, and raising their young.
A reader who encountered that thesis would expect the paper to explain how barn owls hunt for insects, build nests, and raise young.
Questions to consider when writing an expository thesis statement:
- What am I trying to explain?
- How can I categorize my explanation into different parts?
- In what order should I present the different parts of my explanation?
Argumentative Thesis Statements
In an argumentative paper, you are making a claim about a topic and justifying this claim with reasons and evidence. This claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. However, this claim must be a statement that people could possibly disagree with, because the goal of your paper is to convince your audience that your claim is true based on your presentation of your reasons and evidence. An argumentative thesis statement will tell your audience:
- your claim or assertion
- the reasons/evidence that support this claim
- the order in which you will be presenting your reasons and evidence
Example: Barn owls' nests should not be eliminated from barns because barn owls help farmers by eliminating insect and rodent pests.
A reader who encountered this thesis would expect to be presented with an argument and evidence that farmers should not get rid of barn owls when they find them nesting in their barns.
Questions to consider when writing an argumentative thesis statement:
- What is my claim or assertion?
- What are the reasons I have to support my claim or assertion?
- In what order should I present my reasons?
* Remember that a good thesis statement in any type of paper takes a stand and is specific. Avoid vague language or simply stating an obvious fact. For example, you would not want your thesis to be: "Barn owls live in barns."
Courtesy of Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL),http://owl.english.purdue.edu.
Last updated: May 2011