Please visit for free graphic organizers, printable projects, and essay-writing videos.

Please visit for free graphic organizers, printable projects, and essay-writing videos.

Topic Sentence: A topic sentence is usually the first sentence at the start of a paragraph. It gives the reader some idea about the subject of the paragraph.

Thesis Statement Basics: A thesis statement is usually the last sentence in the introductory paragraph, in an expository essay. It sometimes helps to organize your essay, if you write a thesis with three main points, like this one: In my English class, we read literature with elements of Gothic style, romanticism, and naturalism. However the only real requirement of a thesis statement is that it be a sentence you can prove, using examples, quotations, and other evidence to support the thesis.

Typical Mistakes Students Make When Writing a Thesis:

  1. The student’s thesis isn’t trying to prove anything. In this case, it’s not a thesis.
  2. The three points in the thesis are too wordy. When writing a three-point thesis, try to limit thesis points to one or two words each.
  3. The main points in the thesis are misspelled. This gives the reader the impression you don’t really know much about your essay’s topic.
  4. In the conclusion, the thesis isn’t summarized. In order to make your audience believe your thesis is true, you must restate your thesis with a summary in the conclusion.

Writing an Advanced, Single-point Thesis: A thesis with only one point to prove might be as simple as this: Edgar Allen Poe was a master of American Gothic literature. In the essay that follows, the writer may discuss various stories and poems written by Poe, using quotations from the literature as evidence of his Gothic style of writing. The essay’s author isn’t limited to just three main points; rather, he or she may have many paragraphs proving this thesis, not just the three body paragraphs that appear in a traditional five-paragraph essay.

Rhetorical Question: A rhetorical question is a question you intend to answer in the essay that follows it. Like the thesis statement, the rhetorical question often appears at the end of the introductory paragraph in an essay. An example of a rhetorical question for an essay on Shakespeare’s Othello might be: What’s the role of the clown in Shakespeare’s Othello? If you ask this rhetorical question in your introduction, you must then write an essay that effectively answers the question through the use of quotations and literary analysis.


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