You probably have quite a few opinions on the subject of bullying and you can’t wait for the chance to get them down on paper. If so, you’re in good company. Many students who are tasked with writing a thesis on a topic they are passionate about usually first find their minds full of differing thoughts and ideas that they want to share in their writing. But in order for the writing to be received well, you can’t just jump right in and start to express your feelings on a subject. You need a structure that will gently guide the reader to come to an understanding of your position on the subject. And that structure starts with your thesis statement.
What is Your Thesis Statement?
Your thesis statement is a way of introducing yourself to your reader. It works a lot like a trailer for a new film or TV show; it gives the reader some general idea of what to expect if they continue reading. A good thesis statement will be a preview of your argument and serve as a guide through the many claims and arguments you will have in the following pages.
Parts of a Thesis Statement
A good thesis statement should accomplish four key principles to be effective.
- It must be focused. A statement that is too general will be extremely difficult, if not impossible to defend. You want your statement to be clear enough that the reader gets your point the first time. For example, writing “Bullying is bad for everyone” will leave too many questions in the reader’s minds. But writing something like “Cyber bullying in high school can lead to psychological trauma that is often overlooked in society.” Will help your reader understand the type of bullying you’re discussing, the type of trauma that is up for discussion, and even the approximate age group of the subjects and is ready to hear your arguments in defense.
- It must be debatable. Your thesis statement must also have more than one side to the argument. While you’re setting up your own defense there must be another side to the discussion that is up for debate. Stating “There are a lot of bullies today,” is not a debatable topic. This is common knowledge and few if any would have an issue with it, but a statement like “Bullies are often victims of bullying themselves,” will raise a few eyebrows and ensure that both sides of the argument will get a hearing.
- Choose a side. Your statement should clearly express your viewpoint on the side of the argument that you stand. You can’t argue both sides by saying, “Bullying is the main cause of psychological problems in school age students but some benefit because it makes them tougher.” You need to choose a side and stick to it.
- Finally, your thesis should make a claim that will be supported in your paper. “People don’t like bullies,” is not a claim that can be effectively supported by evidence. Your statement needs to have evidence that will support its position. However, a statement such as, “The problem of bullying needs to be addressed in all levels of society,” can be quite easily researched and documented. There are probably quite a few resources you can cite in your arguments to support this statement quite well.
Writing an essay on bullying is just like writing any other type of argumentative essay. If you can keep these four points in mind, the next steps in writing your thesis will all just fall right into place. Now, you can get your opinions and ideas in a format that you reader will want to read.