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What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement is the position or proposition which a person advances and offers to maintain, or which is actually maintained by the argument. A thesis statement is a one- or two-sentence condensation of the argument or analysis that is to follow in an essay. After you've chosen the question your essay will answer, compose one or two complete sentences answering that question. Writing a thesis statement can help you to test your ideas by distilling them into a sentence or two, help you to better organize and develop your argument, and provide your reader with a "guide" to your argument. There are some very nice online guides to writing a thesis statement, including http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets.shtml and http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/general/gl_thesis.html.

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