The Wrong Way to Write Thesis Statements

By Nicholas Klacsanzky

how not to write thesis statementsOnce upon a time, I used to work as a tutor for students who wanted to improve their academic performance. In particular, my job was to teach kids how to accomplish different kinds of academic assignments: essays, reviews, and other stuff. Before giving up dealing with awfully written essays, I noticed that, regardless of the assignment type, different people would make similar mistakes, such as present poor evidence, write vague thesis statements, and so on (I will write about them later).

Reflecting on that traumatizing experience, I had the idea of summarizing the most typical mistakes students usually make in their assignments in a series of posts united under the topic “The Wrong Way to Write …” In this series, I will stress on the way how one should NOT write academic papers.

(Note: Just don’t take all this as a guidance to action, okay?)

So, today’s post is called:

The Wrong Way to Write Thesis Statements

1. Think about the topic you would like to write about. Decide what you think is cool. For example, it may be something like “Facebook,” or “Cute kitties,” or “I love Justin Bieber.” This is actually 50% of work. No need to be specific: “Cute kitties” is a really self-sufficient topic.

2. You already know everything that you need to know about the topic of your choice. Leave libraries and Web browsing for nerds–writing right from your head is a criteria of true professionalism!

3. The less specific your thesis statement is, the more info you can cram in your paper. In fact, isn’t it what all teachers value the most?

4. Actually, sometimes it’s not necessary to introduce your thesis statement. A clever teacher will understand what your paper is about anyways. Or, if you feel like sounding extra-smart, you can put your thesis statement just somewhere. Most students don’t even go that far, so your teacher will appreciate that.

5. If you forget about composing the thesis statement before you start working on your paper, it’s okay. You can always write it after you finish writing. It’s a formality anyways, isn’t it?

6. A thesis statement in form of a question–that’s what sounds really cool and philosophical.

7. Writing in a smart way can end up bad, so don’t invent anything unusual for a thesis statement. To be on the safe side, just repeat what everyone already knows (well, paraphrasing would still be nice).

8. Hey, why not just write something that no one could verify? Fewer chances that your teacher would lower your grade for poor argumentation–he or she just won’t know if what you write is true or false. Don’t forget to cite non-existent books and web-resources to make your paper credible.

9. A quotation instead of a thesis statement would look even better than a question in it.

10. Don’t forget to use as many clever words as you know.

Well, that’s it! I hope my advice will help you write an unforgettable paper that your teachers will truly appreciate.

See you later!


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