Academic writing often requires answering a question by persuading the reader that the writer’s assertion is correct. A well-developed thesis statement summarizes the argument the writer will make and can be judged by the following criteria.
Criteria for judging a well-developed thesis:
To what extent was slavery a factor in bringing on the American Civil War? How important were other factors?
Example of a well-developed thesis:
The challenges to the spread of slavery were a key reason the South took up arms against the North. It was believed that the institution of slavery would otherwise die, bringing about radical social and economic change, especially in the South. However, the increasing political power and radical voices in the North were equally important as they destroyed trust between the two sections of the country.
Criteria for judging an acceptable thesis:
Example of an acceptable thesis:
Slavery was the primary reason for the American Civil War; however growing political power in the North was also important.
A Model for Organizing an Essay
Transitions for Linking Paragraphs in an Essay
Chronological Transitions (describe changes over time)
Cause-and-Effect Transitions (explain why)
Compare-and-Contrast Transitions (describe similarities and differences)
Order of Importance Transitions (describe important factors)