I have a hook. But my thesis seems to be more like a restated topic rather than a piece that encapsulates my topic with a claim. Any tips on how to fix this? I don't want a weak topic, but I also don't want to have my thesis as a restated topic. Maybe I am misunderstanding the difference between the two concepts... Any help is greatly appreciated. Also, first time college student. This is for English 101.
When I taught English 100 (basically a 101) at a local university, this is my Magic Formula for a strong thesis statement:
Commonly accepted theory, [this paper shows]
what I'm going to argue in this paper.
Although light therapy appears to help those with seasonal affective disorder , this is merely the placebo effect at work .
(I did no research for that one - it's just grammatically correct and shows a distinct, specific, and arguable thesis about the topic of SAD treatments. )
Don't actually include "this paper shows", but I find it useful for helping when drafting to differentiate between the "generally accepted knowledge" that you're arguing against, and the part that IS your argument.
No need to stick with the word "although," but I do find it really useful.
A thesis statement must be:
- Specific. (Placebo effect, not just "other treatments.")
- Arguable (if no one disagrees, there's no point in writing.)
- NOT in the form of a question (except when you're drafting).
- NOT an outline or list of 3. (Options for treating SAD include vitamins, exercise, and light therapy)
- NOT just a statement of fact. (SAD is a form of depression.)
Also, your thesis statement should be open to change if your research indicates it -- don't eliminate research that disproves your thesis statement -- revise the thesis statement to reflect your new understanding.
I favor a thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph. The rest of the introduction should set up enough context that the thesis statement makes sense. (For academic essays, don't worry about a "teaser" or "hook" to grab attention -- they're not essential. I guess your teacher wants you to do them, but really, don't stress on that point.)
One final thing -- often the best introductions/thesis statements come AFTER you write your body paragraphs -- what you discover in the process is what the reader needs to know at the START.
I hope this helps!
(Source - I taught ENGL 100 and other classes for 10+ years at a local university)