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Tools For Writing An Essay

Thesis Statement Guide Development Tool

Follow the steps below to formulate a thesis statement. All cells must contain text.

1. State your topic.

2. State your opinion/main idea about this topic.
This will form the heart of your thesis. An effective statement will

  • express one major idea.
  • name the topic and assert something specific about it.
  • be a more specific statement than the topic statement above.
  • take a stance on an issue about which reasonable people might disagree.
  • state your position on or opinion about the issue.

3. Give the strongest reason or assertion that supports your opinion/main idea.

4. Give another strong reason or assertion that supports your opinion/main idea.

5. Give one more strong reason or assertion that supports your opinion/main idea.

6. Include an opposing viewpoint to your opinion/main idea, if applicable. This should be an argument for the opposing view that you admit has some merit, even if you do not agree with the overall viewpoint.

7. Provide a possible title for your essay.




Thesis Statement Guide Results

Thesis Statement Model #1: Sample Thesis Statement

Parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch.

Thesis Statement Model #2: Thesis with Concession

Notice that this model makes a concession by addressing an argument from the opposing viewpoint first, and then uses the phrase "even though" and states the writer's opinion/main idea as a rebuttal.

Even though television can be educational, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch.

Thesis Statement Model #3: Thesis with Reasons

Here, the use of "because" reveals the reasons behind the writer's opinion/main idea.

parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans, it inhibits social interaction, and it isn't always intellectually stimulating.

Thesis Statement Model #4: Thesis with Concession and Reasons

This model both makes a concession to opposing viewpoint and states the reasons/arguments for the writer's main idea.

While television can be educational, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it inhibits social interaction, shortens children's attention spans, and isn't always intellectually stimulating.

Remember: These thesis statements are generated based on the answers provided on the form. Use the Thesis Statement Guide as many times as you like. Your ideas and the results are anonymous and confidential. When you build a thesis statement that works for you, ensure that it addresses the assignment. Finally, you may have to rewrite the thesis statement so that the spelling, grammar, and punctuation are correct.

Thesis Statement Guide: Sample Outline

Use the outline below, which is based on the five–paragraph essay model, when drafting a plan for your own essay. This is meant as a guide only, so we encourage you to revise it in a way that works best for you.

Introductory Paragraph

Start your introduction with an interesting "hook" to reel your reader in. An introduction can begin with a rhetorical question, a quotation, an anecdote, a concession, an interesting fact, or a question that will be answered in your paper. The idea is to begin broadly and gradually bring the reader closer to the main idea of the paper. At the end of the introduction, you will present your thesis statement. The thesis statement model used in this example is a thesis with reasons.

Even though television can be educational , parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans, it inhibits social interaction, and it is not always intellectually stimulating

Paragraph #1

First, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans.

Notice that this Assertion is the first reason presented in the thesis statement. Remember that the thesis statement is a kind of "mapping tool" that helps you organize your ideas, and it helps your reader follow your argument. In this body paragraph, after the Assertion, include any evidence–a quotation, statistic, data–that supports this first point. Explain what the evidence means. Show the reader how this entire paragraph connects back to the thesis statement.

Paragraph #2

Additionally, it inhibits social interaction.

The first sentence of the second body paragraph should reflect an even stronger Assertion to support the thesis statement. Generally, the second point listed in the thesis statement should be developed here. Like with the previous paragraph, include any evidence–a quotation, statistic, data–that supports this point after the Assertion. Explain what the evidence means. Show the reader how this entire paragraph connects back to the thesis statement.

Paragraph #3

Finally, the most important reason parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch is it is not always intellectually stimulating.

Your strongest point should be revealed in the final body paragraph. Also, if it's appropriate, you can address and refute any opposing viewpoints to your thesis statement here. As always, include evidence–a quotation, statistic, data–that supports your strongest point. Explain what the evidence means. Show the reader how this entire paragraph connects back to the thesis statement.

Concluding Paragraph

Indeed, while television can be educational, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch.

Rephrase your thesis statement in the first sentence of the conclusion. Instead of summarizing the points you just made, synthesize them. Show the reader how everything fits together. While you don't want to present new material here, you can echo the introduction, ask the reader questions, look to the future, or challenge your reader.

Remember: This outline is based on the five–paragraph model. Expand or condense it according to your particular assignment or the size of your opinion/main idea. Again, use the Thesis Statement Guide as many times as you like, until you reach a thesis statement and outline that works for you.



Essay writing is a central focus of most students’ work, regardless of the subject or area of study. And honed writing skills are imperative for success in almost any profession or career.

In today’s world of quick communication and constant connection, these skills may seem less important. However, they are still center stage for many professors and educators. Communication may no longer be based on pen to paper, but consider emails, reports, messages, presentations and projects. Written expression is more than just an assignment at school, it’s a part of daily life.

It’s unlikely that every student aspires to be a writer, and some struggle with these skills more than others. But if ignored, students risk not being taken seriously or thought of as unprofessional in their future endeavors.

Review the following list of reputable sites and resources. Each one can be a valuable assistant and can help any students conquer their essay writing woes.

  1. Writing.com

This free source offers access to an online writing portfolio and easy share options, as well as providing contests and games that offer students new study and practice material for more advanced essay skills.

  1. Hemingway

This application is a great go-to tool for checking readability and sentence structure. The tool focuses on run-on and hard to read sentences, over use of adverbs and spelling. And students can write directly on the site into the editor.

  1. AskPetersen

This blog and website covers every aspect of the essay writing process. If students are struggling with punctuation, structure, research or topic selection, this is a great site to search for helpful tips and advice from advanced professionals. Here you will find guides, samples, reviews and other valuable information.

  1. Citation Generator

Essaymama’s citation generator is a wonderful tool for students who are struggling with citation and bibliography areas. Nailing the essay content is one thing, but forgetting to reference or properly name all of your research could result in a lower grade than deserved.

  1. EssayMap

Students can use Essay Map to help with outline and structuring their essays. Users start with their name and topic, and work with guided prompts to create a properly built essay. It’s a straightforward road map to success.

  1. Ninjaessays

Ninjaessays offers full customer support and one-on-one guidance for students. Their team is made up of highly qualified professionals and offers students a more personal and focused editing assistance, in comparison to the other automated systems available.

  1. RefMe

This referencing resource will automate your citation process, making it seamless and simple. The site uses over 7,500 styles and can help students build proper bibliographies.

  1. The Easy Essay

This automated online tool helps students organize the entire process of essay writing, from start to finish, to help increase their productivity. The source works in any language and covers the simple 5 paragraph essays, up to the more advanced 17 paragraph structures.

  1. Essay Editing

Students should never submit writing that is copied or improperly referenced. Plagtracker’s unique checking algorithm can assure students that their work is always 100% unique, and they offer a thorough proofreading and editing service as well.

  1. Thesis Builder

For students who are unable to create an adequate thesis, this free building tool can be a lifesaver. Students will be guided through choosing a topic, properly building a thesis and generating a useful outline.

  1. Teen Ink

Teen Ink’s best college essays offers students access to endless essay examples and can be a constant reference for any area of study. Users are better able to identify what makes a good essay, and how to achieve mastering their own writing skills.

  1. Essayscapital Scholarship

Essayscapital writing contest is a great choice for students who are working on their creative or fiction writing. There is also a chance to win prizes, which can be a great incentive for less motivated writing students, and possible offer a new way to gain financial assistance.

No matter where the obstacle, technology is offering a world of support in essay writing. First, students must be able to assess their own weaknesses, and identify where they need the most help. Once there is an understanding of what needs the most work, any one of these tools can be a useful and convenient source of guidance.

Remember practice makes perfect, and writing skills will take time to perfect. However, improved results will quickly begin to surface if you use the tools listed above to your advantage. So don’t hesitate, try one of the tools listed above and start improving your writing skills today!

About The Author

Julie Petersen

Julie Petersen is an English language tutor and an academic freelance editor. As the author of AskPetersen educational blog, she regularly writes detailed guides, articles and essay samples for students. Check her latest blog posts about RushEssay and EssayTigers reviews. Contact Julie on Linkedin.