Adult Education: Writing Skills

Simplifying The Thesis Statement

Writing a thesis can be intimidating for adult students: Continuing Education writing skills can be more easily developed by following the same process every time.

As I mentioned in my last article, writing is a skill that will be required in some degree of most adult students. Continuing Education, whether it be for a vocational, technical, trade school program or a four-year degree, is a process that involves expressing what you have learned and supporting your opinions. Whether you are being required to write a short paper of 1-2 pages, or a lengthy-term paper, producing a strong thesis statement is very important.

Many adult students dread the idea of having to produce a thesis statement, fearing it is a huge undertaking that is time-consuming and difficult. For the most part, learning how to come up with a firm thesis for ANY piece of writing makes it a far easier experience and gives you a much better start on your writing. Once you have done it a few times it becomes much easier and you will welcome the process of developing a thesis as another tool in your arsenal of academic achievements!

A thesis statement is simply your idea or stance on a particular topic, followed by a piece of writing that supports your statement. In order to be able to support your claim, it should be a short, concise statement that lets the reader know immediately where you stand on the topic of your paper. For instance, if you are writing about bird watching, your thesis may say, "Bird watching is a popular activity in the United States." True, but the general tone of that statement leaves you a huge field of information to sort through. If you were to focus on a particular piece of it, for instance, "Bird watching has grown to become one of the top ten wildlife activities in the United States over the past five years", then you have more focus. You are able to pinpoint pieces of information to concentrate on, such as the history of bird watching up to this point, statistics regarding its growth, how and why it has become so popular of late, etc.

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a great resource for more clear and concise information on writing a thesis statement.

It is important to remember that no matter what you are writing about, whether it is on the topic of metallurgy or poetic expression, the process is exactly the same:

Present your thesis in the introduction of your paper,
Use the body of the piece to explore and support your claim, and
Write a conclusion that wraps up what you have presented.
Being able to write a clear essay or paper is a sure step forward for the returning student. Writing an academic paper to support a thesis statement is simply a process that assists you, the writer, in sharing your knowledge in a clearly defined manner. The first step is just to try it you may find its easier than you think! Questions or comments? Feel free to write to me at any time!

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