Summary: This is just a brief explanation of the different types of thesis statements and how to create them.

Before you actually put a pen to paper and start writing your thesis statement, you must first determine the type of paper you are being asked to write. Generally speaking, there are three types:

  1. An Analytical paper: You will be providing a breakdown of an issue, idea or concept in to its components, evaluate and analyze the issue, idea or concept and then present your evaluation and analysis to your target audience. For example:
The analysis of the college admission process reveals that counselors face the challenge of choosing between students with strong extracurricular backgrounds or those with strong academic achievement and high standardized test scores.

In this example, it is clear that the rest of the paper will explain the challenge facing college admissions counselors and analyze the college admission process in detail.

  1. An Expository paper: You will be providing an in-depth, detailed explanation of an issue, idea or concept. For example:
College life is typically composed of three activities: Studying, attending class and social activities with their peers.

With this example, the paper should explain how students spend their time carrying out these activities.

  1. An Argumentative paper: You will have to make a claim, or adopt a position on the topic (self selected or provided) and then defend and/or justify this position with related evidence. The claim or position on the topic could be a cause-and effect statement, evaluation, an interpretation, a policy proposal, or simply an opinion. Regardless, your objective is to argue your position and prove that it is true using the appropriate evidence. For example:
High school graduates should spend at least a year pursuing community service projects prior to entering college to enhance their global awareness and increase their maturity.

In this example, the paper must present both arguments and evidence to support the claim that community service will enhance global awareness and increase maturity.

It is of course possible that your thesis does not fall in to the aforementioned categories. The most common is to provide a narrative of an event. Regardless, maximizing the effectiveness of a thesis means making it the final sentence in the first paragraph of your paper. Remember that it must be specific to your topic; cover your arguments and its supporting evidence.