West Seattle High School

West Seattle
High School
Social Studies Department

How to Write a Thesis Statement/Claim

How to Write a Thesis Statement/Claim

Purpose of a thesis/claim statement: To make an argument AND outline the topics/reasons that you will need to support that argument.

Steps to creating your thesis/claim:

  1. Make sure you understand the prompt or the question being asked. Your thesis needs to directly answer all parts of the question, so you should underline key words in the question and even restate it in your own words to make sure you understand it. Do not simply restate the prompt or question.
    Ex:  To what extent was the American Revolution caused by conflicts over trade?

    My own words:  How much of the American Revolution was started because of disagreements the colonists and British had about trade policy?     
  2. Brainstorm what you know about the topic.
    What prior knowledge do you have?  
    What have you learned from your research or resources provided in class?  
    Stamp Acts, Intolerable Acts, Quartering of Soldiers, Desire for Representation, Boston Tea Party, Boycotting of British Goods, Expansion Limits Proclamation of 1763
  3. Organize ideas from your brainstorm  

        How can you sort these ideas from your brainstorm into topics?

       Ex: economic, social, political, positive, negative

       Do you have evidence from class that you can connect to these topics?

  1. Craft your thesis
    1. Make sure you fully answer the question or prompt


    2. Make sure you have subtopics you will address that you can incorporate into your thesis


    3. Write in the 3rd person (not: I, my, etc.)

Ex:  While the American Revolution was mostly a war caused by conflicts over trade due to increased taxes, the limitation of colonist’s political rights, and the restriction on land expansion were important concerns that inspired the revolution.