The Extended Thesis

Writing thesis statements should be an obligatory part of English classes in school as it promotes independent thinking, trains students’ research skills and prepares them for their future career. See what I did there? If you’re familiar with extended thesis statements, you’ve probably grasped what I was trying to do here: starting this post with an extended thesis.

The extended thesis is, as the name already suggests, an extended version of the core thesis. You usually use it in shorter essays to let the reader know how your essay will be organized, to show what direction you will take your argument.

How do I extend a thesis?

As I’ve already mentioned in my last post, every thesis is a claim, and as such it raises questions in the reader’s mind. Consider the statement I’ve started this post with. If we had a discussion about school education and I said to you: “Writing thesis statements should be an obligatory part of English classes in school,” you’d probably ask me: “Why? What are your arguments for that?” It’s the same in writing. A core thesis usually raises questions about “why?” “how?” or “in what way?” The answers you give to the question are your extensions, your main findings—the 2, 3, 4 or sometimes more sub arguments that support your main argument.

Note: The answers you give to the implicit question are always direct and brief answers—try to think of them as headings for the paragraphs or sections of your essay.

Why should I use an extended thesis?

As I’ve already said, an extended thesis helps you organize your essay. Taking my thesis as example again, I could begin the main part of my essay as the following: “A major reason why writing thesis statements should be made obligatory in school is that it promotes independent thinking.” After that, I’d elaborate on this in the paragraph (or multiple paragraphs, depending on the length of your essay), giving evidence to support this point before moving on to my next main finding.

In the end, my essay could look like this:

The principle is always the same, whether you’re writing about a piece of literature, economics or world politics. Try it out yourself and let me know if you’ve thought this graphic helpful!

Do you have tips for writing thesis statements? Can you come up with your own extended thesis? Let me know in the comment section below!


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