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Thesis Statements

Your thesis statement will be the most important sentence in your essay.  This sentence will sum up your entire argument. 

An acceptable thesis statement must:

  • Be only 1 sentence.
  • Be a statement, not a question or exclamation.
  • Be at the end of your introduction (first body paragraph).
  • Answer the prompt:

Types of thesis statements:

  • Three-prong approach - States three significant aspects that will be explained in the paper.  This should be used if you scored "C" or below on your Industrialization Essay in Fall semester.
  • Three-prong example:  The Little Rock Nine impacted civil rights in their own time as well as today by staying strong in the face of violent confrontation, setting a precendent for educational equality, and creating an example for those seeking equal opportunities. 


  • Inverted three-prong approach - Slightly more sophisticated than the traditional three-prong approach, this reveals three key aspects of your person/group/event in a cause-and-effect relationship.  This may be used if you scored "B" or better on your Industrialization Essay in Fall semester.
  • Inverted three-prong example: Due to their poised, peaceful reaction to violent confrontation, impact on educational eqality, and world-wide legacy, the Little Rock Nine shaped the civil rights moevment in their time and for decades to come.


  • Other - There are a variety of other approaches that may be used.  You may use another approach if you scored "B" or better on the Industrialization Essay in Fall semester.
  • Other example: In 1957, when nine African American students joined Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, they were in the center of a violent confrontation which not only helped shape the civil rights movement in their time, but also generated worldwide attention and left a legacy of courage and determination, as well as an everlasting impact on educational equality.