A thesis statement is a sentence that states the main idea of your paper. In many cases, it is not enough to simply state the topic-you must also present an argument for why you believe this topic should be explored in greater depth. You may need to restate your thesis statement at various points throughout your paper so that readers can easily follow what you are writing about and how you are supporting your argument.
Restating a thesis statement is a process that can take several forms. You may have to use different words from your original thesis statement to make it fit better with your subject matter, or you may need to expand on its meaning to include new evidence and support for your argument. You must also be careful not to contradict or argue against yourself while restating your thesis statement.
How to Restate a Thesis Statement
The steps below will help you restate your thesis statement with ease.
STEP 1: Determine the focus of your thesis statement.
The first step is to determine the exact focus of your thesis statement. For example, if you are writing a paper about how certain political practices in the United States have influenced its development as a nation, you might write something like this:
“The political ideology that has shaped the United States’ development as a nation is conservatism.”
STEP 2: Reword the thesis statement.
This part of the process is largely subjective, and you will need to consider your writing style carefully to determine whether or not you feel that your thesis statement is clear enough for your readers. You may choose to use synonyms for certain words, or you may need to rearrange the order of the words in your sentence.
Say, for instance, that you are writing a paper about how certain religious attitudes have shaped society and culture in the United States. You could restate your thesis like this:
“Its political ideologies like conservatism that have largely shaped the development of the United States.”
STEP 3: Expand on keywords in your thesis statement.
Often, certain words within a thesis statement carry significant weight with regards to supporting your argument. You can strengthen your thesis statement by restating these words in a more precise way; you could also add new evidence or support for your claim as you refine your thesis’s focus.
STEP 4: Discuss how you will develop your argument in your paper.
Finally, it is helpful to include a brief statement that indicates the direction you will be taking with regards to developing and supporting your argument. This can act as a “roadmap” for your readers-a sentence or two that tells them what they should expect to find in the rest of the paper.
“In this paper, I will explore how conservatism has influenced various aspects of American history and politics.”
What to Keep in Mind while Restating the Thesis Statement?
It is always a good idea to take careful and thorough notes whenever you write a paper because it will help you save time when you are restating your thesis statement. The following guidelines will also help you avoid common errors in this process.
Stay neutral and objective.
One of the most common mistakes writers make in restating a thesis statement is to slip into judgmental language. You should always stay as neutral as possible when describing your subject matter; avoid words like “obviously” or “clearly.” This could make your paper sound obvious or unclear to your readers.
A good thesis statement should not be too long, and it should not include unnecessary words. Try to reword the idea in the fewest possible number of sentences. You can continuously develop and support this claim more fully as you go along with the rest of your paper. Avoid jargon.
If you use words that are not familiar to your readers or have a specialized meaning within your field, it will make your paper very difficult to understand. You should try to stick with ordinary and simple language whenever possible.
Write from your own perspective.
There is nothing wrong with a personal opinion as long as you are clear that this is your subjective perception and not an objective fact. Keep your readers in mind; they will need to understand where you are coming from to follow your argument’s development.
Stay focused on central ideas.
You should avoid straying from your central idea and focus as much as possible. Your thesis statement should include an action verb (e.g., shaped, influenced) followed by the subject with which it is associated (e.g., development of the U.S.) and a modifier (such as “largely” or “primarily”) if necessary to make your argument more specific.
Make your thesis statement stand out.
You should try to make your thesis statement easy for readers to locate. Using an odd or unusual sentence structure might make it easier for readers to spot.
For example, instead of writing “The conservative movement in the United States has influenced various aspects of American history and politics,”
you could write:
“Because of its influence on the course of U.S. history, the conservative movement is a crucial element in understanding the development of the United States.”
“In this paper, I will explore how conservatism has influenced various aspects of American history and politics.”
What to Avoid when Restating a Thesis Statement
Do not switch words or phrases.
Switching words around can lead to confusion for your readers. Most thesis statements have a clear subject and verb, which should remain unchanged, or else you will end up confusing your readers and making your argument unclear.
Do not introduce new information.
The initial argument should be maintained while restating the thesis statement. Remember that a thesis statement is not the same as an introduction; it will need to be supported by evidence rather than introducing new material.
Do not contradict yourself.
If you wrote one sentence about the pros of conservatism and then immediately wrote another sentence negating your previous point, you readers would be left confused on your stand. If you have multiple sources that contradict themselves, it would be best to omit them from your paper.
Avoid using vague language or words with various meanings.
If you use a word with more than one meaning in your thesis statement, you should use a different word when restating this idea, so there is no room for misinterpretation.
Do not link to outside resources.
Links to outside resources should not be included in your thesis statement, and these sources should only be used when you are trying to develop or prove a point outside the scope of your subject matter.
Do not use passive voice when restating a thesis statement.
Passive voice often makes writing unclear and weak. You should avoid it when possible and always use an active voice whenever you restate a thesis statement.
Avoid using incorrect modifiers in a restatement of your thesis statement.
If you incorrectly modify the subject or action when restarting your idea, it could lead to confusion for your readers and weaken the strength of your argument. If you make this error, you should correct the statement immediately or rewrite it to make the meaning clearer.
When and Where to Restate Your Thesis Statement
There are various instances when the need for thesis restatement in the body paragraphs rises. So, when do you exactly decide this is the perfect time and place for you to restate the thesis statement?
1. When you are trying to develop your argument, use a restatement of your thesis statement to back up the evidence you have presented to reinforce your idea or prove its existence.
2. When you want to change direction- if you decide it is necessary, you can use a restatement of your thesis statement to change the direction of your argument, make an additional point, or add extra clarification.
3. When you want to summarize– for a restatement of a thesis statement to be effective when summarizing, it is best to be concise and clear. This version should give readers a small glimpse into what you are trying to argue.
4. When you want to make a transition-restating your thesis statement can help smooth the transition between paragraphs or ideas. This will also clarify a complex concept or idea that your readers are trying to understand.
5. To create cohesion- restating your thesis statement can help guide your paper and give it unity, especially if you are trying to create a paper with several different points.
Examples of Restating Your Thesis Statement
“Initially, the Gilded Age was a time of optimism and positive change where citizens felt that their future was secure due to the industriousness of America’s working class.”
Restated statement- “Many Americans during the 1800s felt that their future was secure due to the industriousness of America’s working class.”
“The idea that immigrants are directly responsible for unemployment is not supported by statistical evidence. Rather, this belief stems from a general fear of foreigners.”
Restated statement- “Although there is no direct evidence that immigrants are responsible for unemployment, this idea stems from a fear of foreigners.”
“Overpopulation is defined as the state in which there exists an excess number of people that live in an area with limited resources. This issue can lead to various economic problems such as poverty and lower life expectancy.”
Restated statement- “Overpopulation is defined as an excess number of people living in an area with limited resources. Because of this, overpopulated areas tend to have lower life expectancies and higher poverty rates.”
“The need to instill a sense of national pride within the population has led governments throughout history to set aside public funds for memorials and monuments.”
Restated statement- “Because governments throughout history have wanted to instill a sense of national pride in their citizens, they have set aside public funds for memorials and monuments.”
“The U.S. government has some inherent limitations which provide for the upholding of civil liberties and human rights by protecting citizens from federal overreach.”
Restated statement- “The U.S. government is limited to protect citizens from federal overreach.”
“People tend to think of the past as a simpler time. However, this view is too simplistic considering all of the changes and advancements that have occurred over time.”
Restated statement- “Although people may view the past as a simpler time, it would be more accurate to say that many advancements and changes have occurred over time.”
“The factor that acts as only a possibility is luck. This is only a possibility because the outcome of only one aspect can lead to good results while another aspect might end in bad results.”
Restated statement- “Luck is the only factor that acts as a possibility because there is no way to predict what will happen due to multiple different possibilities.”
“Although academic writing is often thought of as unnecessarily complex, there are several benefits to this form of writing.”
Restated statement- “Despite the belief that academic writing is overly complex, it has several benefits.”
A restated thesis statement can be used to reinforce your main point, change direction in your argument, summarize, create cohesion or simply answer the so what question in a research paper. The restatement must be concise and clear so that it does not distract from the overall idea being presented.
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