Make a Thesis Grounded

Because it makes a claim, a thesis needs evidence and reasons to support it. Facts, examples, description, testimony, and analysis are supporting details. The logic connecting the evidence also supports the thesis.

Readers are skeptical. As critical readers, they distinguish facts from opinions. They recognize that biased individuals offer lightweight opinions, whereas experts offer more weighty opinions. Readers make judgments about the quality and quantity of evidence used. They need to be convinced that the thesis can be proven.

Consider these three thesis statements:

None of these thesis statements are grounded. They are generalizations, which are too broad to be supported with evidence or reasons. They make far-fetched claims. The adjectives used are sensational, not rational: “best mop ever invented,” “never amount to anything,” and “disgusting and repulsive.” These claims do not inspire readers’ trust in the writer’s ability to provide a convincing body of supporting details.

To make a thesis more grounded, tell readers what evidence and reasons the rest of the paper will include. Here are more grounded versions of the previous thesis statements:

To make a grounded thesis, first work on developing excellent supporting details in the body of your paper. You may need to work with sources or review the elements of argument. After drafting more of the evidence and reasons, you will be able to revise the statement accordingly.