Writing Madness 2nd Place – Focusing Ideas in the Paper!

by Courtney



-A thesis statement reflects the main idea of your paper, summarizing the main idea and central message.  Avoid vague words and overly explicit statements.

-Remember to introduce your thesis statement early in the paper so that you can frame your ideas with this focus.








-Break the goals of the assignment down individually and spend some time reflecting
how you’ll meet expectations now that your
topic has been selected.

-Consider re-writing the prompt in your
own words to ensure that you’re properly understanding what you’re being asked to
write about.




-Once everything is on paper, you’ll be able to
make connections on the page and substantiate
the claims of the thesis.

-When you’ve taken time to brainstorm ahead
of time, you’ll be best equipped to center in on
the most vital ideas.






-Once you’ve been able to maintain distance from your paper, you’ll be able to see where you’ve rambled or lost your train of thought through your paper.

-After you’re feeling refreshed, you’ll be able
to produce well-paced and supported ideas.




-Much like an outline to start your paper, but a
reverse outline is a way to check in that your
ideas are clearly articulated.

-Use this method to see how your ideas connect together and how firmly they relate  to your
thesis statement.



-Here at The Hub, we have strategies to help
you focus your draft and suggestions on how
to approach revisions.

-Plus, it’s good to get another perspective on your writing, because another person may be able to pinpoint where you may lose focus.

Writing Madness Consolation Post #7 – Thesis Statements!

The third round of our Writing Madness bracket has concluded, which left us with two writing issues that won’t be participating in the next round of voting. The Learning Hub’s writing staff we will be presenting them along with specific resources to help you overcome your frustrations with them. This time? Conclusions!

by Raven

Thesis statements are a frustrating aspect of writing that many college students struggle with. It requires the writer to sum up their thoughts into a concise statement to provide a focus for the essay. Any weakness in the thesis will no doubt be apparent throughout the entire essay. However, have no fear. There are a few tips to make writing a thesis statement a little less stressful.

One helpful tip is to have an outline for your thesis. Write down some notes on what your argument is about and what points you’re going to use to support it. Once you have those notes, organize them into a concise sentence or two stating your main argument and your supporting points.

Another piece of advice is to write down your thesis on a separate piece of paper or type it on a different document, and refer back to it periodically. It is easy to drift away from the main point of the essay when writing, so having that thesis statement easily accessible will help create a clear and consistent paper.

The final tip is to seek assistance. As UIS students, you have many options. You can utilize your professor’s office hours by asking them to review your thesis. You can also take advantage of the Learning Hub’s many services. This can take the form of making an appointment with one of our writing tutors, or taking advantage of our numerous writing handouts.

These are just a few tips to making the process of writing a thesis statement easier. For more information see our handout on thesis statements.

For more tips, see the Learning Hub’s handout on writing introductions below, visit the Learning Hub’s website for more handouts on writing skills, make an appointment with a tutor, and keep your eye on this blog!

I hope you found this resource helpful, and remember to vote in the final round to determine the most frustrating writing issue faced by UIS students. Voting will conclude on Tuesday, March 28th at 12:00pm CST!

Subject to Thesis

Or, How to Take Your Initial Idea and Turn It into an Argument

by Sarah Collins

I always found that coming up with my thesis statement for my papers was hardest when I hadn’t first done three things: 1) chosen a broad subject area, 2) focused that subject down to a more manageable topic, and 3) done background research on that more specific topic to more clearly understand how I wanted to approach it.

It can be a painful process if you aren’t breaking things down into steps that are manageable and that give you the time to explore things in a way that helps you identify the best route for your paper.

This handout below walks you through the process of moving from a subject to a topic to a thesis statement, and then outlines strategies for creating a strong, cohesive, memorable thesis that will guide you as you then write your paper.

Continue reading “Subject to Thesis”