How many sentences should a thesis statement be?

A thesis statement should usually be no more than two sentences.

Expert Answers

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A thesis statement is a sentence in the introduction paragraph that lays out the central claim of the paper. For example, it may look like this: "In 'A Good Man is Hard to Find,' Flannery O'Connor illustrates the concept of grace through the interactions between the grandmother and the Misfit."

The thesis statement is normally only one sentence long, though sometimes it can be two. Most teachers tend to prefer a single-sentence thesis statement, however. A thesis statement should certainly not exceed two sentences, as the point of the thesis statement is that it puts the argument of the paper in brief. If the thesis becomes too long, then the writer should try their best to condense as much as possible.

Remember, the body paragraphs are where the details supporting the argument are laid out. The point of an introduction in general is to get the reader acquainted with the subject of the paper, providing them with the context they might not be aware of and giving them a feel for what the nature of the paper will be. The thesis statement will be the last sentence (or sentences) in this introduction, a snapshot of the main argument before the reader goes in for the deep dive.

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