When it comes to potential flaws, there are many. I would say that the most common flaw is when you do not really have a thesis! This might sound odd, but as a teacher I would say that many papers do not contain a thesis. A thesis, then, should be in the form of an argument and should be debatable. If the thesis is not debatable, then it is not a thesis. Another problem is when a thesis is so broad that you really cannot prove anything. A good thesis should have strong arguments or reasons; it should persuade. Also a good thesis should interact with people who might disagree and have answers for them.
1. Wording the thesis as a question. It is a "statement," and if a writer words his thesis as a statement, it makes it difficult to take a stand or side of any kind.
2. Writing a thesis that does not allow the writer to provide sufficient support in the body paragraphs. This could be the result of an illogical thesis that is not provable, or it could be that the thesis is too vague to support effectively.
3. A thesis that does not address the assignment or prompt thoroughly. My students regularly struggle with this flaw. They do not take the time to read an assignment and get off track with their thesis, or they do not address the prompt fully in their thesis and end up not writing a full answer.
1. A thesis statement is specific; a weak thesis is vague.
2. A strong thesis statement takes a stand on an issue; a weak thesis statement just states the facts.
3. A strong thesis invites discussion—it calls for your readers to agree or disagree with it; a weak thesis takes either an easy or harsh stance on an issue and does not invite discussion.
4. A strong thesis states ideas; a weak thesis lists facts.
- STRONG WORDS to use in a THESIS: Because, Justify (-ies), Support (s), Cause(-es), Affect (s), Effect (s), Should (not), Relationship (s)
- WEAK WORDS to use in a THESIS: Someone, Somebody, Anybody, Sometimes, Never, Always Maybe Might, Everybody, Many, Some, Could