Essays – It Pays to be Bold

Mathew Teakle on 03 May, 2015

Hey there students of English!

I’ve been thinking about essay writing lately and I’ve got some ideas I want to share.

I think essay writing should be ‘bold’ and the thesis statement should reflect this. Every good essay starts with a sharp, punchy thesis statement. A bold thesis statement can be defined simply as a clear statement of position (‘thesis’ means position) in response to the question. Essay questions are not there to be re-stated! Essay questions are meant to provoke a response – you’re meant to react to an essay question. A student who is provoked into a response will tend to write a bold thesis statement that immediately creates two things worth thinking about:

  • Firstly, she or he has conveyed unashamed commitment to an argument – writing a bold thesis means you simply have to back it up now don’t you?
  • Secondly, a bold thesis statement raises expectations in the reader (marker!) and if you meet those raised expectations you can expect good things will come of it. How do you meet these raised expectations? Easy – you provide good examples from the text to support your wonderful insights and ideas.

Students who respond to a question by re-wording or re-stating it might as well write: “Hello, I don’t actually have an opinion about this and that’s probably because I have not spent enough time with the texts in question. Perhaps I did spend too much time doing other things and it has caught up with me.”

That is not a good way to start an essay! A bold thesis statement is.