Moving from Prompt to Thesis--

How to Turn a Prompt into a Thesis Statement

Your writing prompt will shape your writing project. You must be sure to fully answer the prompt within your essay or discussion and the best way to do this may be to use the prompt itself to create your thesis statement.

It is a good idea to make direct statements about what your prompt is asking you to do. You can do this by using some of the language from the prompt itself to create your thesis statement.

Here is an example of turning a prompt into a thesis.

Prompt for an Argumentative Essay: Technology has made it easier than ever for people to reach out to others at any time and in any location. Explain how different methods of technology have changed the way we now connect or disconnect with others. Research several of the pros and cons associated with our overwhelming use of technology. Make your own argument on whether technology has increased or decreased our level of connectedness to others and support your position by using research. Finally, explain why this is an important issue to discuss.

First, underline some of the main points of the prompt.

Prompt for an Argumentative Essay: Technology has made it easier than ever for people to reach out to others at any time and in any location. Explain how different uses of technology have changed the way we now connect or disconnect with others. Research several of the pros and cons associated with our overwhelming use of technology. Make your own argument on whether technology has increased or decreased our level of connectedness to others and support your position by using research. Finally, explain why this is an important issue to discuss.

And now, let's turn that prompt into a thesis.

Thesis: While technology has some advantages in our ability to connect to others, it also has some major drawbacks. Technology has actually decreased our level of connectedness to others because it allows us to disconnect from the people in our physical environment and it does not foster the social skills needed in order to help us to connect to those around us.

As you can see, I have used some of the vocabulary from the prompt itself and I have made direct statements that relate to the prompt. I have made my argument clear and have included the reasons I have for taking my position.

Here is another example.

Prompt of a Compare/Contrast Essay: Write a paper in which you compare and contrast two speeches with the same argument. Identify key strategies used by these speakers to persuade their audience. Compare and contrast the strategies used in these speeches and how they were used. Explain why these differences might exist.

Thesis: While there are several similarities between the strategies used in each of these speeches, there are significant differences as well. The differences between the strategies used by Williams and those use by Smith are based on each author having a different audience and purpose.

And here is one more:

Prompt of a Theory-based Essay: Choose a controversial issue from the list you were given. In your paper, you will choose at least three of the psychological theories we have studied during this course and apply each of these to this issue. Describe each of these theories and explain how they would approach this issue. What are the pros and cons of each theory's approach to this issue? Which approach would you apply if you were faced with this issue?

Thesis: By exploring the psychological theories of x, y, and z and how they can be applied to the issue of plastic surgery, we can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each and determine which will be the best approach to apply to this topic.

For more help with writing issues, please take a look at the Ashford Writing Center!

Thank you!

Ashford Writing Center



Proprietary information of Ashford University, Created by Academics, CR216079