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Defining the Thesis

Defining the Thesis

Author: Sophia Tutorial

Explain the purpose of a thesis

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what's covered
In this lesson, you will learn about the role of the thesis in a speech. Specifically, this lesson will cover:
  1. Defining the Thesis
  2. Crafting Your Thesis
  3. Thesis Placement

1. Defining the Thesis

Your thesis statement should clearly articulate the purpose and main points of your speech. Think of the thesis as the rocket that will guide the spaceship, that is your speech. It's there at the beginning and, in some ways, it guides the trajectory of your speech.

Defining a thesis is essentially constructing the structural outline of your speech. When you have defined a thesis, you have essentially articulated to yourself what your speech is going to say, what position you will take up, as well as what is the speech's purpose.

Use the work that you have done to narrow down the scope of the topic that your speech is about; determine the purpose your speech will serve, and define a thesis to construct the remainder of it.

term to know
A concise summary of the argument or main points, usually one to three sentences long.

2. Crafting Your Thesis

Begin looking very generally at your speech:

  • What are you trying to accomplish with it?
  • What's the takeaway message you wish to leave with your audience?

From there, begin to refine and hone your thesis by getting more and more specific, until you are able to define anywhere from one to five main points that you seek to make with your speech. It is typically only one to three sentences long.

3. Thesis Placement

The thesis should be introduced near the beginning of your speech, usually at the conclusion of the introductory remarks. Its placement there is a way of introducing the audience to your specific topic. It should be a declarative statement, stating what position you will argue.

It's also particularly helpful to give a quick outline of just how you plan to achieve those goals in another few sentences, immediately following your thesis statement.

At the end of the speech, you should restate your thesis (perhaps in a more concise form) in order to reassert to your audience what you have argued throughout the course of your speech.

In this lesson, you learned that a thesis is defined as a statement containing all the main points of your speech, captured in one to three sentences. A thesis lets your audience know what your speech is going to show, demonstrate, or argue. Place your thesis near the beginning of your speech and reiterate it during the conclusion. To craft your thesis statement, think about the take-home message you wish to leave with your audience. From there, refine and hone that message until you have one to five main points to use in order to achieve your speech's purpose.

Source: Source: Boundless. "Defining the Thesis." Boundless Communications Boundless, 3 Mar. 2017. Retrieved 29 Jun. 2017 from

Terms to Know

A concise summary of the argument or main points, usually one to three sentences long.