Points to Remember About Thesis Statements
A Thesis Should A Thesis Should Not
*be stated or implied in the 
*be a fragment; it must be  
  a sentence.
*inform the reader of the 
  writer's opinion about the 
  paper's topic.
*be a question.
  *contain phrases such as "I think."
  *be a blanket statement.
  *be too narrow.
  *contain elements that are 
  not clearly related.


  *be expressed in vague 
  *contain obscure or   
  garbled language.

Poor Better
Our vacation was a tremendous experience. Our vacation enabled us to learn the true meaning of sharing.


 A good thesis is restricted.
Poor Better
Crime must be stopped. Our courts should hand out tougher sentences.


A good thesis is unified
Poor Better
Mysteries are not a high form of literature, but people have always been fascinated by them, and many fine writers have experimented with them. Mysteries appeal to the basic human desire for thrills.



A thesis is not a title.

Not a Thesis
     A Shattering Experience

Thesis Statement
     My first visit to the zoo was a shattering experience.

A thesis is not an announcement of the subject.

Not a Thesis
     This paper will attempt to tell you something about  
     the emotions I felt on viewing the Grand Canyon.

Thesis Statement
     The Grand Canyon was even more magnificent than I 
     had imagined.

A thesis is not an absolute fact.

Not a Thesis 
     The planet closest to the sun is Mercury.



Words and Expressions
to Avoid in Your Essays

Compiled by Mamie Webb Hixon
UWF Writing Lab Director

  • a lot
  • ad
  • aggravate (as a synonym for "irritate" or "annoy")
  • along the lines of
  • always there for me
  • and (to begin a sentence)
  • and/or
  • angle, slant (for "point of view")
  • anyways, anywheres
  • around (for about as in "around a year")
  • being as (how), being that, seeing as (how)
  • broke (for "having no money")
  • cannot help but
  • character (as a synonym for "person")
  • due to the fact that
  • each and every
  • enthused (use "enthusiastic")
  • etc., and so on
  • fixing to
  • graduated UWF (for "graduated from UWF")
  • guys, you guys
  • hisself
  • hopefully
  • in my opinion, personally, I think
  • irregardless (nonstandard for "regardless")
  • its' (not a word)
  • kid (as a synonym for "child")
  • kind of, sort of (preceding an adjective)
  • let's us
  • like for
  • mad
  • oftentimes
  • ok, o.k., okay
  • on account of
  • over with
  • quote (as a synonym for "quotation")
  • real (as an intensifier - "real good")
  • reckon, calculate, figure, guess (meaning "think," "expect," "suppose," or "believe")
  • revolve(s) around
  • the reason. . .is because
  • there's, there are
  • thing, things, stuff
  • this (by itself)
  • which (to refer to an idea or a sentence)
  • wise (attached to a word as in "locationwise" or "moneywise")
  • you, your, yours, you're



(850) 474-2029 (Paper Reading)
(850) 474-2129 (Grammar Hotline)
(850) 474-2229 (Lab Assistants)
Fax: (850) 857-6305
e-mail: writelab@uwf.edu
Internet: www.uwf.edu/writelab


The Write Advice
is a publication of the University 
of West Florida's Writing Laboratory.    

Publisher and Editor:  Mamie Webb Hixon
Assistant Editors:  Jessica Marsh, Heather Stadelhofer, Melissa Hatfield, Helen Richards, and Brian Hansen
Online Conversion: Chris Bui

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