Outcome: Thesis

Learning Objectives

  • Evaluate explicit thesis statements in texts
  • Evaluate implicit thesis statements in texts
  • Evaluate strategies for using thesis statements to predict content of texts


Evaluate thesis ideas of texts

Being able to identify the purpose and thesis of a text, while you’re reading it, takes practice. This section will offer you that practice.

Questioning the text you’re reading is a good place to start. When trying to isolate the thesis, or main idea, of your reading material, consider these questions:

  • What is the primary subject of this text?
  • Is the author trying to inform me, or persuade me?
  • What does the author think I need to know about this subject?
  • Why does the author think I need to know about this subject?

Sometimes the answer to these questions will be very clearly stated in the text itself. Sometimes it is less obvious, and in those cases, the techniques on the following pages will be useful.

Graphic showing concentric blue arrows moving clockwise, with the word Evaluation as the starting and end pointOnce the thesis idea is identified, your role as a reader is to evaluate how effective that thesis is in the text. Does this thesis, and the text as a whole, fulfill its purpose? Are you, the reader, changed by reading the text in the way that was intended by the author?