2.2: Developing a Thesis
Last edited by Allen Brizee on March 22, 2013 .
This resource covers how you can develop a thesis statement for your GED essay.
You may have heard teachers in the past talk about the thesis statement. The thesis statement is a sentence that summarizes the main point of your essay and previews your supporting points. The thesis statement is important because it guides your readers from the beginning of your essay by telling them the main idea and supporting points of your essay.
Generally, the thesis statement is the final sentence of your introduction. Sometimes, it is a good idea to use two sentences. For example, you might identify your main point in one sentence and then identify your supporting points in a second sentence. (Some might call this second sentence a preview sentence.) Other times, your thesis statement will only be one sentence. Either is acceptable, but remember that you need a clear thesis statement at the end of your introduction so that your reader understands your main point and knows what to expect from the rest of your essay.
To create your thesis statement, consider the following.
What is the essay prompt asking you to do? (It will be helpful to look at the key words that you’ve underlined). Are you being asked to describe something, compare the advantages of disadvantages of a topic, argue an opinion, or something else?
Think about each of these questions in relation to the sample essay topic.
What is the essay prompt asking you to do?
The sample essay question asks the writer to identify one goal and explain how she or he will achieve it.
What is your main idea?
For example, if you're writing an essay about your career goals and you're in the middle of a career transition, your main idea might on getting a better job.
What are your subpoints?
Our example writer has chosen three subpoints to support her main idea: (1) finish school, (2) prepare a resume, and (3) search for jobs.
Your thesis statement should respond directly to the essay prompt and sum up your main idea. It is also helpful to preview your subpoints in the thesis statement. So, once you have everything identified (what the essay prompt is asking you to do, what your main point is, and what your subpoints are), you can put it altogether. A thesis statement for the sample essay topic might sound like this:
A major goal I would like to accomplish in the next few years is getting a better job. My plan to get a better job is to finish school, prepare a résumé, and then search for jobs.
- or -
It is my goal in the next few years to get a better job by finishing school, preparing a résumé, and then searching for jobs.
Now you try! Using what you have done so far—idea map and lists, outline, etc.—write a thesis statement that responds to the sample essay topic. Remember that there is no one perfect thesis statement, but do your best to respond to the essay prompt, sum up your main idea, and preview your subpoints.
One of the best ways to showcase your career brand in your resume is to include a power statement. Strong brand-driven statements abound on well-written resumes and can be found in your career summary, position descriptions, and your achievements, but the most visible power statement on a resume is your tagline.
Related:Top 10 Resume Trends For 2014
What is a resume power statement?
It’s a one-line encapsulation of your career ROI or a key achievement. Written with lean keyword-infused language a power statement showcases the impact your candidacy has had on your current or past employers or highlights critical attributes of your career brand. For example, here’s a power statement that quickly hones in on the candidate’s value:
Catalyzed $3B+ in Online Revenue while Generating 5X Shareholder Value in Industry-Leading Start-Up
Notice that this statement draws attention to two results (revenue and shareholder value) while providing two context hints (the revenue was made online and the business was an industry-leading start-up). Notice, too, that this power statement begins with an action-oriented verb (“catalyzed”). This is a lot of detail to include in a 13-word phrase.
Here’s another tagline example. This one is shorter and presents the candidate’s leadership philosophy in three words:
Focus. Discipline. Action.
If followed by a summary that emphasizes the candidates career ROI, the top portion of this person’s resume will quickly help readers to take the temperature of his fit for the role they are seeking to fill.
Where do you insert a power statement?
As mentioned earlier, these kinds of statements can be used in multiple locations throughout a resume. We’re focusing on using them as a tagline, which means the statement would be placed after your resume’s title but before your summary. This is prime resume real estate deserving of an exceedingly impactful tagline that will shape your readers’ perceptions of you.
Should a resume only use one tagline? No, not necessarily. While that is how they are arguably used most frequently, more than one tagline can be used in a document if there is enough solid brand material to showcase. If more than one tagline is inserted into the document, it can be placed immediately after the first tagline. For example, if a client possesses exceptional credentials, it may be appropriate to include them in a secondary tagline like this one:
KEY CREDENTIALS: Harvard MBA | MIT BS in IT | PMI PMP Certification
A secondary tagline can also be placed after the summary, as in this example:
Transformation Leader Who Repairs Troubled Customer Care Operations + Fuels Next-Level Performance
Expert turnaround driver who improves customer experience, increases service delivery, and resolves client concerns. Demanding but fair people developer who excels at building teams that deliver the right level of service while scaling delivery based on business needs. Experienced in leading technology conversions that set the stage for key M&A, IPO, and rebranding initiatives.
Supported Acquisitions for Sunbelt and Markon Ranging Up to $650M in Value
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE + LEADERSHIP STRENGTHS:
CASH FLOW MAXIMIZATION: Increased average speed of answer 18% and cut escalations 33%. Ensured consistently superior service during peak call periods through demand forecasting.
POST-ACQUISITION INTEGRATIONS: Consolidated the acquisitions of 12 franchises through on-time, on-budget project leadership of system conversions for TechSmith Systems.
EMPLOYEE RETENTION:Lower call center turnover from 34% to 6%, cultivating peak-performing teams.
In this second example, the secondary tagline is followed by three achievement statements that drive home the results the candidate has achieved to date. Each of these achievements is also a resume power statement.
Why should you use a power statement?
There are at least four multi-layered reasons to leverage a tagline in your resume.
- An effective tagline creates context for your summary and tells the reader what you’re going to tell them. Remember high school English? You may have been taught to write thesis papers with a simple 3-step formula: Tell the reader what you‘re going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them. Your resume should do the same.
- In essence, a tagline serves as a thesis statement for your resume, presenting a central idea or them in a high-profile location.
- Click here to learn more about the importance of context details in your resume.
- Your resume is a marketing tool for Brand You that helps your target market to recognize the relevance of your candidacy for their needs. As such, a tagline affirms your match for the position at hand and reassures the reader that it is worth his/her time to inspect your candidacy further.
- When power statements are layered, they can provide deepening levels of detail that reel your readers in to know more about you. They help you to build a logical case for your candidacy one line at a time.
- Taglines are important brand communications tools. They can help summarize your key skills, experience, credentials, and achievements while making clear how your candidacy is different than that of other candidates.
- Taglines leverage the “power of proof” to drive home key ideas. When you highlight the total amount of sales you’ve helped generate throughout your career, for example, you’re making a powerful claim about your candidacy without sounding like a braggart.
- Effective taglines draw your readers’ attention to the impacts you’ve had on your employers to date. Located up front and center, taglines place these impacts center stage so their message doesn’t get lost in all the content to follow.
- When showcased impacts are tied to the job description of the role you are applying for, they reinforce your fit for the job and in all probability propel your candidacy ahead of others.
- Emphasizing the bigger picture of your career ROI helps you point out the bigger picture to your readers. In the first sample tagline shared above, for example, sales are presented on equal footing with shareholder value results which enables the candidate to in effect say, “I don’t just drive multibillion-dollar sales – I magnify shareholder profits for the companies who hire me.”
If your resume doesn’t have a tagline, ask yourself how much stronger it could be if it did. Take a look at your LinkedIn profile, too. After all, your profile’s headline is the perfect place for a power statement.
This post was originally published on an earlier date.
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About the author
A 15-time, award-winning resume writer, Cheryl Lynch Simpson serves mid-career to senior executives as a credentialed resume writer (ACRW), LinkedIn strategist (COPNS), and Get Clear, Get Found, Get Hired (G3) coach. Like her advice? Check out her website, ExecutiveResumeRescue.com for a complimentary copy of her popular Polish Your Profile LinkedIn presentation, or follow her on Twitter!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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