A thesis statement serves as a guiding idea for your essay (or your speech), alerting readers to the main points of the essay and the direction it will take. The reaffirmation of a thesis, which is presented in the conclusions of the essay, is the soul mate of the thesis, although it is not its identical twin. It differs from the thesis in the choice of words and in the structure of the sentences. Reaffirming your thesis at the end of the essay allows you to remind your readers of what you have verified in the paragraphs and helps the essay have a satisfactory ending.
Part 1 of 2: Dealing With Reassurance Basics
Step 1. Decide on a place for the reaffirmation
Many writers and speakers restate their thesis early in their conclusion, but it doesn't necessarily have to be presented in the first sentence.
- Doing a draft conclusion (the main points you want to convey) will give you an idea of the best place to restate your thesis before you actually try to write it.
- You may want to start your conclusion with a question or some kind of rhetorical element, rather than a restatement of the thesis, although it will depend on the nature of your written thesis or your conclusion. While it is true that the written thesis often follows prescribed formulas (such as a five paragraph essay), there is no proper way to write a concluding paragraph. You have to try various positions for the thesis reaffirmation so that you find out what works best.
Step 2. Take advantage of the work you have done
The reader will not have read the rest of the written thesis when they read the original thesis in the introduction, but will have just done so. Use that to your advantage. When reaffirming your thesis, base yourself on the information that you have discussed or on the relationships that you have established in the written thesis.
For example, you should understand by reaffirming your thesis by saying "As a parent, one understands …" if your written or oral thesis is about parents. This will not only make your statement different from the original, but it will help connect the important elements of the essay or speech
Step 3. Avoid cliches
Avoid using some phrases, such as "In conclusion" or "As this essay has shown," when you begin the conclusion with the reaffirmation of your thesis. These are tired and very worked phrases that signal to the reader a lack of creativity and originality, instead of a new dedication to what you have said in the essay, which is what you want your reaffirmation to be able to convey.
However, you may be able to say "In conclusion" at the end of the speech. Pointing out some words, such as "In conclusion" or "Later," is very important in speeches because listeners only have one chance to follow you in what you say. These words will help them to follow you
Step 4. Don't apologize
When you reaffirm a thesis, assume that you have checked it in the essay and do not apologize or answer with evasions, which will weaken the conclusion and thus the essay.
- Avoid saying "It looks like" or "It may be" in the restatement. An exception to this would be if this conditional language was part of your original thesis statement and if the essay was devoted to discussing a topic that is just a possibility. Otherwise, maintain a confidence level.
- While it is true that maintaining trust is of great importance to the success of your essay, it is important to recognize when there is opposition and when not to use absolute statements, which can distance readers. It is different that there is confidence in your position and in the fact that you have proven your intention, than there is blind certainty in your opinion.
Part 2 of 2: Make Restatement Different from Thesis
Step 1. Use different words
Find synonyms for the important words and concepts in your original thesis and replace them in your restatement.
- You can use the thesaurus function of your word processor, an online thesaurus, or a good traditional paper thesaurus.
- It is not necessary to change all the words, such as the prepositions ("in", "for", "a", "before", etc.) and the articles ("the", "the", "ones", etc.). Spend your time focusing on the words and phrases that receive the most emphasis, such as those that are central to the points you make.
Step 2. Change the structure
The reaffirmation must be different from the original thesis, not only in language, but also in structure. This applies at the clause level (within sentences) and at the general level of sentences.
- Try to vary the sentences by starting with different parts of the speech. For example, start the restatement with the topic of the sentence if you started the original thesis with a prepositional phrase. For example, if the thesis begins with "Around the nineteenth century, in England, women frequently …", then you can begin the restatement by saying "Women in the early nineteenth century …".
- Another way to vary the structure is to present your points in a different order. Many thesis statements include three ideas, which are presented in the order that they will be discussed in the paragraphs. When you reaffirm, you can list the points in an alternate order.
Step 3. Divide the points
In the introduction, your thesis statement may have been presented in one sentence (or perhaps two), with all points presented consecutively. In restatement, you can try dividing the points into multiple sentences and scattering them throughout the paragraph. This will create a variety between the thesis and the restatement, as well as allowing you to suggest how you have checked the various points throughout the essay.
Step 4. Change the grammar tense
If you are writing a speech, your thesis statement may have been written in the future tense, telling your audience what you will do in the course of the speech. For example, you may have written "I will analyze the effects of oil drilling." In your restatement, you should change it to the past tense and tell the audience what you have already done. For example, you can say "I explained how harmful oil drilling is to wildlife and humans."
- When you reaffirm your thesis, you should go back to it and try to find the point where the thread of everything was lost if you notice that the statement no longer agrees with the thesis. You may find that you have to revise the original thesis to reflect on what you actually wrote or which parts need to be revised to better fit the thesis.
- While it is true that reaffirming a thesis is essential for written or oral conclusions, it is not enough. You will have to emphasize the main points, although it will depend on the duty or objective of the thesis. You may need to get the audience into action, discuss the implications of what you've talked about, or make predictions for the future.
- Think of restatement as a new and more powerful version of your thesis. You have written it and you have learned a lot in the process so now you have the necessary knowledge to present it.