The 4C Thesis Statement Solution

Your thesis statement is the backbone of your entire paper.  Get it right, and you are set up to write a great paper.  A good thesis statement not only clearly states your position on the topic, it also provides a quick outline for the rest of your paper.  But how do you write a thesis statement that works? You could use a thesis statement generator, but you still need to do the thinking involved to know what to put into it.

That’s where the 4C Thesis Statement Solution comes into play.

What is the 4C Thesis Statement Solution?

The 4Cs stand for: Choose a topic, Collect evidence, make a Claim, and Convince your audience of your claim.

The thesis statement itself has 3 parts, Topic, Claim, and Evidence List, but to get to those parts, you have to go through the 4Cs.

The following shows you how to go through the 4Cs and arrive at a well written thesis statement at the end:

1. Choose a topic

Your purpose in stating your topic is to let your reader know what the paper will be about.

Have you ever been lost somewhere without a quick way of finding out where you are? It is confusing and frustrating.  Similarly, if you don’t state your topic in the beginning of your thesis statement, your reader will feel lost before he or she even gets to the meat of your paper.

If you have an open ended assignment in which you are asked to choose a topic yourself, make sure your topic is not too broad.  It is really hard to form an opinion on a very broad topic. You can start with a broad topic and narrow it down.

For example:

The 1960s –> music –> rock and roll –> The Beatles

Shakespeare plays –> Romeo and Juliet –>major characters –> Mercutio

Are you writing a thesis statement now?  If so, write your paper topic at the top of your document.

2. Collect evidence

Imagine a detective pinpointing a perpetrator without collecting any evidence first.  Impossible, right?  The evidence has to be gathered before the crime is solved. So then why do so many students feel that they have to write their opinion before they have enough evidence to form a valid one?

Before you can make a claim and write your thesis statement, you need to be very knowledgeable about the topic at hand.  If you are writing about a book, find quotes in the book that address your theme.  If you are writing about a broader topic, find articles and other sources that give you multiple views on the topic.

In the process of gathering evidence, you may find yourself narrowing your topic even further.  Let’s take the example of The Beatles.  While it’s already narrowed down from 196os history, The Beatles still may be too large a topic to form a meaningful opinion.  You may decide to focus on their influence on the world.  Or perhaps you want to discuss one of their albums and its influences.  Don’t be afraid to discard some evidence in order to focus on a more coherent and manageable topic.

3. Make a Claim

What do your pieces of evidence have in common?  What do they say about your topic?  These relationships should form the basis for your claim.

For example, in rereading scenes from Romeo and Juliet, you may find that Mercutio is always a good friend to Romeo.  That can be your opinion:

In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio is a great friend to Romeo

You’ll notice that the topic is clearly stated, and the claim almost hits you over the head with its directness.  That’s good.  Your thesis statement should be extremely clear.

4. Convince your audience of your claim

Now that you’ve made a claim, it’s time to convince your reader that you are right. You do this by compiling a brief list of the evidence you will use to prove your claim.

You may want to include all of your evidence in your list, but you may also want to leave some of it out if it doesn’t prove your opinion.  Remember, everything in your paper should prove your claim.  This is especially important for your list of evidence, because it tells your reader where you are going with your paper.

Look through the evidence you have gathered and pull out 3-5 main ways of proving your opinion.  Then list them out:

In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (topic), Mercutio is a great friend to Romeo (claim). This is shown when Romeo is pining after Rosamond in the beginning of the book and Mercutio helps him lighten up, when Mercutio supports Romeo in his fight with Tybalt, and when Romeo is devastated at Mercutio’s death (list of evidence).

The Beatles’ music (topic) made a huge impact on the world (claim). They changed music forever with their unique sound,  influenced 1960s fashion, and have appeared on numerous forms of media, including video games and television shows (list of evidence).

To recap:

The 4Cs of thesis development are:

Choose a topic (not to broad!)

Collect evidence on your topic

Make a claim based on your evidence

>Convince your reader you are right with an evidence list


The thesis statement itself has 3 parts –

Topic, Claim, Evidence List


I hope the 4Cs will help you write better thesis statements in the future!