Writing Thesis Statement for this Essay


Developing a Thesis for a Compare and Contrast Essay (taken from here)


Learning Objectives:

  • Determine when to use an explanatory thesis or an evaluative thesis for a compare and contrast essay.
  • Develop an explanatory thesis.
  • Develop an evaluative thesis.


Like any essay, a compare and contrast essay hinges on an effective thesis. Without a strong thesis, an essay will be weak and will not convey an effective main idea for readers. In a compare and contrast essay, you can develop either an explanatory or evaluative thesis statement. This lesson will help you differentiate between the two types of thesis statements and give you the tools to develop your own thesis statements.


Explanatory Thesis Statements

An explanatory thesis compares two subjects without taking a particular stance on either one. You will use this type of thesis in expository essays and research papers. This type calls attention to the differences and/or similarities between two subjects without bias. These points of comparison should not be obvious, but should surprise or enlighten the reader about something he or she might not have known before. For example, it is very obvious that cats and dogs are different. It might be more interesting for the reader to learn about the many ways that they are the same.

Here are some examples of explanatory thesis statements:

  • While both wind turbines and solar panels have their own shortcomings, both offer a number of advantages over traditional energy sources.
  • Carbohydrate-free and whole-grain diet experts agree on one thing: limiting refined sugars is the key to weight loss.


Evaluative Thesis Statements

An evaluative thesis, on the other hand, is a claim that provokes opposition. It makes a judgment call. It declares one subject to be better or worse than another. The two subjects are no longer equal.

Here are some examples of evaluative thesis statements:

  • Although wind turbines and solar panels both create less greenhouse gasses than fossil fuels, solar panels are much more environmentally friendly.
  • The carbohydrate-free Paleo diet is all the rage, but  a balanced diet that is rich in whole grains is healthier for your heart.



It is important to understand your assignment in order to know whether you need to develop an explanatory or an evaluative thesis statement. Assignments, sometimes called prompts, will be tailored toward one or the other.


The following prompts require explanatory thesis statements because they are asking the writer to compare two things without taking a particular stance on whether one is better or worse.

  • Compare and contrast the content of Woodrow Wilson's two inaugural addresses, including the sociopolitical climates in which they were delivered.
  • Analyze how a career in transcultural nursing is similar to and different from one in traditional nursing.
  • Compare the influence of Wordsworth to the influence of Coleridge during the Romantic age of poetry.


The following prompts require evaluative thesis statements because they ask the writer to compare the two subjects while taking a position in favor of one over the other.

  • Compare Woodrow Wilson's two inaugural addresses, and evaluate which one was more effective for its time.
  • Analyze the similarities and differences between transcultural nursing and traditional nursing, and explain which will likely have greater career opportunity in your area over the next decade.
  • Who had more influence during the Romantic age of poetry, Wordsworth or Coleridge? Which one had more influence on the Victorian age of poetry?



Last modified: Friday, 13 November 2020, 5:19 PM