“Before you begin writing an essay or writing a research paper,” the Research & Education Association’s QuickAccess laminated writing guide advises, “draft a working thesis statement.”
That’s great advice for students, even better advice for business blog content writers, I believe. It’s advice too often neglected, I find, with the operative work being “before”.
The thesis statement should contain two parts, REA explains:
- the subject of the essay
- your opinion on the subject
As an example of a weak thesis, REA offers this: “High school dropout rates are increasing.”
What’s wrong with it? Lacks an opinion and is too general. A stronger version, the guide suggests, would read: “Because higher education is needed more than ever before in order for members of today’s workforce to be successful, the rising high school dropout rate is harmful to society.”
For business blog writing, though, that second version is far from ideal – too wordy, for one, and lacks “pow”. Two shorter, related sentences might create more impact: Here’s my version:
“Our kids are dropping out of high school; to staff our workplaces, we need to give our education system two major tweaks.”
Writing with impact, as REA is correctly telling students, requires thinking. And not just any thinking – it takes pre-thinking and planning. Composing an effective college essay is serious business; composing an effective marketing blog post IS business. Sure, our blogs may state a business owner’s or practitioner’s case in less formal, more conversational style than essays, but preparing a working thesis statement forces writers to focus, which translates into impact.
Just as REA teaches, the thesis statement should contain two parts:
- the subject (ONE main idea, ONE aspect of the business or practice)
- the opinion (a slant or unique value proposition, the answer to the online searcher’s questions – Why should I do this now? Why should I choose you?)
Build the thesis ahead of the blog!