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Statement

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Statement

In writing, there are several types of sentences that writers use to make their points. For instance, they use exclamatory sentences to express intense emotions, like "I love this article!" Another one of the most common types of sentences is a statement. Statements express a singular, straightforward idea.

Statement Definition

When a writer uses a statement, they state information about a topic. In order for words to form a statement, they must express a complete thought. A statement does not ask a question or make a command.

A statement is a type of sentence that directly communicates information that is true, or in the case of a thesis statement, a defensible claim.

Examples and Types of Statement

Writers use statements throughout most academic writing, but it is important to understand the difference between the types of statements and what they look like in order to effectively use them.

Thesis Statements

Writers frequently have to formulate thesis statements. Unlike a declarative statement, a thesis statement is not a statement of fact. Instead, a thesis statement is a defensible claim about a topic. A writer has to prove a thesis statement with evidence. For instance, a thesis statement for a literary analysis essay might read: “Johnson suggests that heterosexual marriage reinforces gender inequality through characterization, metaphor, and symbolism.”

In the example thesis statement, the writer provided a line of reasoning for their claim by mentioning three ways the writer conveyed the idea about marriage. This is a useful technique for crafting a detailed thesis statement that stands alone as a summary of the argument.

Statement, Essay, StudySmarterFig. 1 - Thesis statements frame a writer's argument in an essay.

Declarative Statements

Declarative statements make a declaration about a topic. They are declarative sentences that are facts. For instance, the following statements are examples of declarative statements.

  • Bees make honey.

  • Polar bears live in cold climates.

  • The sky is blue.

  • The sun rises each morning.

  • This article is about statements.

Note how all of these statements end with a period. This makes declarative statements different from exclamatory sentences, which end with an exclamation point. Exclamatory sentences express intense emotion but do not necessarily express straightforward, factual information. For instance, the sentence "I'm scared of the bees!" The exclamation mark underscores the speaker's intense emotions, but this sentence does not make a factual assertion the way that "Bees make honey." does.

Declarative statements are declarative sentences, but declarative sentences are only declarative statements if they state a fact. A declarative sentence is the most common type of sentence in the English language. They must have a subject (a person, place, or thing) and a verb that describes what the subject is doing. For instance, the sentence “Mary is an elementary school teacher” is a declarative sentence in which "Mary" is the subject and "is" is the verb. It is also a declarative statement if it is a fact. If it is not true and Mary is not an elementary school teacher, then this sentence would not be a statement.

Synopsis and Summary Statements

Writers frequently use statements in synopsis and summaries. A synopsis is a piece of writing condensed to its essential features. Writers often write synopses of books and movies that help readers decide whether they want to read or watch them. Since statements are succinct, straightforward sentences, they help writers concisely craft synopses.

George Orwell’s novel 1984 (1949) is about a man named Winston who lives in a dystopian society.

This is a declarative statement, not a thesis statement because it is a statement of fact about the book's plot, not a defensible analytical claim about the text.

Statements are also particularly useful in summary texts. Summaries are texts that provide an overview of a topic. For example, a writer of a research paper might summarize their paper in a short summary called an abstract. The writer could use statements to describe their paper, such as the following statements:

"This paper examines the correlation between teachers’ stress and students’ academic performance."

“The researcher used surveys to assess teachers’ stress levels.”

Functions of a Statement

Statements allow writers to inform readers about a topic. They provide readers with complete information that stands alone out of context. For instance, consider the statement “Strawberries are red.” This tells readers something specific about strawberries.

Statements thus allow writers to demonstrate their knowledge of a topic. For instance, imagine a writer is writing a report about the novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) by Ray Bradbury. The writer can use statements about the text to show that they have read and understood the book, such as “In Fahrenheit 451, firefighters burn books.”

Another important function of statements, specifically declarative statements, is that they support an argument. To defend a claim, writers integrate evidence into declarative statements. For instance, imagine a writer writes the thesis statement that "People should recycle to protect the environment." To defend this claim, they should craft declarative statements that include credible evidence to support the claim, such as "Humans need trees for oxygen" and "Recycling saves trees."

Importance of Statement

Statements are important because they shape writers' arguments. Thesis statements are a critical part of writers' writing because they set up the argument that frames an entire text. For instance, if a writer crafts a thesis statement with their supporting ideas, those three ideas become the subject of each supporting body paragraph. All the writing in the body of the evidence should connect back to the writer's thesis statement.

Declarative statements are also crucial in writing because they allow writers to use evidence to defend their thesis statements. Without declarative statements, writers could not properly integrate factual evidence to support their thesis and supporting claims.

Consider the last essay you wrote. What was the thesis statement? How did you use declarative statements to support it?

Differences Between Statement and Phrase

A statement is not the same thing as a phrase. A phrase is a group of words that do not necessarily make up a complete sentence. For instance, the following examples depict the difference between statements and phrases.

Statement, Phrases, StudySmarterFig. 2 - A phrase is a group of words that do not necessarily make a complete sentence.

Statement

Bees have the ability to fly.

Phrase

Able to fly

Statement:

The statue is all the way up on the mountaintop.

Phrase

All the way up

Note how the phrases are not complete sentences because they do not have a subject and a verb.

Recognizing statements, phrases, and sentences that are not statements can be a challenge. To determine if a piece of writing is a phrase, writers should ask themselves:

  • Is there a subject and a verb that describes what the verb is doing?

If yes, it is a statement. If no, it is a phrase.

If the text is not a phrase, readers should then determine if it is a statement or a sentence that is not a statement. To determine if a sentence is a statement, readers can ask themselves:

  • Does it make a command such as “Mary, do the dishes?”

If yes, it is not a statement, but it is a sentence.

If yes, it is a sentence and a statement.

Statement - Key Takeaways

  • A statement is a sentence that directly communicates information.
  • Thesis statements are defensible claims about a topic.
  • Thesis statements shape writers’ arguments in essays.
  • Declarative statements are truthful declarative sentences.
  • Declarative sentences provide evidence for claims.

Frequently Asked Questions about Statement

An example of a statement is “Bees can fly.” 

Thesis statements make a defensible claim and declarative statements provide evidence for claims. 

A statement is a sentence that directly communicates information. 

A statement is a complete sentence but a phrase is a group of words that do not make a complete sentence. 

Writers use a statement to make a clear, direct claim about information. 

Final Statement Quiz

Question

What is a statement?


Show answer

Answer

A statement is a sentence that directly communicates information.

Show question

Question

What is a declarative statement?


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Answer

Declarative statements provide factual information about a topic. 


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Question

What is a thesis statement?


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Answer

A defensible claim about a topic.

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Question

Which of the following provides evidence for a claim? 


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Answer

Declarative statement 


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Question

What two elements does a complete sentence need?

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Answer

A subject and a verb.

Show question

Question

Is this a declarative statement? 

The grass is green. 

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Answer

Yes

Show question

Question

Is this a thesis statement? 

Grass is green. 

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Answer

No. A thesis statement needs to make a defensible claim about a topic and this is a statement of fact. 

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Question

Which of the following is not a function of a statement?


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Answer

To title an essay. 


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Question

What is a summary?


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Answer

A text that provides a condensed overview of a topic. 


Show question

Question

A thesis statement only needs evidence in some situations.

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Answer

False

Show question

Question

A thesis is the main type of statement.

True or false?

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Answer

False. A statement expresses a single, straightforward idea, so many things are statements. However, in essays, you will focus on a thesis statement.

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Question

These are sentences of fact.

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Answer

Declarative statements

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Question

Declarative statements end in a:

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Answer

Period

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Question

Summaries tend to use figurative language while synopses use statements.

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Answer

False

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Question

In what case is a thesis statement not defensible?

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Answer

In no case. The premise of a thesis statement is to be defensible.

Show question

Question

Statements:

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Answer

Inform

Show question

Question

Which is a statement?

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Answer

I cannot believe you.

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Question

Which is a statement?

Show answer

Answer

You've given up.

Show question

Question

Which is a statement?

Show answer

Answer

Fight the oppressors.

Show question

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