Educators are interested in essay evaluation systems that include feedback about writing features that can facilitate the essay revision process. For instance, if the thesis statement of a student’s essay could be automatically identified, the student could then use this information to reflect on the thesis statement with regard to its quality, and its relationship to other discourse elements in the essay. Using a relatively small corpus of manually annotated data, we use Bayesian classification to identify thesis statements. This method yields results that are much closer to human performance than the results produced by two baseline systems. .