A thesis statement can be described as a sentence that is included in the beginning part of a research essay or dissertation that relays the objectives of your research and dissertation thesis.
The thesis statement clearly shows the understanding of the writer and his/her judgement of the topic. It is part of the introduction and is a major factor that determines the results you get from your research essay.
A thesis statement highlights the topic of discussion, gives a brief about the various points talked about in the paper which is written for a target audience. The thesis statement is usually seen at the end of your first paragraph in your research essay which is also referred to as your introduction. It is what you use to make the readers interested in your topic and spur them to keep reading.
Another way to look at your thesis statement is by understanding it as a full sentence that shows your position.
Here are some more functions of a good thesis statement:
- It narrows the topic down to a particular focus for investigation.
- Gives direction for the whole paper.
- It moves to the conclusion.
- It is always found in the introduction of your paper, usually at the end of the first paragraph.
- It is normally used to take a stand which also justifies further discussions.
How to develop a good thesis statement?
When you want to build a strong thesis statement that delivers your ideas, there are some key elements you have to consider.
While you are writing your thesis statement, you are out to ensure that your reader can trust what you have written. This means that your ideas and theories must be authentic, and not just false statements from your head or personal opinions. Ensure that you have enough evidence for your claims. This will make your reader convinced and encouraged to continue reading your work.
Another major element you must consider when building your thesis statement is that it must have a direction. If you are arguing for a particular side, ensure that it is clearly stated in your thesis statement. When you have a clear direction, your reader is well informed about what you will be discussing as you go further in the topic. if your thesis statement does not give any clear direction, you will be confused as you build your paper, and you may eventually confuse your readers as they go through your work. Take a direction from your thesis statement and follow through with it in your paper.
What are the types of thesis statements?
The type of thesis statement you would have to write is dependent on the topic of your essay. Generally, there are three classifications of writings, which are listed below:-
This type of writing goes into detail with any particular topic, the topic is usually broken down into many parts before the conclusion. A thesis statement for an analytical paper should include the major parts which you are further going to discuss and your objective of choosing the topic.
This type of writing is used to explain a concept or theory to the reader. The topic is clarified thoroughly in detail, discussing its various aspects, origins, outcomes, applications, etc.
Through an argumentative paper, the writer claims about the subject and explains his perspective about the topic, which may be in favor of or against the topic. Whatever you are taking your stand on could be a suggestion, evaluation, opinion or prediction. Here the writer aims at proving his claim true based on evidence.
Where is the thesis statement mentioned?
The best place your thesis statement should be mentioned is in your introduction. It sets the pace for the remaining parts of your paper. It is odd to put your thesis statement halfway through your paper or In your concluding parts. Keep it at the beginning of your paper.
Why is a thesis statement so important?
Here are two main reasons why thesis statements are so important for your essay.
1. It creates focus
You develop a thesis to create a focus on the main idea of an essay. You need to be able to write the main idea in a few sentences to highlight the focus of the paper. The thesis guides not just the reader, but the author of the essay. It helps you keep your paper organized.
2. It helps the reader to understand the main idea of the essay
When your thesis statement is well written, your reader understands the main idea of your essay. It sets the reader up for the remaining parts of the essay. It helps to provide evidence and ideas that lead the reader to keep reading the other parts of the paper. The thesis statement is important because the reader uses it to understand the main idea of what is written in the paper from the onset.
How to frame a strong thesis statement?
To develop a good thesis statement and justify your writing well, the following are the crucial steps to help you do so.
1. Analyze the key sources of information
Ensure that you thoroughly inspect all the data you have collected, so you have a good idea about how your paper is going to be. For you to have better results, ask your questions about the topic. When you do this, you go more in-depth into the topic and get to understand other parts of the subject.
2. Write down all the ideas
Every idea that comes to your mind while you are brainstorming is very important. Ensure that you write these ideas down so you can always go back to them. The relevant ideas you get will help you frame a good thesis statement in the end. Go through all the ideas you have written down and choose the ones that are most suitable for your thesis statement.
3. Give the thesis statement the highest importance in your introduction
Your thesis statement is crucial to how well your readers receive your writing. In your statement, you make the reader understand your topic and see why you chose to write it. When your thesis statement has prominence in your introduction, you show your reader the objectives and perspectives of your topic. With a good thesis statement, your reader knows where the main content is going.
4. Keep it concise
Your thesis statement should be a direct sentence that highlights the required information. It should not be a long sentence that is hard to understand. Make sure that your thesis statement is short, and straight to the point of your paper.
Note that your thesis statement is not merely a list of included topics, be clear about what the paper is all about in very few words.
Things to keep in mind while writing a thesis statement?
1. Do not make the thesis statement a question.
While you write your thesis statement, you are answering the reader’s questions about your essay. Hence, do not frame it like a question. The reader is supposed to be clear about your paper after reading your thesis statement, not more confused. Make your thesis statement a clear answer to what your paper is all about.
2. Define the limits of your topic. Stick to a particular area.
You need to know how far your paper will go. Every topic has a lot of information with many sub-topics, but you should choose the boundaries of your topic. For building a good thesis statement and essay, know the topic you are working on and stick to it. You can always go deeper when there is just a part of the topic you are discussing. Try not to be too broad with your thesis statement.
3. Pick the best statements from multiple ones you create.
The first statement you write may not be the best. Think about your thesis statement critically and come up with multiple choices.
Instead of going with the first statement that comes to mind, pick the best from the multiple ones you have been able to create.
4. Do not copy someone else’s thesis statement.
Because of the fact that each person has their reason or perspective about a topic, copying a thesis statement would be copying their ideas, and ultimately losing your essence in your paper. Although it is tasking to get a thesis statement in the beginning, you are surely going to get it right if you stay with it. You do not have to copy anyone. (What is plagiarism?)
A thesis statement is not merely statement of fact.
Your readers want to read writing that engages them. This means that you must write thesis statements that are arguable, and not merely factual. Statements of fact are easy to write about because they are easy to prove, but they are never engaging. You cannot write a paper on just facts. You have to be able to draw vital information from these facts and deliver the information you have gotten to your readers.
Thesis Statements usually take a stand and create room for further discussion.
For your writing to be interesting, your thesis statement should be persuasive. It should be writing that takes a stand on a particular side of a topic and gives room for further discussion. Your reader should be able to read your thesis statement and understand your take on the issue and be willing to go further in discussion with anyone about it. Your writing should not be dull and unpersuasive.
Take a look at the following examples:
Statement of fact:
Small cars have better fuel mileage than 4×4 pickup trucks.
Arguable thesis statement:
The authorities need to ban 4×4 pickup trucks except for work-related use.
Statement of fact:
Foul language is common in movies.
Arguable thesis statement:
The prevalence of foul language in movies is much more than its occurrence in real life.
Statement of fact:
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease.
Arguable thesis statement/opening paragraph:
Researchers believe that the incidence of celiac disease is increasing in America not just due to an increase in the speed of diagnosis, but also because of the changes in the agricultural system. More specifically, the experts are focusing on the culprits being the increased use of pesticides, insecticides and genetically modified wheat. These theories could be more valid than others.
The Steps To Writing Your Thesis
The first thing you should do when writing your thesis is to come up with an initial thesis, which can also be referred to as a working thesis. This will be the starter for your writing process. It is what you do after you have chosen your essay or research topic. You already have a topic, so you have to plan the content of your essay. Your thesis statement is what you need to give your paper structure and direction. Here are some of the steps to take:
1. Begin with a question
If you already have a question in your assignment, you are good to go. However, if you don’t have one yet, try to come up with your research question. You have to ask yourself what exactly you want to get out of the topic. Ask for the specific results you want to get out of your essay.
This is an example of a question for an argumentative essay that asks you to take a side in a debate:
Has the internet had a negative or positive impact on education? (With this question, you are trying to look for the particular effects on education. And this is what would direct your thesis.)
If you are told to write an expository essay on a notable invention, here are some questions you may want to ask.
How has the invention of the printing press changed European society?
What were the merits and demerits of the invention of the car?
In a literary analysis essay about the novel Frankenstein, your questions could be:
How did Mary Shelley portray the character of Victor Frankenstein?
What are the major themes discussed in the book, Frankenstein?
2. Put down your first answers
After you have done some research on your topic, you can give tentative answers to the question you already raised. When you are at this stage, it is quite simple and you are now on a good path for researching and writing your thesis.
When it is an argumentative paper, your initial answers should take a position and pick a side on the topic. Taking more than one side could confuse you while writing, so be clear on what side you are picking and stick to it.
E.g. The internet has had more of a positive than a negative effect on education.
The invention of the printing press allowed more people to access information.
The car had more advantages than disadvantages.
Shelley portrays Victor Frankenstein in a negative light.
3. Develop your answer
After putting down your answers, the next thing you want to do is consider the reasons why you have an answer and how you want your reader to follow your argument and be convinced to agree with you.
When you go on into your research of the topic, and start writing, your answer should have more details. Your final thesis statement is not meant to just state your position on the topic, it is also meant to give you a summary of your overall argument.
For example, in the essay on the internet and education, the thesis should state your position and sketch out the key arguments that you are using to support it.
Argumentative Thesis Statement
The demerits of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education. The internet allows for easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.
With the essay about the printing press, the thesis summarizes key historical developments that will be explained.
Expository Thesis Statement
The invention of the printing press in the 15th century allowed for much less restricted circulation of information in Europe, paving the way for the Reformation.
In the essay on Frankenstein, the thesis outlines an analysis of all the novel’s techniques and effects used by the author.
Literary analysis thesis statement
Mary Shelley used shifting narrative perspectives to depict Victor Frankenstein in an increasingly negative light as the novel proceeds; he starts as a naive but sympathetic idealist, but by the end, he is seen as a cruel character.
How To Improve Your Thesis Statement
Here are some examples of thesis statements and learn how to improve them.
Example 1: Argumentative thesis
Your thesis should have a strong position in an argumentative paper. You want to ensure that after going through your essay, your reader is convinced based on the evidence and logical reasoning you have presented.
Here are two versions of a thesis statement in an essay about the environmental policy in Canada.
Weak thesis statement
The Canadian Government should invest in a Green New Deal.
The example above takes a position but does not give any reasons why the government should invest in a Green New deal. The reader can not follow the argument this way.
Improved thesis statement
The Canadian Government should invest in a Green New Deal that prioritizes green jobs. Given that it is a growing economy, it can combat climate change while also improving the well-being of the citizens at large.
With this improved thesis statement, your reasoning is clearly stated and the main points of your arguments are summarized. This way, your reader understands your position and begins to see the convincing points of your argument. Your job is then to expand on these points as you go further in the essay.
Example 2: Expository thesis
When writing an expository essay, your major aim is to explain to your reader the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis is not primarily written to voice out your opinion or pick a side. What you want to achieve is that the reader is well informed about the central themes of the topic after reading your thesis.
Let’s take two versions of a thesis statement from an essay about the invention of Braille (the raised-dot reading system used by blind and visually impaired people).
Weak thesis statement
Braille was an important nineteenth-century invention.
In this statement, the writer only makes a factual statement, but it doesn’t tell the reader anything about what they’ll learn from your essay.
Improved thesis statement
The invention of Braille changed the lives of blind people in the nineteenth century, but its success was dependent on mainstream acceptance by teachers who could see, and this process was spurred by debates about the place of disabled people in the society.
In this improved thesis, we have not just the facts, but a summary of the process involved and how the facts came to be.
Example 3: Analytical thesis
For an essay that has to do with analysis of a text, you have to mention specific aspects and explain the meaning and purpose of each aspect.
These are two different versions of a thesis gotten from the novel Jekyll & Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Weak thesis statement
Mr. Hyde is a character that represents Dr. Jekyll’s dark side.
In this statement, it is only the aspect that the essay focuses on that is said. The reader only has this as an obvious surface statement and nothing about what the author is trying to highlight.
Improved thesis statement
The figure of Mr. Hyde shows the potential for evil that exists under the surface of outwardly civilized men; with this dark double, the author has been able to highlight the moral hypocrisy of his society.
With this improved thesis statement, the author not only tells us what the character represents but also makes a claim on what the author of the novel had in mind while creating the character.