What is a Thesis Statement

What is a Thesis Statement?

Many students are often bothered with the question, what is a thesis statement? This is because of its importance in academic papers. A thesis statements refers to the main claim that is discussed in an essay or research paper. It is the key argument that is made in the introduction and supported in the body paragraphs of your paper. In fact, the thesis is the basis of the paper and must be clearly stated in the opening statements.

A thesis statement can be made up of a sentence or two, which tells the readers how you plan to interpret the significance of the subject under discussion. It provides the road map for your paper by telling the audience what to expect in the rest of the paper. Also known as hypothesis, the thesis should make your subject matter easier to understand by outlining the specific argument of the paper.

With a good thesis statement, you will spend a very short time in researching and putting your points together. In fact, it makes the task of writing your paper very easy since a good one will direct you on what to specifically cover without deviation.

A strong thesis can easily convince your readers to proceed into reading the rest of the paper. Read on to find the perfect definition of ‘what is a thesis statement’ and also guidelines on how to easily create an outstanding one for your paper.

So what is a thesis statement?

In simple terms, a thesis statement is the claim or argument that you intend to explain in the paper. The assertion which is made in the thesis should be something that is disputable or able to sustain discussion.

A thesis statement is usually written at the end of the introduction part of academic papers and specifically states the points that will be discussed in the paper, according to the right order.

In case you are told to take a stand in writing an academic paper, it should be well defined in the thesis.

What is a thesis statement and what does writing one involve?

There are certain elements that have to be portrayed in a good thesis statement. The following are basic concepts of a strong thesis statement.

  • Should have proof; something that you are able to comprehensively discuss in the paper.
  • Gives clear direction and limits the scope of your discussion to the particular points of the paper.
  • Should mention the main supporting points and how they will be addressed.

A strong thesis statement can play three main roles in an academic paper. One of them is defending a stand in a controversial paper. Besides, it can also give a simple overview or describe an event or subject. A good thesis can also be used to analyze an event, process or object. This implies the content of your thesis will vary depending on the particular paper that you are writing.

Tips for writing a thesis statement

After answering the question, ‘what is a thesis statement?’ you should also know how to write one. The following are guidelines on how to write a unique and strong thesis statement for an academic paper.

Understand the topic or subject

A thesis statement must be relevant to the topic of your paper, therefore, you must take time to learn about it. It is only when you fully know the topic of discussion that you will be able to choose an appropriate angle for discussion.

In fact, formulating a thesis statement can be quite easy when you understand the subject. If necessary, do more research to ensure that you are knowledgeable on all the aspects of the topic. It I always important that you also understand the purpose of the paper and your audience in order to create a good thesis.

Think of what to discuss

A thesis statement is not just any claim that you can support. Creating a good one requires proper thought and analysis of ideas. Try to brainstorm on various perspectives of the topic of your paper and draw key arguments.

An ideal angle for the thesis should be one that is a bit different from the usual ones, but arguable. A good idea should be one that others can dispute or even disagree with. Besides, it should also be an idea that you are able to fully support to conclusion.

When brainstorming, strike relationships between the various ideas that you think could constitute your main claim. Compare and contrast the ideas to determine the strongest ones that can portray a compelling argument.

Organize your ideas

The thesis is like the backbone of the paper and must be vividly outlined before you get into tackling the rest of the paper. With the ideas that you have brainstormed on, you should clarify the relationships between them and comprehend the broader significance of your topic.

Pick the strongest points to construct the thesis. A strong thesis statements should not be a very common idea that many people have discussed over and over. Instead, settle on something convincing and a bit different from the obvious.

To enhance the weight of your claim, always ensure that you also get enough points to support it. Supporting elements could involve the use of quotes, facts among others. All these should be clearly outlined in the thesis statement.

Writing the thesis

With all your ideas for the thesis statement in place, you can go ahead and write it. A thesis statement should be precise and specific to the main claim. Although the length may vary based on your subject of discussion, always try to make it short, simple and straightforward.

Since you may come up with a new idea in the course of writing, do not be afraid of changing the thesis. However, it must portray your main argument in the paper.

In the outline, it is advisable that you write the thesis as it will appear in the final paper. However, do not be too broad that you confuse the thesis with the rest of the introduction.

When writing the final paper, you should start the introduction with a general view of the topic. This could be some background information about your subject, which is then narrowed down to the thesis.

After giving your main claim, it should be followed by a short description of how you intend to support the argument in the body paragraphs. In this way, the thesis will be conclusive and clearly show your plan of action in the paper as required.

In order to make sure that thesis statement presents your desired claim, take time to read it once again and make any necessary corrections. Remember it is the basis of the paper and must be clearly defined to portray the context of your discussion.

Examples of thesis statements

Reading sample thesis statements can also assist you in answering the question, ‘what is a thesis statement.’ The following are a few well written sample thesis statements that you should read for more insights on how to deliver a strong one.

Example 1

Sample thesis statement for Essay, ‘’Should zoos, first established in the 19th century, be abolished?’’

‘’It is unacceptable for animals to be treated inhumanely in zoos. This is why changes have been, and are being, made all over the world. Advancements in habitat research have enabled modern zoos to create a healthy environment for animals. Of course, while the captive surroundings can never fully mimic life in the wild, we can do our best to see that the animals live comfortable, fruitful lives. Such compromises are necessary because zoos provide an invaluable service to society through the medical and wildlife research their existence facilitates…’’

Read this sample on this link.

Example 2     

Sample thesis for essay about ‘’The Box Man, by Barbara Lazear’’

‘’In The Box Man, by Barbara Lazear Ascher, the protagonist reveals that a life of solitude need not always be lonely. Though the Box Man lives a life of solitude as a homeless wanderer, Ascher describes his ‘’grand design’’ and ‘’grandmotherly finger licking’’ to convince readers that their assumptions about homeless people are unfounded- and that they can live a dignified life. By describing the Box Man as ‘’dignified’’ and ‘’at ease,’’ Ascher paints a vivid picture of a man who chose a life, a comfort and solitude and defeated loneliness by becoming his own friend…’’

Read this and other sample thesis statements at www.apstudynotes.org.

Example 3             

Sample analytical essay thesis statement

‘’An analysis of the college admission process reveals one challenge facing counsellors; accepting students with high test scores or students with strong extra-curricular backgrounds’’

Find the above sample and many more on this link.


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