What is a Thesis Statement?
The beginning of anything in life can be tough, whether it is starting school, college life or even getting a new hobby. One has to learn the basics before one can move on to mastering something. Similar is the case with a thesis paper. You might need to write one at the end of your college curriculum or as you near the end of a course. A thesis begins with a thesis statement.
What is a Thesis Statement?
A thesis statement is the main point you want to make in your thesis. It can be a summary of your thesis in a single sentence. It can be your stance on an important or controversial question. Your thesis statement is the highlight of your thesis paper. It needs to be clear and informative to a reader.
Where should a Thesis Statement be placed?
A thesis statement comes at the very beginning of your thesis- in your introduction itself. It should be restated in your conclusion. Your thesis revolves around this thesis statement. All relevant information should be included in the thesis.
A thesis statement can only be written after you have an idea about what you want to work on. Once your research idea is clear, you can start writing a thesis statement. After writing a thesis statement your stance or answer cannot change in your thesis. So, be careful about the position you take with your thesis statement!
How to Choose a Thesis Statement?
There are 3 kinds of these- argumentative, expository, and analytical. An argumentative thesis supports a particular point of view while looking at a question or issue. The expository thesis explains particular topics by giving relevant information and details. Scientific and mathematical research papers tend to be analytical. They discuss a problem, and theory step-wise and come up with solutions based on evidence. Check which one fits your topic and write a thesis statement accordingly. There are different kinds of thesis statements as well. Choose a thesis statement suitable to your research and how you want to present your thesis.
Writing a thesis statement can be tough! But don’t worry, we are here to help!
How to write a Thesis Statement?
1. Brainstorm ideas you would like to work on
A good writing process starts with a brainstorming session. Just let your ideas flow onto the paper! Do not entertain self-criticism. Each idea you come up with has the potential to be made into a thesis. So, do not think this to be a futile exercise! Trust yourself and refer to your notes if you need. Write those ideas down! You can start with a question as well. You could use some mind-mapping apps available on the internet to create a list or a map.
2. Shortlist a few significant ideas
You must be ready with a long list of plausible ideas for your thesis. Now start editing this list. Cut out all those ideas that you do not know much about. You might think that you can research such unknown ideas in your thesis. If you are confident enough about it, go for it! But we would suggest choosing topics that you know about. You might find out more about them once you have a basic idea. Your field of study might be the ideal place to start looking for topics to work on. You can check your notes or ask a professor for some help to begin your thought process. Think about all the things you have learned in a course.
3. Bring this list to one
We know it’s hard to cut out your ideas! But it is important to choose a thesis idea you truly believe in. An idea should be feasible for you to research. Try looking up points you can cover under the chosen ideas for your thesis statement. They need to be relevant to a contemporary audience. There is no point in writing about something redundant or mundane. The idea you select should not be written about by someone else. Stand out as a person working on a unique topic, that no one has worked on yet. You can refer to related topics and articles written about them, but you cannot copy an idea.
4. Think about what your main point is
As you select an idea as your thesis idea, try to focus on the important point you want to make by working on the idea. Check out some research papers that might have worked on a related topic. You can get more insights on your topic by reading information about it. Your chosen topic that covers your idea should either address a question, state your response to it, analyze a topic, or disprove an already existing piece of information. Try to get different perspectives on your chosen topic instead of having one that is conventional and easy.
5. Make a list of keywords
Once you note the topic you want to work on along with your stance on it, make a list of keywords that can be included in your thesis statement. The keywords need to be the most important words in your thesis. They need to state what exactly you will be working on. Just do not worry about the structure of your thesis statement yet! You can edit it after structuring and writing a working thesis statement.
6. Look at a few examples
Each thesis topic and statement are unique. However, it would be helpful to go through a few thesis statements as you note down important keywords. This should be done before you start working on a structure for your thesis statement. Thesis statements are available in every research paper, thesis, or on different websites. You will get an idea of what exactly you are supposed to do in your thesis statement. However, do not plagiarize prewritten thesis statements on the websites. Be original!
For example- ‘As historical movies are made with the help of contemporary versions of objects used during the period the movie is set in, some uncanny mistakes while representing aspects of life and everyday objects get ignored by the audience.’
7. Prepare an outline
Since a thesis statement is subjective to the topic of your thesis, it should be written by you and not by someone else who has no idea about what you are working on. Prepare a structure for your thesis statement after you go through relevant examples. Take help from thesis statement outlines available on various websites. Prepare the logical structure of your thesis statement by placing the important words in the right order. Cover all the keywords while preparing a structure.
8. Form a proper sentence
After preparing a structure of your thesis statement with all the necessary keywords, form a correct sentence that connects these words. Use the required articles, pronouns, prepositions, and conjunctions as you do so. Be aware of what you are meaning in your sentence. The implication should be intentional. Read the sentence again and check whether there is any miscommunication that might happen. Your idea should be conveyed clearly. Do not unnecessarily complicate the sentence. Do not beat around the bush while writing an appropriate thesis statement. Use necessary punctuation marks.
9. Check your spelling and grammar
Once you are done with forming a sentence, run the sentence through a spell check. Correct any misspelled words. At the same time, correct any grammatical mistakes that might have happened unintentionally. Grammatical mistakes are noticed by a reader even before any other mistakes in your explanations. Try not to lose marks because of silly mistakes in your thesis statement.
10. Review your thesis statement
Yay! You are almost at the end of writing a thesis statement! Now take your statement to a friend/peer/colleague/professor to get it reviewed. Ask them to read your thesis statement in relation to your context. Be prepared to listen to any suggestions that they might have to improve your thesis statement. It is not necessary to implement all changes they suggest, but think about them. Make changes in your thesis statement only where you feel like it.
Your thesis statement is ready!!
Tips on writing a Strong Thesis Statement
- It should be worth thinking about and developing into a full-fledged thesis
- It must have compelling arguments that can be explained in your thesis
- It should have proper implications for a contemporary audience
- Make it precise and to-the-point
- Do not make it complex to understand
- Make sure it gives a clear idea of what your argument is
- structure it properly
- Check for grammatical and spelling mistakes
- Highlight significant keywords
Writing a thesis begins with a thesis statement. Forming one can be hard but the guidelines to write a thesis statement given above will help you in the process. Start with a few rough ideas and narrow your list down to one idea. Answer a question or take a stance! There are so many possibilities! Structure your thesis statement well and avoid any grammatical or spelling mistakes. Make your thesis statement presentable and clear to understand. You are good to go!