The main purpose of writing a research paper is to persuade your reader that you have a rational mindset on the subject of your study. After a brief introduction to the topic (ate the end of the first paragraph), you need to present an exact and clear thesis statement, submitting your arguments to the reader in a concise manner.
A thesis statement is a sentence that states the key claim of writing a research paper and helps control the ideas within the paper.
• The statement captures your attitude to the topic and gives the reader a sense of direction on what to expect from the entire paper.
• It’s not a fact or opinion, but rather it’s an assertion based on the writer’s ideas.
• Thesis statement acts as a roadmap to the argument you will subsequently develop, helping to lead the readers into the body of the paper.
Types of Thesis Statements
The type of thesis statement depends on the kind of paper you are writing. This include:
- Analytical thesis statement – stating what subject will be considered and how it will be evaluated.
- Expository thesis statement – explaining the aspects of a topic by placing them in the discussing order
- Argumentative thesis statement – creating an argument by taking a claim on the subject and showing how you support it.
Why Is It Important in the Academic Writing?
A competent thesis statement serves many functions that include:
1. Acts as a writing planning tool (thesis statement as a guide to the structure of the paper, which helps the writer stay focused and organized)
2. Helps focus on the subject of the research and clarifies your ideas (thesis statement will contribute to summarize the main point of the paper)
3. Engages the readers in your argument (thesis statement captures a reader’s attention and creates a picture in the reader’s mind about the entire research)
Formulating a Thesis Statement
Here are some strategies to help you create a powerful thesis statement.
Preliminary Thesis Statement
Remember that thesis statement will be evolving as your paper progresses. Before writing a paper, you need to have a basic idea of your thesis but be open to change and revise as with more research, comes ongoing discovery that must be included.
Know the topic
Gather the appropriate information and clarify possible relationships between the facts while bringing out the weight of such relationships. Be conversant with the topic as it ‘s difficult to write a thesis statement on a subject you aren’t familiar with. Doing further research and reflecting on personal experiences will help you gather more evidence about the topic.
Narrow it Down
Your thesis should be limited to what can be discussed in a specified number of pages. Being too general will lead to leaving out so much information and you will end up having done little or nothing at all. For example writing a statement about a topic such as, ‘challenges within the community college system in San Diego’ can be narrowed to ‘challenge of community colleges in San Diego being so close together geographically, that they tend to duplicate programs and conflict with each other’.
Use the formula Claim + Reason = Thesis Statement
A strong thesis statement will take a stand and justify the claim you present. For example, ‘The sole problem of the American Steel industry is the lack of adequate funds to improve on outdated plants and machinery’.
How Long Should a Thesis Statement Be
Your thesis statement needs to be as short and specific as possible usually in two to three sentences. A clear and straightforward thesis ensures that your readers understand your interpretation of the topic.
What makes a Thesis Statement Strong and Effective?
A powerful thesis statement should have the following features:
- An exact purpose, specific way to accomplish the purpose and a specific audience.
- It should be explicit, distinct and easily identifiable.
- It needs to be supported by evidence or proof.
- It must be debatable by taking a position that others can challenge or oppose.
- It should provide guidance and direction to the paper.
- It should have two parts, telling what you plan to argue and showing how you plan to support the claim.
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