Thesis Of A Research Paper


CRLS Research Guide






Writing A Thesis Statement

Tip Sheet 13


Ask these questions:

What is it?

A thesis statement is a strong statement that you can prove with evidence. It is not a simple statement of fact. A thesis statement should be the product of your own critical thinking after you have done some research. Your thesis statement will be the main idea of your entire project. It can also be thought of as the angle or point of view from which you present your material. 


When do I write it?

You will develop a thesis statement about your research topic after you have written a Statement of Purpose and done some actual research into the topic. You will then present your thesis statement in your introduction, prove it with evidence in the body of your paper, project, or presentation, and finally restate it along with a summary of your evidence in your conclusion.


How do I write it?

  • Look again at your Statement of Purpose
  • Look at the kinds of information you have been finding while taking notes.
  • Decide what kind of statement you have enough evidence to prove.
    (Be sure that you have done enough research to make a strong argument. You may be challenged.)
  • Write that as your thesis statement.

There are many ways to approach writing a thesis statement.

Just make sure that it is not simple a fact and that you can support it with good evidence from reliable sources.

Here are some ways to approach it:

  • Define a problem and state your opinion about it
  • Discuss the current state of an issue or problem and predict how it might resolve
  • Put forth a possible solution to a problem
  • Look at an issue/topic from a new, interesting perspective
  • Theorize how the world might be different today if something had/had not happened in the past
  • Compare two or more of something similar and give your rating about them (cars, authors,computers, colleges, books)
  • Put out your ideas about how something was influenced to be the way it is or was (music, art, political leadership, genocide)

What does it look like?

Let's look at some of the examples from the Statement of Purpose tip sheet and turn them into some possible thesis statements. These are all totally hypothetical (made up).

Statement of Purpose
Possible thesis statement

"I want to learn about what has influenced the music of 50 cent."

The music of 50 cent has been heavily influenced by (you fill in the blank).

"I want to find out some ways to stop teen gang activity."

Teen gang activity in the United States can be stopped by a combined approach which consists of supervised youth programs, more job availability, and closer family relationships.

or

Teenage gang activity can only be stopped with early education in the public school systems.

"I want to know how close we are to a cure for AIDS."

Although much research has gone into finding a cure for the AIDS virus, we are no closer to a real cure than we were when the disease first became known.

or

After years of research , scientists are on the verge of discovering a cure for the AIDS virus.

"I want to know why Christians and Muslims fought so hard with each other during the middle ages."

Even though Christians and Muslims were supposedly fighting for religious dominance in the medieval world, their motives were strongly affected by the desire for land and economic power.

or

Medieval Christians and Muslims were fighting exclusively for deeply held religious beliefs.


You can see that there is more than one way to write a thesis statement, depending on what you find out in your research and what your opinion is.


WHERE TO GO FROM HERE:


Copyright © 2004 Holly Samuels All Rights Reserved



Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements

Summary:

This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.

Contributors: Elyssa Tardiff, Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2018-01-24 02:29:37

Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement

1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing:

  • An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.
  • An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.
  • An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.

If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.

2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.

3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.

4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Examples

Example of an analytical thesis statement:

An analysis of the college admission process reveals one challenge facing counselors: accepting students with high test scores or students with strong extracurricular backgrounds.

The paper that follows should:

  • Explain the analysis of the college admission process
  • Explain the challenge facing admissions counselors

Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:

The life of the typical college student is characterized by time spent studying, attending class, and socializing with peers.

The paper that follows should:

  • Explain how students spend their time studying, attending class, and socializing with peers

Example of an argumentative thesis statement:

High school graduates should be required to take a year off to pursue community service projects before entering college in order to increase their maturity and global awareness.

The paper that follows should:

  • Present an argument and give evidence to support the claim that students should pursue community projects before entering college

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