When writing a research paper, your thesis statement is very important. Writing a narrow, focused thesis statement which is clear and to the point. Learning to write a great thesis statement is an excellent skill for students to have, so with that in mind here are a few helpful tips to guide you when you write your thesis statement.
What is a Thesis Statement?
A thesis statement is not a statement of fact, but rather a statement that you can prove by presenting evidence. In a research paper, your thesis statement should be something that you have come up with through your own critical thinking and you should only decide upon your thesis statement once you have done some research in order to confirm that you are going to be able to back the statement up with your research.
The best thesis statements will give your research paper direction while also creating boundaries and limits to focus your research. It should inform the reader what they can expect from your paper. You need to be able to support your thesis with evidence and it can be helpful to summarize your supporting points when writing your thesis statement.
Structuring Your Thesis Statement
Your thesis statement should be around two or three sentences long and it needs to be presented near the beginning of your paper. It is often placed within the introduction, although for longer papers it is also acceptable to put your thesis in your second paragraph as long as you include it before launching into the main body of your research.
A thesis statement needs to be as clear and as specific as you can make it and although it will be the starting point for your research paper, you will likely continue to refine it as your research progresses. Depending on where your argument ends up taking your paper your thesis statement will evolve and gain more definition. Just make sure that your thesis does not become to generalized as it does need to focus your paper and be clear about your intent.
Make Sure Your Thesis Statement is Original
One of the most important things that you will need to consider when writing the thesis statement for your research paper is whether or not it is original. You need to avoid generic arguments. They may be the easiest way to get started, but ultimately they will make fir a very boring research paper. The point that you are making needs to be one that will matter, so be sure that you are prepared to explain why your research topic is worthy of a paper and why the reader should read it. You should also make sure that you write your thesis statement in your own words, this is not the right time to quote someone else. You want to craft something that is original and insightful, not to mention memorable. If you quote someone else’s ideas you will come off as little more than a mouthpiece and your research paper will lose credibility.
General Thesis Writing Tips
There are also a few other general tips that might help you with writing a great thesis statement for your next research paper:
- Get to know your topic – It is very difficult to write a thesis statement never mind a whole paper about a topic that you do not know anything about. Always strive to choose a research topic that you are familiar with, or at the very least one that will be easy for you to learn more about.
- Brainstorm your ideas – It can be difficult to come up with the right points to support your thesis statement. It is a good idea to brainstorm all of your ideas, taking notes about them. In doing this you may come up with new ideas or connections. It might be the case that you begin to see specific themes develop. This can help you to shape both your thesis statement and your research paper.