Are you writing your first major academic paper? Are you a little intimidated and feel overwhelmed? If so, you are not the only one. But you don’t have to be afraid. Once you understand the procedure and have a clear picture of your expectations, you will gain a sense of control and confidence.
It should prove useful if you look at this task as an article in investigative journalism. When a journalist finds out about a controversial story, he or she visits the scene and starts asking questions and analyzing the pieces of evidence.
The journalist puts the pieces together into a true story. Writing a thesis statement in your academic research document is a similar process. When a student does this job thoroughly, he or she gathers information about a particular theme or problem, analyzes that information, and then presents it in an argumentative thesis statement.
What is a Thesis?
The thesis is the main message summarized in one declarative sentence. The thesis communicates the purpose of the work – whether it is an answer to a question or the introduction of a new idea. The thesis is usually the last statement in the introductory paragraph. We will now take you through some basic details about the structure of works and their relation to statements, so you can get specific details important for creating a strong thesis statement.
A thesis is a clear statement about the focus of an article that can usually be clarified in one or two sentences. Many high school students will be doing research and write a thesis by the first stage of their education.
With research papers, a thesis statement doesn’t change slightly because some papers are very long. An article of 30-40 pages may require a longer statement that mentions several points that it will cover in detail before reaching the conclusion. Students should create a thesis based on the formality of the article, research question, as well as the discipline and preference of the instructor.
In many cases, the author tries to do one of several things in the research work. He can prove his point of view (argue), discuss the research of others (analyze), or explain something (expose or explain). Argumental and analytical articles are more common in the work under study.
Creating abstracts boils down to making a clear and good thesis statement about the author’s plans at the beginning of the article, usually in the introductory paragraph. Authors should be very specific about what the argumentation or analysis is about; the final thesis statement should address the essence of the subject and the focus of the article.
What Does the Thesis Look Like?
The thesis in the research work from history can be as follows: “In colonial Georgia, United States, the reason why citizens left new settlements and fled to Charleston was not poverty, but the insecurity they felt because they lived so close to Spanish Florida”. This is a bold statement that requires proof and a fact to get an effective thesis statement. The student would have to cite quotes from early Georgia and other evidence to support this thesis.
Before composing the statement, the author must once again analyze the materials of his research, prepared for participation in the competition. Having highlighted the main statement and provisions of his work, the author will receive the expository thesis statement.
The statement helps the reader to understand the essence of the work done, to get an answer to the question posed by the author, to find out the content of the prepared materials, and to compare his thoughts with the thoughts of the author.
An ambitious presenter is torn between trying to provide concrete examples to prove his case and presenting conclusions. Here it is important to stick to the golden rule: a simple statement of facts will lose all meaning, and unconfirmed conclusions will seem like an unfounded statement. Structured thinking can help you avoid a weak thesis.
There are several techniques and the most common is the logical analysis of the development of your thoughts. Why did you come to such and not different conclusions? What facts did you start from? How did you analyze them? In doing so, try to avoid logical gaps.
There should be no emotional assessments in the thesis. They should be written in a dry scientific style, but at the same time understandable. Any reader or listener should be able to figure out the problem.
Varieties and Thesis Statement Examples
Depending on such factors as the specifics, structure, and parameters of the material used for the work, theses are divided into 3 types:
- basic are ones that define provisions and the main conclusions.
- simple – contain key aspects without any explanations, the main ones are built on them.
- complex – include basic and simple, represent the argumentation of the statement made (contain an evidence base).
Students instructed to take a stand on one aspect of an issue in controversy will need to come up with an essay argument. Put this way, a thesis statement is designed to express the position you took and may provide an overview of your testimony to the reader. The thesis of the paper research question might look like this:
- Students will become more responsible drivers when exposed to documentaries showing the danger of messaging and driving.
- Dangerous earthquakes occur when hydraulic fracturing access natural gas.
- Vegetables contain many ingredients that a body needs to maintain good health conditions.
- The rewarding process of photographing a lunar eclipse requires careful preparation and sound equipment.
- Mesa Verde National Park reveals the fascinating culture of the ancestors of the Puebloans who lived on Earth for more than a millennium.
- The Spanish Inquisition is characterized by religious oppression, regularly displayed out with utmost severity.
- Street cameras and street-view plans have directed to a comprehensive decline of secrecy in the United States
- Climate change affects the amount of water in lakes around the world.
Inexperienced students and school graduates take over an entire teaching paper or a large scientific article. Others consider the abstract to be a recorded lecture at a conference. The second – a simple list of key points. All these students are both right and wrong at the same time when writing thesis statements.
A thesis is a small but stand-alone and argumentative article. It incorporates the main points of your scientific research and is written in simple and clear language and is a summary of the entire great work.
There are certain requirements for the essay writing process and for different types, for example, a conference, or for defending a dissertation. However, in principle, the essence of such an essay is the same: to make it clear to the reader what its novelty and uniqueness are, what postulates you defend, and what your evidence base … At the same time, the course should clearly follow your logical reasoning.
The Style of the Thesis Statement
Many arguments are put forward about the style of scientific work theses. Some professors will be happy to hear a statement that begins, “In this essay, I will argue …”, while others require a more subtle approach that formulates research theses while keeping personal pronouns.
A one-sentence thesis can be difficult to complete in large papers, but extended sentences can be used to discuss multiple sub-points of an argument if students must follow the one-sentence rule.
The exact placement of the statement is also a matter of controversy. Some instructors want this to happen in the last or second sentence of the first paragraph. On the other hand, many academic writing examples contain an introductory paragraph preceding the paragraph that contains the main point.
Students can rely on several resources to become better at getting to strong thesis statements. Instructors are the best resource as they grade papers, but campus writing centers are also helpful. Students can also use style guides for their discipline and many online writing resources. Ultimately, practicing in this area becomes an excellent teacher.
Creating an Effective Statement
If you are free to choose your subject, find something you have always wanted to know about. If you have a fascination with time or watch every TV show you can find on tornadoes, for example, you may want to find a theme related to that interest.
Once you reduce your choices to a specific area, find three specific questions to answer. A common mistake made by students is to choose a final topic that is too general. Try to be specific: What is a tornado alley? Are certain states more realistically waiting for tornadoes? Does it depend on climate change?
One of your questions will turn into a thesis statement, after doing a little preliminary research to find theories to answer your questions. Remember, a thesis is a statement, not a question.
Rely on Topic and Argument Only
More than often, many people find that their research thesis does not contain all the points they wrote about when they finished. There are two ways to deal with this: cut out all extraneous material unrelated to the thesis or rewrite the thesis to cover additional material. The second method is frequently used, and many authors start with a working thesis, just as many researchers begin with a working hypothesis.
This changes as more writing are done or more research comes to light. The thesis can either limit the material, strictly adhering to the topic of the author, or authors can change the thesis at the end of the article to expand the topic; the new material should still be reasonably related to the original thesis.
Use the card catalog or computer database in the library to find books. Find a few books that are relevant to your topic.
There will also be a periodic guide to the library. Periodicals are published regularly, such as in magazines, journals, and newspapers. Use the search engine to find a list of articles related to your topic. Make sure you find articles in periodicals in your library. (See how to find the article.)
Sit at your desk and scan through your sources. Some titles can be wrong, so you’ll have sources you don’t take advantage of. You can quickly read the materials to determine which content contains useful information.
Explain Your Research
Write a review, according to your sorted cards. You may find that some cards fit better with different “colors” or sub-themes, so simply rearrange your cards. This is a normal part of the process. Your paper is shaped and becomes a logical argument or position statement.
Write the First Draft
Make an argumentative thesis statement and introductory paragraph. Follow your subtopics. You may find that you do not have enough material, and you may need to supplement your work with additional research.
On the first try, your paper may not be doing well. (That’s why we have the first drafts!) Read and re-edit the paragraphs, add paragraphs, and omit records that don’t seem to belong. Keep editing and rewriting until you are satisfied.
Theoretical Assessment of the Acceptability of Hypotheses
The hypothesis before final acceptance is always subject to prior verification. This verification includes determining the correctness of the formulation, the level of the expert knowledge that the research seeks to achieve, the degree of agreement with the theory of previous probability. The hypothesis is chosen based on rational and scientific argumentation and reasons.
The basic criteria for the theoretical assessment of the acceptability of hypotheses are:
- Relevance – indicates the connection of the cause with the problem we are solving, offers a solution to the problem for which it was chosen
- Clear formulation – the hypothesis must be formulated in an unambiguous way, ie. it should be defined so that there is only one statement from which its implications (consequences) can be clearly seen, and which can then be subjected to direct (observation) or indirect (experiment) verification, based on which it can be decided whether the hypothesis explains or does not explain the facts, which are considered.
- Verifiability – a hypothesis or a scientific hypothesis must be verifiable, and this is one of the basic conditions, which should influence our determination to accept a hypothesis. It is very important to state whether the hypothesis can be checked (verified) and its truthfulness can be determined on the realization of the research.
- Simplicity – some hypotheses mean that out of several alternative hypotheses, we opt for the one that is simpler. The hypothesis should be simple, short, concise, and suggestive.
- The originality or boldness of a hypothesis is one of its most important characteristics when assessing its theoretical acceptability. It is considered that the bold hypothesis is the one that brings with it radical novelties in relation to the previous views on a problem. However, the following should be borne in mind: the more original the hypothesis, the less probable it is and the more argumentation it requires to survive.
Good theses are the result of well-done research. It is unlikely that good theses will be written about poor (careless, poorly conducted) research work that does not meet the established requirements. But the opposite is still possible. You must work hard on good theses; it will not work on its own.
In order not to forget what the thesis is in the paper, formulate the main idea so that it sounds like your own opinion, a personal discovery that you are willing to defend with supporting evidence.
Because the role of the statement is to cite the central message of your entire work, it is important to revisit (and perhaps rewrite) it after finishing the paper. In fact, it is perfectly normal for your claim to change as you construct your paper.