What is an effective thesis statement?
Research Paper Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is a sentence or two that asserts a research paper or essay’s main idea. A strong thesis statement lies at the heart of a good research paper. A thesis statement helps the reader understand the paper’s focus and direction. Without one, the paper is unfocused and all over the place. With thesis statements being the lynchpin of research papers, it is important that students understood everything about them. This is why we have written this article to help you write a better, improved, and great thesis statement that will score you high marks on your research paper assignment. If you feel you do not have the ability or time to write a research paper, do not panic, you have an option. Our research paper writing service offers paper writing help to undergraduate, graduate, and master’s students. So, what is an effective thesis statement?
Thesis statements are usually located at the end of the research paper’s introductory paragraph. Depending on the paper’s objective, a thesis statement can either be:
- Expository – This thesis statement type spells out the topic to the reader. It may go ahead to list some of the key aspects of the topic which will be discussed in the paper.
- Analytical – As the name says, this thesis statement evaluates, analyzes, and interprets a topic and its aspects.
- Argumentative – This one details the author’s position on a topic. More persuasive, these statements express why the author has taken that specific position.
A good thesis statement should be:
- Short – Do not use more words than necessary. A typical thesis statement should be one or two sentences long.
- Arguable – Your thesis statement should not be obvious. It should be something that can be arguable and debatable. It should also be backed by relevant and up-to-date research.
- Coherent – Indicate your main point concisely and clearly as possible. Ensure that all the relevant aspects of your topic are summed up clearly in a sentence or two.
- Located at the end of the introduction – At the end of the introductory paragraph, that is where you should place your statement.
Steps to developing a thesis statement
- Develop a research question
An ideal place to start formulating a thesis statement is coming up with a research question. Ask yourself what you want your research paper to focus on.
Once you develop a research question, you can then start conducting extensive and detailed research. This research will inform your selection of a thesis statement. At this point, you will have a thesis statement draft. Use this as a guide for further research, planning, and writing.
- Refine your thesis statement
With ongoing research, you will continue to find relevant materials that support your arguments. Use these materials to fine-tune your statement. Another way to refine your statement is by expecting counterarguments. This is especially true when writing argumentative thesis statements. Anticipating your statement’s potential debates will help you refine your thesis statement by making it valid and reliable.
Common thesis statement mistakes
- Broad statement: The thesis statement should be simple, clear, and precise. Including too many details risks confusing you as the writer and the reader. Narrow down on your paper’s focus and sum it up to make the thesis statement.
- Vagueness: A thesis statement should be very clear from the first time the reader takes a look at your work. Use brief and complete sentences in your thesis statement to avoid confusing your readers.
- Phrasing it as a question: The purpose of writing a research paper and formulating a thesis is to answer or explore a specific problem. Therefore, phrasing your thesis statement as a question goes against your objectives as a writer.
- Unrepresentative statement: While ensuring that their statements are brief and precise, this is a common mistake that the majority of students make. Remember that a good statement should represent all the research paper’s aspects. Failure to do this risks confusing the reader since there is no homogeneity in your work.
- Wrong thesis statement: Earlier, we described some of the thesis statement types depending on your objectives. Make sure you use the correct statement type to write an outstanding paper.
- Spelling, structural, and grammatical mistakes: No one wants to read a poorly constructed thesis statement. Or one full of typos, slang, or poor grammar. These will make a wrong impression on your readers despite how good your paper is. Remember that the thesis statement is your paper’s main idea, and it is the central component of your paper. Take time to proofread your work.
- Offering your personal opinion: Using statements such as “In my opinion” or “I believe” may hamper the strength of your thesis statement. A research statement should exude objectivity that is informed by research, and these phrases underscore the author’s subjectivity.
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