What is a thesis statement? How do you write it? What is the structure and its significance in an academic paper? These are some of the questions you might have concerning the thesis statement. Coming up with a perfect thesis statement can be exhaustive, if not tiresome. You might end up drafting several theses before coming up with a perfect one. Like you, most students struggle to come up with a fantastic thesis statement, and they end up scoring lower grades in research and essay papers. But, you shouldn't worry anymore, once you have grasped this concept, nothing can limit you from high scores in your academic papers. Read on to for insightful information concerning this subject. It's time to turn your nightmare into a beautiful dream.
What's a thesis statement?
A thesis statement states the purpose of your paper. Often, it appears in the last sentence of the introduction paragraph, and it is usually one sentence. But, when the subject is complex, you can incorporate another sentence to make it two. It gives your work a sense of direction and a focus on the investigation you conduct. It allows you and the reader to understand the ideas you are discussing and the purpose of your paper.
Additionally, it brings about the argumentative part of your paper and depicts the conclusions you've reached on your topic. Lastly, it's the main idea, and you have to provide evidence to support it.
Guidelines for writing a thesis statement
Choose a few topics to discuss
To come up with a thesis statement, there must be a topic. Choose a few topic ideas, google, if it's a must. You may also generate a topic in consideration of your assignment. Ensure that you enjoy writing about that issue. You don't want to tackle a subject you don't love, as you will regret this. The question you pick should be worth your efforts. When choosing a topic, be as specific as possible as broad topics can be challenging to cover. Also, you don't want to tackle a problem which has been exhausted, one which is covered severally. Or rather, don't choose a topic that doesn't carry much importance.
For instance: 'why I do house chores.'
Such topics may not provide a good thesis statement since you might lack evidence to support your idea. You should generate a topic from something new, something controversial, entertaining, and contestable. Good topic ideas are road maps to the perfect thesis.
Once you have settled on a topic, it's time to research, and have tons of information about that topic. You need to ensure the information is current and relevant. You can use academic databases to come up with pertinent details. The information should be in relevance to your thesis statement. It should be concrete and undisputed. Feel free to eliminate any information that may contradict your thesis statement. You don't want people to question the relevance of your whole paper.
Start writing your paper
With the information you came up with, it's time to put everything down. In each paragraph, have a topic sentence and supporting sentences to support your main idea. You should gear all the information towards your thesis statement. Also, you should cite useful sources and resources. After all, you don't want to be accused of plagiarism as it's an academic crime. Like in the bible, you need to give Caesar what belongs to him and God what belongs to him too. So, you should give credit where it's due.
Finally, it is time to revise. Double-check your thesis statement. Ensure the thesis statement is neither too long nor too short, but it should undoubtedly highlight your idea well. Come up with a thesis statement after writing your paper, It's easier compared to when you begin tackling the assignment. Remember, a good thesis statement takes time. You will have to come up with several drafts before coming up with an amazing one.
Importance Of A Thesis Statement
A good thesis statement should be arguable and not only factual. Facts are easy to prove since they are correct. Unfortunately, they make your work sound boring and prevent you from writing engaging content. They can also limit your ability to be creative while demonstrating your analytical and critical thinking skills. The following are some advantages of a thesis statement.
A thesis statement ensures your paper focuses on one idea or subject. You base other paragraphs and points in your essays on it, thus coming up with logical and relevant ideas for your piece. Having strong arguments will make your work stand out, a clear indication of a work done well. Also, your teacher's feedback and grading depend significantly on the thesis statement, remember, it's the heart of all your work. Lastly, it acts as an eye-opener to your readers, since it certainly shows your position on a topic. And, the readers can understand if it's something they would love to read.
Questions To Ask While Formulating A Thesis Statement
Before formulating a thesis, there are specific questions to ask yourself to ensure you are on the right path. Some of which include;
Is the statement specific?
At first, the statement might not be a clear as it's supposed to be. But, after a few drafts, you can end up with perfect one, once you determine where your argument is taking you. Incorporate subordinating conjunction if need be. For example: 'because,' 'since,' and 'although.' You can combine two sentences connected loosely by a coordinating conjunction such as 'and,' or 'but,' to form a solid sentence. When your thesis focuses on a single aspect, you are on the right track.
Is the statement clear?
Being precise is a sure way that your reader would understand what you mean. To be clear, use simple language. Avoid technical terms and jargon unless you are handling technical content. Also, you should avoid common words like 'unusual', 'difficult,' 'interesting,' and abstract words like 'culture' and 'society.' People will always interpret such words differently.
Never assume what you write is always clear to the reader. If needed, you can define such terms to clear the confusion. To avoid misunderstandings, specificity is a must.
Check if the thesis statement is original
Generic arguments and formula statements are annoying; everyone uses them.
For instance, 'there are many advantages and disadvantages to playing football.'
The reader might raise questions like, so what? They can find this information anywhere else. To be original, then it's best to use active verbs and sentences. Instead of mentioning 'society,' you can say 'men and women.' Or use 'news reporters' and 'journalists' instead of 'media.' The media is too general. To live an excellent impression on the reader and then avoid quoting in the thesis statement, you need to ensure you are insightful and your words memorable to your readers.
Is your thesis statement announcing your position on the issue you are discussing?
You need to mention your position. How are you planning to tackle the issue at hand? To achieve this, you need to be original. When a subject is complex, find a way to make sure your reader understands the intensity of your message. When you write about a fact, go beyond the proven facts, incorporate your ideas to ensure that your points matter. Your statements should point out a conclusion on the subject you are tackling.
Example of a weak statement: Travelling to a foreign country has a lot of advantages and disadvantages
There is no stand, as it's mentioning the advantages and disadvantages. That makes the statement weak and vague.
Example of a strong thesis statement: Travelling to a foreign country is breathtaking and refreshing; it unleashes an amazing part of you.
The sentence points out a hidden part of you that you will discover when you move to a new country
Is the thesis statement expresses one main idea?
You don't want to incorporate two ideas into one thesis statement. This would confuse your readers about what the topic is about. Your paper should undoubtedly have one idea. For instance, when you are writing about travel, let it be about that; you should not incorporate food or dressing as this might steer the thesis statement towards an unwanted direction.
How To Come Up With A Thesis Statement
There are several ways to come up with this statement. Some of which include;
- Making your thesis a question
But how, you might wonder? It's simple. Turn your essay topic idea into a question. Example: travelling. Is travelling really well for your soul?
- Brainstorm answers
Once you come up with your questions, you can brainstorm the solutions? Come up with multiples answers. You can even Google to ensure you have a variety to choose from. For instance: you get to discover your true self, achieve peace of mind, you learn to appreciate life more, you learn the actual value of life and discover that your home will always be the best.
- Choose a thesis answer
Based on the answers you brainstormed, choose the main one that has the most impact and covers all the other aspects you want to talk about.
- Have a thesis road map
Making a road map would take you close to your goal. A road map acts like a GPS. It takes you closer to your thesis goal. Road map consists of the answers you've brain stormed, the benefits of the answers you chose and finally the thesis statement For example: is travelling well for your soul? Travelling is a life-changing experience for any individual as it makes you understand yourself more, learn life experiences, and appreciate life more.
What Does A Thesis Statement Contain?
A thesis statement is an integral part of nearly any paper, apart from creative writing. The thesis statement consists of four elements. A simple sentence containing your main idea, the reason why you support the idea, an argument to your claim in case there is any, and essential piece of information to support your position. Other facts like length, position, and strength, determines the quality of a thesis. The following are important parts you can include in your thesis statement to come up with a strong one.
- The thesis question-These questions can be in the form of; why do? What causes? How can we solve it? How does? What's the history of?
- What are other people's thoughts concerning the subject?-You can use phrases such as although, according to, even though, most people assume, previously people have discussed
- Transition- Transition words make your thesis strong. Words like in reality, however, actually, truth is, however, I suggest
- What you think- the reason is, the cause is, the best solution, what happens is
- Note down three or more topic ideas – because of the following three reasons, three or more steps, three or more aspects, etc.
Example: "Even though most people think travelling to a foreign country is terrifying, the reality is that this isn't true because of the exposure, new experiences, and fantastic culture one gets to experience.
You can use any structure to form your thesis statement. As long it makes sense. You can organize your thesis depending on the type of text. It can be argumentative, cause, evaluation, or expository. For a persuasive argument to be strong, it should be arguable, something that not everybody agrees on, but each has a different opinion on the subject.
Additionally, you need to organize a thesis statement coherently, with the topic, the claim, and the significant points. It should be informative and brief; it should also contain your opinion on the issue and the issue you support. Lastly, the statement should be based on a logical basis and not rumors. No matter, your thesis statement is a personal opinion or not, you have to back it up with logic and facts.
To wrap up, a thesis statement shouldn't be a hard nut to crack. Once you learn the basics, every academic paper and assignment would be easy to tackle. With the above information, nothing should stop you from getting high scores in your papers. Happy writing!