The main goal of academic writing is to offer your personal ideas, insights, and conclusions to show readers that you not only fully understand what you study, but also consider relevant concepts in your unique way while developing thoughts as a result of your deep analysis. A thesis statement is an important component of academic writing, and it’s a single sentence focused on the result of your analysis and thoughts. It also offers the main argument or insight in a condensed form. A thesis statement serves as a foundation of the entire paper and informs readers what you want to achieve with it and what you will either prove or disprove. You need to base your paper around it, so it must be well-considered and contain all the necessary parts.
The definition of thesis statements
What is a thesis statement? Basically, if assignment prompts ask you to argue, analyze, compare and contrast, interpret or establish a cause, you need to base your paper around a well-defined thesis statement. It sets out your personal position and other sections must refer back to it in one way or another.
Basic thesis statement elements
What are the parts of a thesis statement? It always consists of a few key components, including:
- A limited subject;
- Your precise opinion;
- The blueprint of reasons.
First, choose the limited subject that meets the requirements of your instructors or teachers. A precise opinion provides readers with your unique answer to a given question about this subject. A good one is important for their comprehension of the main goal of your writing. The blueprint of reasons is a plan and it lets you see the right shape of all ideas before discussing them in separate paragraphs. Although you can write down all thoughts before getting a clear sense of this blueprint, readers shouldn’t encounter details without being informed what points they support.
How, what, and why
Your thesis also needs to include a few additional elements:
- What? Your claim about the chosen topic;
- How? Relevant sources, ideas, and events chosen to prove the claim you make;
- Why? The importance of your opinion in terms of understanding the chosen subject as a whole.
General thesis statement writing tips
To end up with a quality thesis statement, consider the following helpful suggestions:
- It must contain the chosen topic and your explanation, assertion, or analysis about it (the right type depends on the paper you need to write);
- In descriptions and narratives, its role is less important, but it’s still necessary to give a statement to guide readers through your essay;
- It’s a very specific statement that covers only what you wish to discuss in a paper and it must be supported with reliable evidence (its scope is determined by the necessary word count and other assignment requirements);
- It appears in the end of your introduction to let readers get a clear idea of what to expect next;
- Think of this statement as a guide or a map for you and readers, so it’s useful to draw a special picture or chart of all ideas and their connections before getting started;
- A thesis can be changed when writing and revising your paper.
Keys to writing a winning thesis statement
The key to writing a successful thesis depends on whether it contains the necessary characteristics, such as:
- Being singular because it must contain only one strong idea to keep the entire paper well-focused;
- Being assertive because it should state what you want to prove in other section;
- Being well-positioned because it’s always included in the introduction;
- Being as specific as possible to make your stance clear;
- Being changeable because you may want to alter it when writing or proofreading your paper.
The assertiveness of your statement means telling readers what you want to prove in your paper. Understanding what you want to achieve in it can be complicated to some students. That’s why writing the actual thesis is one of the most confusing and daunting aspects of academic writing. Ensure that it informs readers of what you propose to make it clear from the very beginning. Remember that it’s not a subject of your paper, but a point of view or its interpretation. A thesis is a specific claim that you make and you use the rest of your assignment to argue it. Besides, assertiveness means that your statement takes a clear stance or position on the chosen topic and sets out to support it.
When dealing with more complex topics, it’s quite tempting to make a scope of your writing as large as you can. You need to resist writing a piece that combines too many concepts instead of choosing a single thread to be explored thoroughly. Discuss only one concept in your paper and elaborate it or your writing won’t have any clear focus. Many small statements will only confuse readers and weaken their overall impression.
Being specific means that your thesis must draw things together, so it should be a powerful and single claim. Consider the introduction as something that contains the components necessary to be functional. Check whether each element helps you make a strong statement or it’s just a minor fact. However, it’s not a brief rerun of the opening paragraph, but a specific stance that you have. After reading a well-focused thesis, it must be clear to other people where you direct the rest of your paper.
The right position for your statement is the beginning of your essay. You can choose between two popular options when deciding where to place it:
- Some students prefer to discuss background information before building up their thesis, so it serves as a brief conclusion of the introduction;
- Others start with a statement to make the rest of the introduction meaningful.
Your choice depends on such basic factors as a given topic, your writing style, thesis, and assignment prompts.
In research papers, it’s easier to write a thesis because you know a hypothesis and use it as a basis. For essays, you should establish the main aim and the direction of your writing. Although a thesis is its foundation, it doesn’t mean that you must write it first. Read background information and check relevant sources before doing that. You start with a working thesis that may change as you write and revise your essay. You can refine and modify your statement as you uncover more facts or change your opinion slightly. For instance, when proving arguments, you may decide that the opposite opinion is true and change your thesis completely. It’s not a problem at all, and it’s just a normal part of any writing process. Once your essay is ready, check everything to ensure that your thesis is addressed and each paragraph is related to it.
Writing different thesis statements
In analytical papers, you need to break down a given idea or issue into basic parts, evaluate it, and present results to readers. Analytical thesis statements must explain the following:
- The main parts of your analysis;
- What you’re analyzing;
- The right order to present this analysis.
When other people read this thesis in any academic paper, they expect a clear explanation of your analysis and evaluation. There are certain questions that should be asked to come up with a strong analytical statement:
- What do you analyze?
- How do you discover after analyzing?
- How is it possible to categorize all important discoveries?
- In what order do you need to present them?
How to write explanatory or expository thesis statements
In expository essays, it’s necessary to explain something to readers. This means that expository or explanatory thesis statement should tell them the following:
- What you will explain in your paper;
- Different categories that you want to use to organize the entire explanation;
- The right order in which you will present all of these categories.
When writing any expository statement, you also need to ask a few important questions to make it strong and winning:
- What do you want to explain in your paper?
- How is it possible to categorize your explanation into different components?
- In what order do you need to present these important parts?
Helpful guidelines for argumentative thesis statement writing
In argumentative essays, you’re asked to make a strong claim about the chosen matter and justify it with clear reasons and proven facts. The claim that you make can be an opinion, an evaluation, an interpretation, a policy proposal, etc. Ensure that it’s a statement that some people may disagree with because the basic purpose of this type of writing is to convince others that your main argument or idea is true according to your unique presentation of strong evidence and reasons. Your argumentative thesis statement must tell readers the following:
- Your assertion or claim;
- The evidence and reasons that can support it;
- The right order in which you want to present all supporting facts.
To end up with a winning argumentative thesis statement, don’t forget to ask a few basic questions, such as:
- What is the assertion or claim that you want to make in your essay?
- What are the reasons or proofs that you have to back it up?
- In what order will you present all supporting details?
When you give clear answers to the above-mentioned questions, you’ll make the best statement and write a successful argumentative essay based on it.
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