Writing a Fascinating Thesis Statement
If you are in college doing a degree or a master's program, you will definitely be assigned to do a thesis for your final research paper. A thesis is statement which one declares to believe and intends to prove. Basically, it's all about making a case and putting it across with lots of incidents or examples to prove your point. One has to argue their claim in a persuasive essay relating to their thesis. And this is normally in the form of explanations, evidence or rebuttals; this runs from start to finish. One has to convince the lecturer, the professor or the panel about their point of view. This is also known as academic argument.
According to the University of Illinois - Centre for Writing Studies, a thesis statement is the backbone of the thesis. It centres one's ideas into one or two sentences. The thesis statement basically sums up what the research paper is about. Normally, the lecturers and professors want the writer to provide the thesis in the introduction. This is in order for the writer to make a stance and give a sense of direction to their writing. Majority of the sentences should be somehow related to the thesis statement. This depends on the type of writing the writer or student is doing. Three types of writing are preferred for thesis:
i. Argumentative - this is the literary analysis or criticism
ii. Narrative - creative and descriptive
iii. Informative -this is basically comparing, summarizing, reporting or classifying
And there are two types of thesis - descriptive and prescriptive. A descriptive thesis claims how things are whereas a prescriptive thesis claims how things should be. Basically, a descriptive thesis appeals to evidence that can be observed and confirmed by anyone, for example, 'the sky is blue'. A prescriptive thesis makes use of logic, analysis, and interpretation which appeals to the shared morals or values, for example, 'the global warming is the result of human activity'. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill defines a thesis statement as a road map. It tells the lecturer or professor or the marking panel what the paper is about. The statement makes a claim that may be disputed by others. Researchers advise writers that thesis statement should be flexible till the paper is completed. This is because if the writer discovers new information that should be included in the thesis, then rewriting the thesis statement should be easy. Harvard College Writing Centre says that a thesis can never be answered with a 'yes' or 'no'. This is because a thesis is neither a topic, nor an opinion nor a fact. Overall, a thesis statement highlights the main idea of the research paper. It helps control the ideas within the paper.
How to Write a Thesis Statement?
To come up with a thesis statement, the writer needs to ask a lot of questions. Questions are good as it's a way of seeing where one stands and whether one is comfortable with them. And as more and more questions arise, the write may revise the thesis statement to reflect what he or she really wants to discuss. The University of Wisconsin - Writing Centre states that a thesis statement can be developed by identifying a topic, developing a central point from the topic, make a draft thesis statement - make an improvement on it, and complete the final thesis. It is important to note that a good thesis statement asserts the main idea. It should say what it means and be stated clearly and most of all fulfils the research. Here are some tips to formulate a good thesis statement:
- Brainstorm ideas and topics: this helps in coming up with new ideas/topics; categories; themes; also helps in shaping thesis statement
- The writer must know the topic: it's all about being comfortable and confident with the topic. Thorough research proves to be very helpful
- Clear/Precise/Restricted: it should deal with one dominant idea
- Familiarise oneself: the writer should be familiar with different kinds of thesis statements
- Research Question: it should be noted that sometimes the research question is given by the lecturer or professor. And sometimes, the writer or students are asked to come up with it. A research question is the question which is to be answered in the form of a specific claim by the thesis statement
- Counter Arguments: the writer should always be prepared to defend himself or herself. Counter arguments help enhance one's thesis. Moreover, every effective thesis has a definable, arguable claim
- Focus: writers should explore an aspect of the topic that is important
- Pattern: writers should look for a pattern, work on it and develop their arguments and conclusions
- It's very important for the writer to make his/her stance clear: there should be no restating of facts because it leads to confusion and ambiguity
- Honesty: a writer/author should always be honesty with his/her work. Plagiarism is a total no, no. The writer/author should cite references, reflections and analyses. The idea of a thesis is a combination of the writer's original work and the study of ideas of others. It is always very important and necessary to cite and give clear references.
- Reason out: the writer should reason out his/her stance. It should be noted that readers or markers may not agree with the writer's rationale.
- Clear wording/Specific language: the thesis (research) should be well outlined and summarized.
- Draft: a writer should always prepare a draft first. This helps in identifying the main points and helps one revise the thesis.
Overall, writers should be mindful that the thesis statement should be as clear or precise as possible. This helps in getting the message across to the reader or marker and they grasp what is intended to be grasped. The writer should consult thesis (works) of other writers and authors to get a fair idea of what they are supposed to do. This makes researching and writing easy.