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How to Compose a Proper Thesis Statement for a Research Paper

Any topic for writing can seem too complex, vague, or simply uninteresting if you fail to explain your own interpretation and personal opinion of the issues you are going to discuss to the reader. In short, your thesis statement presents the main idea of your paper, an argument that you will support with evidence in the body of your paper in order to convince the reader of your point of view. Your thesis should be brief, clear, and specific; while stating the purpose and the focus of the paper.

  1. A thesis statement should not simply reiterate the topic.
  2. A thesis for a research paper has a lot in common with that of an essay. The only difference is that the information and evidence to support it should come from reliable sources. The thesis argument, however, should be made your own by analyzing the topic.

  3. A thesis statement is not a fact.
  4. It is the result of your personal way of thinking, organizing, and analyzing the information. It doesn’t simply state a well-known fact, but reflects the relationships between the facts that you were able to find; such as cause and effect, contrasts or similarities, categorizing, rating, and suggesting a possible solution for a problem.

  5. A thesis statement is not a question.
  6. When developing a research thesis, it is recommended to start with a research question. The purpose of your research is to answer that question and find enough valid evidence to prove it. However, your thesis statement is not a question, but rather an answer that structures your argument and entire paper.

  7. A thesis statement is not final.
  8. Formulating it may not be something you’ll be able to do at once, as you need to decide what kind of statement you can prove most effectively. This may require a lengthy thought process, as well as initially coming up with a “working thesis” that can be revised and altered later. After you have done enough research about the topic or issue, you can modify your “working thesis” to make it more specific or make your argument stronger. The evidence that you were able to collect and organize after completing the research should support your thesis specifically and effectively. If it doesn’t corroborate well with your thesis, you have to either change the thesis or re-structure the body of your paper. You may need to make adjustments in the process of your research and when organizing information.