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What is a Thesis Statement?

Tulika Nair Aug 14, 2020
Do 24 hours in a day seem less to you because you are working on the most important paper of your life? Well, thesis papers seem to have that effect on most people. Thesis statement defines the key argument in your paper.
Most students or thesis writers tend to finalize their argument for the subject of their choice when they start their paper. The statement that puts forward this argument in black and white is known as the thesis statement. It is important to understand how to write a thesis statement.

A Thesis Statement

Most graduate or postgraduate programs require students to write a thesis or a dissertation on a topic or subject of their choice, related to their program course. A thesis statement defines the essence of the essay in a sentence or two.
The definition of thesis statement is―a part of the opening paragraph of the essay, which in a clear, precise, and focused manner, puts forward the stream of argument that the author intends to follow.
A thesis statement is generally a good measure of how focused the author is. A concise and well-thought-of thesis statement will always garner the attention of a reader. This, more than any other text in the essay, will tell the reader what to expect from the dissertation. It tells the reader about the importance that you have given to the subject.
This statement is your answer to the research question in the paper. The rest of your paper will be a methodical representation of the evidence that you have managed to collect in order to prove your answer to the research question right.
A working thesis statement refers to the one that will remain unfixed throughout the process of paper research. It helps you narrow down the scope of your paper. If you intend to write a paper on the portrayal of Afro-Americans in English novels, you may find that the area you will have to cover is too large.
The thesis statement can help you narrow it down to a paper, that will try and determine, whether the portrayal of Afro-Americans in To Kill a Mockingbird, was a reflection of the period it was written in.
This statement is generally placed at the start of the paper. It is advisable not to start the paper with the statement itself but to put in a couple of paragraphs with your ideas and then end these paragraphs with a statement, ...and therefore I would like to prove in this paper that...

Tips to Write a Thesis Statement

  • It is important for the author to understand what kind of research paper he/she is writing. Determine whether your paper is analytical, explanatory, or debatable.
  • Your thesis statement need not necessarily fall under these three categories and if not, then ensure that it is outlined boldly in the first paragraph.
  • Be sure to write the statement that is specific to your paper.
  • Ensure that the statement reflects the findings of the paper. You may have to revise your statement for the same purpose.
  • Your thesis statement cannot be a neutral statement nor can it be an overview of the topic.
  • The statement has to be arguable.

Thesis Statement Sample

Here is an example of a thesis statement written by a graduate student for her research paper entitled, Criminals in the Fourth Estate. The paper intends to prove that the reportage of crime in national newspapers does not follow the standards prescribed by the American Bar Association.
The thesis subject is a study of the reportage of crime in national newspapers, namely, New York Times and Washington Post. The study aims to research the following of ABA guidelines in crime reporting. The study intends to prove that the guidelines, which comprise nine specific features, set down by the ABA, are being violated by these crime reporters.
There may be problems while writing a thesis statement. Writing a thesis statement can be a daunting task. It is not easy to narrow down on it, when you are in the process of researching and gathering material. But in order to have a clear focus, it is essential that the statement is conveyed in a precise, concise, and objective manner.