How to Write a Good Thesis Statement for a Research Paper
If you want to write an outstanding and successful research paper, you should definitely work on your thesis. Your ideas can look ineffective and blurred without a direction. Here are some recommendations on how to write a strong thesis statement:
- Be brief and simple.
Write your thesis in one or two clear and accurate sentences.
- Answer a question.
Your thesis should reveal the main purpose of your research paper, so it must be an answer to the question, “what am I trying to prove?” Remember that you should never form your thesis as a question.
- Be sure that your thesis passes the “so what” test.
One of the most effective ways to check if your thesis is effective is the “so what” test. Don’t forget that it should clarify the main purpose of your research paper.
- Be flexible.
If your thesis and body do not fit with each other, you should change one of them. It is acceptable to change your working thesis statement if it’s not appropriate to the main idea of your paper, or if you’ve decided to choose another direction for your research.
- A thesis shouldn’t look like a fact.
One of the most popular mistakes people make is writing an undisputable fact or observation instead of an argumentative thesis. Remember that your thesis statement should reveal your own point of view and may be opposed and debated.
- Avoid using first person.
Your instructor knows this is your paper, so you shouldn’t use such unprofessional phrases like “I want to show” or “I am going to prove.”
- Get the approval of an instructor.
It’s better to get your thesis statement approved before you start writing the research.
- Answer the “how” and “why” questions.
If your thesis statement raises the questions of “how” and “why,” it means that it is not clear and direct to the reader. Review it and change something in it.
- Place your thesis into your paper.
It is common to place a thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph of the paper or in the introduction.
- A thesis shouldn’t be a list.
Since a thesis statement must be brief and clear, you shouldn’t write it like a list.
- Use your own words.
Of course, it’s okay to use quotations in a research paper, but definitely not in a thesis statement. Write an original and memorable thesis statement, and you will get credibility by impressing your readers with your own ideas and words.