Academic writing can be intimidating, especially for an individual who is new to this type of composition. One important aspect of many academic papers is a solid thesis statement.
What is a Thesis Statement?
A thesis statement consists of one or two sentences that provide the reader with a brief summary of the direction of the paper. Rather than simply stating the topic, a thesis statement should indicate what argument is being made about that topic. A thesis is intended to answer a question, so a good thesis statement should briefly explain the basic premise of the argument.
How to Generate a Thesis Statement
When it is time to write a thesis statement, the author should already be deeply familiar with the material and the question being answered. One of the first steps in creating a thesis statement is isolating the primary question being answered by the paper. The rest of the thesis statement should be a concise answer to that question.
It is important to be specific because a vague answer does not give the reader a reasonable idea of what to expect. Additionally, the argument presented should be a claim that readers or experts could reasonably dispute. A statement that cannot be proven false is not a good thesis. Finally, the thesis statement and the paper should be fully connected. A paper that strays greatly or frequently from the thesis will lose readers.
Qualities of a Good Thesis Statement
- The thesis should answer the question
- It should be specific and avoid cramming too many ideas into one or two sentences. Vague statements should also be avoided
- The thesis statement should describe a disputable argument. If the statement cannot be proven false, it is not a good thesis statement
- A good thesis statement should use reader-friendly and accessible language. The potential audience should be considered
Example Thesis Statements
Male participants outperform females in spatial navigation tasks.
This relatively short statement answers a question of male versus female performance on a particular task. The statement is a specific answer to that question. A fellow researcher could easily attempt to dispute those findings.
The downward shift in the economy promotes the election of polarizing political extremists.
This statement should precede a paper that discusses how a troubled economy could contribute to the election of extreme politicians. Readers and researchers can dispute such a claim.
The convenience and accessibility of social media marketing makes traditional advertisement methods obsolete.
This specific and disputable statement narrows the focus to how more modern technologies are making older methods of advertisement outdated.
Practice will eventually make generating thesis statements an automatic step in the writing process. By following the appropriate steps and examining the aspects of a good thesis statement, this step of academic writing can be mastered.