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- How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples
How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples
Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on September 14, 2022 by Eoghan Ryan.
A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . It usually comes near the end of your introduction .
Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.
You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:
- Start with a question
- Write your initial answer
- Develop your answer
- Refine your thesis statement
Table of contents
What is a thesis statement, placement of the thesis statement, step 1: start with a question, step 2: write your initial answer, step 3: develop your answer, step 4: refine your thesis statement, types of thesis statements, frequently asked questions about thesis statements.
A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.
The best thesis statements are:
- Concise: A good thesis statement is short and sweet—don’t use more words than necessary. State your point clearly and directly in one or two sentences.
- Contentious: Your thesis shouldn’t be a simple statement of fact that everyone already knows. A good thesis statement is a claim that requires further evidence or analysis to back it up.
- Coherent: Everything mentioned in your thesis statement must be supported and explained in the rest of your paper.
The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction .
The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.
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You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis , early in the writing process . As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic , you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.
You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?
For example, you might ask:
After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process .
Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.
In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.
The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.
In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.
The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.
A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:
- Why you hold this position
- What they’ll learn from your essay
- The key points of your argument or narrative
The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.
These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.
Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:
- In an argumentative essay , your thesis statement should take a strong position. Your aim in the essay is to convince your reader of this thesis based on evidence and logical reasoning.
- In an expository essay , you’ll aim to explain the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis statement doesn’t have to include a strong opinion in this case, but it should clearly state the central point you want to make, and mention the key elements you’ll explain.
A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.
The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:
- It gives your writing direction and focus.
- It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.
Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.
Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :
- Ask a question about your topic .
- Write your initial answer.
- Develop your answer by including reasons.
- Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.
The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .
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McCombes, S. (2022, September 14). How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/academic-essay/thesis-statement/
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Looking to recruit 19 more participants for my survey
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Thesis Participants Needed
Hello everyone! I am currently getting my Master of Arts in Communication Studies and I am working on my thesis. My biggest academic passion has been the effects of parental alcoholism on children, mainly adult children (as it is much easier to study that population). I am currently conducting my thesis research study and am in the recruitment phase. My study is entitled Manifestations of Communicative Resilience in Adult Children of Harmful Parental Alcohol Use.
I know from personal experience and through a thorough literature review that ACOAs are often incredibly resilient and I am interested in studying the specific ways that resilience is demonstrated and strengthened through communication. If anyone is interested in participating that would be so incredibly helpful!
The requirements are that you must be a) over the age of 18, b) in a romantic relationship, and c) believe that one or more of your parents (does not have to be biological) suffers/suffered from harmful alcohol use. The study entails a short eligibility survey, a slightly longer main survey, and an interview on Zoom. The specific context that I am studying resilience through is serial arguments, defined as conversations in which individuals argue or engage in conflict about the same topic multiple times (at least twice) and these arguments typically end without being resolved. Please list up to 3 serial arguments that you have with your partner. Examples of serial arguments may include conversations about getting married, leaving dishes in the sink, or texting with an ex-partner. The interview is not about discussing the serial argument or disclosing any personal information, it is about sharing the ways in which you individually, with your partner, and with others communicate about, and in the aftermath of a serial argument. You will receive a $15 digital Amazon gift card as compensation for your participation.
If you or anyone you know may be interested in participating please message me so I can give you more information! Thank you so so much for reading this post and any interest in participating is greatly appreciated!
Need participants, must be 18+
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Writing a topic within Blockchain application in Humanitarian supply chains but new publication that has similar topic means I need to look for a new topic. Can anybody help me with some topics within this realm here? Hella confused
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How many hrs/day should I dedicate to my Bs. thesis if I have to finish it in a year
My bachelor’s degree is in Physics and the thesis subject is spectroscopy in food (experimental, but also a review and state of the art). I only have one year (or two semesters) to finish and so far I’ve done 5-10%.
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Is it possible to write a masters thesis in 10 days? [closed]
Was it ever possible for anyone to finish writing a master thesis in 10 days? I've been struggling for a long time now to focus on my writing due to several personal problems and I'm running close to my deadline so I'm starting to freak out. I welcome any suggestions at this point.
- 1 Can you push your deadline to next semester? – HEITZ Nov 30, 2016 at 22:43
- 4 I think that really depends on your field, how comprehensive the exact subject of your thesis is, how knowledgeable you are and how well skilled you are in academic writing. I wrote mine in a little over 25 hours in total, but this excludes reading literature and the time required for doing experiments. – pbond Nov 30, 2016 at 23:41
- 1 What @pbond said with the additional question of what the requirements of the actual thesis are. – Raydot Dec 1, 2016 at 0:44
- 1 I hope you are holed up somewhere working hard on your draft, instead of reading this comment. But if you are reading this comment, go get started! Promise yourself a little reward after a good day's work. After a few days, when you are really on a roll, THEN you may contact someone official to ask for an extension. – aparente001 Dec 1, 2016 at 2:18
4 Answers 4
If by "writing" you mean to do the research/experiments/studying and then write the thesis then no .
If by "writing" you mean transforming your well organized notes into one document, then yes , maybe if you have great discipline.
If by "writing" you mean to start to write-up from not-so well organized notes, then most probably not .
If you want to try to make it, stop hanging around on the internet and start working.
- 2 This made me laugh, which was much needed. – NZKshatriya Dec 1, 2016 at 1:28
- Concise yet precise. – Ébe Isaac Dec 1, 2016 at 4:05
- Great last sentence. – Pere Dec 22, 2016 at 19:51
It can be done, but I would be dubious of the quality. That said, I can't recall a Master's thesis that set the world on fire, so I suppose quality is a poor metric.
Here are some suggestions:
- Make sure you've got all the material you need to write because that's what you need to do -- write. Find a nest and keep all the distractions out.
- Set minimum targets for your writing. Then, meet and exceed it. I suggest setting targets that allow you to finish writing in eight days, not 10. This gives you some padding in case life gets in the way. To be clear, there are 192 hours in eight days. Allowing for a 12-hour work day, then you need to write 15,000 words in 96 hours or about 156 words an hour. Set a target of 400 words an hour.
- Make sure you have time to edit your work.
Good luck to you.
- 3 Just to nitpick: Shannon's masters thesis was actually quite groundbreaking, more so than his PhD. Apart from that, I agree with your advice. Start now. – Captain Emacs Nov 30, 2016 at 23:41
- I would love to read it. Do you have a link to the thesis or perhaps some papers that have been produced from it? – user65587 Dec 1, 2016 at 2:42
- I think it should be googleable, I do not know whether I can link it here. It is essentially how to use Boolean algebra to simplify circuits. Retrospectively obvious, it wasn't at its time. – Captain Emacs Dec 1, 2016 at 11:43
- @Captain Emacs: Although a bit old, there's the case of Luzin's Master's thesis: . . . he completed his thesis The integral and trigonometric series which he submitted in 1915. After his oral examination he was awarded a doctorate, despite having submitted his thesis for the Master's Degree. In fact, even for a Ph.D. thesis, Luzin's is one of the strongest ever written in mathematics --- probably in the top 10 to 20 of all-time for its influence on later developments. – Dave L Renfro Dec 1, 2016 at 14:48
Yes. You can write it in 10 days though the result won't be good. Make sure you write 1000 to 1500 words a day. So, rather than starting to freak out, you can start writing now
If it's an MFA thesis (average length: 2-3 pages) yes. If it's a science one where you're reporting on results and my impression is that the length isn't too terribly long, maybe. If it's a humanities one that's in the 100-150 page range, it's unlikely (I've written 10-15 pages in a day before, but I doubt I can keep that pace up for ten pages).
You should look into extending into next semester, even if it's just shooting off a quick email while continuing to work. If you have had a large number of personal problems that have negatively affected your ability to complete your school work (and are in the US, not sure how it would apply elsewhere), you should (a) speak with the counseling center on campus and (b) consider a withdrawal under extenuating circumstances (typically called a medical withdrawal, but at least at my school they are allowed for other reasons). If there's no penalty at all for extending into next semester, (b) might not even be necessary — it's super common for both master's and PhD students to miss their expected graduation date by a semester or two because of the thesis/dissertation.
But if you're running up against a hard time limit, the withdrawal would gain you an extra semester. If withdrawal isn't an option, at many schools you can also (c) petition the university to waive the time limit given your circumstances. I don't think I've ever really heard of those petitions being denied if the reason is even halfway reasonable.
Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged thesis masters writing time-management deadlines .
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A good thesis is a done thesis. Make multiple backups, and if you can, version control. Write. Make time to sit and write. Doing research for the intro topics is still part of the process. Make figures, doing biblirography things and structuring the topics is all part of it.
For thesis anxiety I found thinking about the whole thing overwhelming so focussing on a very specific task each day helped me (for example pick a single topic subsection of your introduction and aim to write that, forget the rest for that day).
Spend a lot of time researching topics and select carefully. There is nothing worse than realizing a month before the defense that your topic is weak. If you want you can PM me for pro tips. 1. level 1. bubblegupies. · 7y · edited 7y. Get a copy of an previous student's thesis from your supervisor or department. Use this as a template.
Develop the strategy for the research paper. After selecting the topic for the research, create a list of the keyword which you will use to define your research thesis. Then, list out the questions which are related to your work and try to find out the answers to those particular questions. Gather all the information related to your subject.
Placement of the thesis statement Step 1: Start with a question Step 2: Write your initial answer Step 3: Develop your answer Step 4: Refine your thesis statement Types of thesis statements Frequently asked questions about thesis statements What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay.
1 State your topic Your topic is the essential idea of your paper. It is usually a few words or a phrase that summarizes the subject of your paper. For your thesis statement, try to make your topic as specific as possible. monitoring children's television use 2 State your main idea about this topic
A thesis statement encapsulates the main points of your essay. It serves as a guidepost for the reader, indicating what the essay will argue and why. - Concise: A good thesis statement is brief and to-the-point; avoid using more words than necessary. In one or two sentences, state your point clearly and directly.
In fact, even for a Ph.D. thesis, Luzin's is one of the strongest ever written in mathematics --- probably in the top 10 to 20 of all-time for its influence on later developments. Yes. You can write it in 10 days though the result won't be good. Make sure you write 1000 to 1500 words a day.