Thesis Statement Definition
One of the most vital components of most papers, be it an essay or a research paper, is its thesis statement. Hence, knowing thesis statement definition is important for creating one. A thesis statement is a sentence stating the general idea of your paper. It depicts what you want your paper to show and what you wish to convey to your readers. It acts as a foundation for the entire paper as it informs the readers exactly what you want to achieve with the paper.
Creating a thesis statement can be challenging, particularly for students. However, it is important to know how to write one, since the thesis statement is the heart of your essay.
Defining Thesis Statement
What is a thesis statement?
Generally appearing at the end of the introductory paragraph of a research paper or an essay, a thesis statement provides a brief summary of the primary claim or point of that essay or research paper. Although usually appearing at the beginning, it can occur multiple times throughout the writing. In the course of the paper, the thesis statement is supported, explained and developed through the means of evidence and examples. These statements help in organizing and developing the system of proper writing. That is why they are crucial components of research papers.
In short, a simpler thesis statement definition would be a short statement summarizing the main idea and/or central purpose of the text. Any paper you write must have a main point, a central message or idea. The arguments you make through your writing should be reflecting this idea. The sentence capturing your position on this main idea is what is called a thesis statement.
How long is a thesis statement?
Thesis statements are short as they only focus on your main idea. Therefore, they are usually one or two sentences long. The sentence(s) should present your paperâ€™s topic and also make a comment on your position relative to the topic. The thesis statement you use should tell your reader what the paper or essay is about. Also, it should be helpful in keeping your argument focused and thus, guide your writing.
Where is the thesis statement?
As stated by the thesis statement definition, the statement needs to be in the introductory portion of your work. You need to provide a thesis early in your writing, so it should ideally be in the introductory paragraph. Having said that, in case of longer essays, the thesis statement can even be in the second paragraph. Providing the thesis statement early helps you stablish your position and provide a sense of direction to your readers. So, remember, you must always avoid putting the thesis statement late in the paper or somewhere in the middle of a paragraph.
Developing an argument through your thesis statement
You need to propose an argument in your thesis statement that shall be developed further in your paper. Before you begin, here are some tips that might help:
- Go through your sources thoroughly and compare them:
When you are writing a research paper or an essay, you rely on some sources, be it an online blog or a book. You need to note down the main points of the sources. Make sure your sources do not conflict with each other. In your paper, donâ€™t just summarize the claims of your sources. Instead, try to elaborate their motives.
- Thesis drafting:
You need to refine your paper by drafting a thesis. Once you have committed your paper to thesis, you will be able to conduct your research and draft your paper.
- Consider all the arguments:
There are two sides to every argument. While refining your thesis, you need to consider the counterclaims and then refute them in your essay.
Problems faced by students
Simply knowing the thesis statement definition itself doesnâ€™t help you create a strong thesis statement. Students are prone to committing some common mistakes while writing thesis statements, including:
- Clarity of the thesis statement:
Your thesis statement is a part of your writing, and just like the rest of your paper, it needs to be as clear as possible. That way, readers can understand exactly what you mean and what you want to convey.
- Specificity of the thesis statement:
It is a must for your thesis statement to be absolutely specific. Generally, as you continue to revise your arguments, you continue to refine your thesis, such that it evolves and gains a specific definition. Thus, your statement precisely specifies the argument of your paper.
- Too general:
Your thesis must be limited to what you can accomplish within the specified number of pages. You need to shape your statement in such a way that you get straight to the matter. You should never settle for writing something that just skims the surface.
If you are aware beforehand and avoid making the obvious mistakes, you are good to go. You should know what to write in your thesis statement and where to place it in your paper. A strong thesis statement works wonders for your paper as it lays the foundation for your entire work.
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