The Importance of the Thesis Statement

By | January 19, 2014

The thesis statement is the single most important sentence in a college dissertation and can be found in the starting as well as the ending of a research paper.

A thesis statement has the objective of conveying the goals of the research topic to be studied and what the writer hopes to learn from the research. In short, a thesis statement is a one line gist of your entire dissertation.


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Finding a Topic: The very first step in writing college research papers is finding s topic that is of interest to the writer and the reader. Once the subject that you are going to write on is decided, you need to narrow it down sufficiently to create a topic that is narrow and focused. For example, a student studying English Literature wants to write a research paper on fairy tales. But there are hundreds of fairy tales and the topic becomes too broad for the student to handle. A better topic can be ‘the origin of fairy tales has ancient and dark basis.’ This is a more narrowed down topic and also provides an opening for argument. A student can come up with various different arguments to support this thesis.

Controversial Topics: A lot of students shy away from controversial topics for fear that they will get negative publicity. However, the hallmark of a good researcher is that he needs to address any topic that he deems worthy. Even at the level of controversy, students need to deal with valid facts from credible sources and not just conjectures and opinions. Also a student needs to ensure that he does not willfully sets out to cause offense to any group or society in his thesis.

Ambiguous Statements: A student’s thesis statement must not convey ambiguity as that will confuse the reader as well. If a student is not able to find sufficient information about his topic, all he needs to do is research a little deeper. For example, a student may argue that classical music should be mandatory for all students, but how will he support his claim. He might find proof in the form of journal articles that suggest that young children who listen to classical music tend to have better logical and analytical skills in future life. This can serve as basis to help you further narrow down your topic.

Flexible Statement: Above all, your thesis statement should be flexible and should easily be revised during the course of your dissertation writing. Sometimes, during research a student finds information that he finds intriguing but is unable to add it to his thesis statement because of it being too rigid. Hence a flexible statement can help you add new ideas to your custom dissertation.

Once the entire research paper has been written, a student needs to revisit his thesis statement and ensure that it is compatible with the following guidelines:

1) It clearly indicates the writer’s direction of thought.

2) It is not ambiguous but specific.

3) It gives the setting for the research paper.

4) The paragraph in the body support its claims

5) And it is compatible with the concluding paragraph.

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