September 5, 2021

thesis statement

If the earth were to be compressed as much as neutron stars are, it would be a sphere with a diameter the length of a football field. That is the power of compression, at least, and is what a thesis statement does to: 

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And typically all other kinds of academic works. 

What is a Thesis Statement? 

A thesis statement is a one or two-sentence condensation of the main arguments of an essay or an academic paper, usually those of the analytical or argumentative kind.

Reducing thousands of words of academic work into one statement takes some skill and effort, and we're going to learn how to do that in this article.

We will explore what a thesis statement is and what it is not, the qualities of a good thesis statement, and the process of writing an effective one for any kind of paper.

We can do this because at Help for Assessment, we are a team of highly learned and experienced academicians who deal with all kinds of academic essays, projects, and papers every day. We assembled this guide to help students at all levels of education. 

We know how and why a good thesis statement culminates into a great paper, and will even write your academic assignment for you at very affordable rates. You can trust Help for Assessment to write you A-level papers and essays every time, and all you have to do is leave us your order. 

What a Thesis Statement Is and Is NOT

The way a thesis statement sums up your paper is that it answers the main research question in one statement. Every paper and essay has one main question or problem it attempts to tackle. For example, a paper about green energy might be dealing with the question of whether solar and wind power can replace coal power in the grid. Thus, its thesis statement might be something like, 

“Due to the inconstancy of solar and wind power, coal power plants are still necessary to ensure uninterrupted power supply in the US.”

What Makes a Strong Thesis Statement? 

From this statement, we can draw on a few qualities that make a strong thesis statement.

1. Standpoint

A thesis statement should represent the author’s personal stand on the subject at hand, at least as represented in the paper. In this example, we can see that the author thinks thermal coal power plants is necessary because renewable energy is not reliable.

Also, note that instead of just taking a general position, the statement gives a justification for the stand. A merely universal statement such as “coal power plants should not be decommissioned” would be unhelpful at best.

2. Scope 

A proper thesis statement should be very specific. It should be a straight-to-the-point answer on the general question being discussed, which means it should have a very narrow focus, sufficient to justify treatment in a full academic paper. 

However, take care not to limit yourself too much. 

For example, in this case, saying "Green electricity cannot replace non-renewable energy" would be too general. Saying that "the Navajo coal power plant should be replaced with solar energy" would be too specific, and probably not enough for a full research paper. Strong thesis statements are usually the result of narrowing down the topic to a country, company, industry, historical period, etc. 

3. Clarity 

Clarity and simplicity is the strength of a thesis statement. Even the most complex and technical papers can be reduced into a few statements without getting too shallow. While you can use technical terms and phrases, it is encouraged to use simple English in a thesis statement.

Clarity comes from sticking to one main idea. Thus, if you have two ideas or two approaches, choose one and stick to it.

4. Originality

Originality means that the statement answers the hows and whys raised by the reader. For example, our statement leaves the reader wondering why solar and wind power are inconstant. This makes our statement weak in that part, which can easily be corrected by a phrase "because solar and wind power depends on unreliable wind and sun … " This statement serves better to answer the "how" and "why."

5. Relevance

Simply put, the thesis statement should answer a "so what?" question. Why is your paper or argument important? Is it worth spending hours reading it? In this case, our statement is already intriguing enough, but we can refine it further by adding something else:

"Even as the world struggles to reduce carbon emissions, sun and wind energy are not sufficient to replace coal power plants in the US because they rely upon unpredictable sun and wind energy."

That is a one-sentence golden thesis statement, no doubt. By making sure your thesis statement fulfills these five conditions, you can craft good ones quickly and easily. 

What a Thesis Statement is Not

Thesis statements are more complicated than they look. What you think is initially a good one can easily turn out to be a dud. Avoid these common but mistaken thesis statements that:

  • Are a statement of fact - a thesis statement embodies the soul of the paper. It is not merely descriptive of its contents. Thus, you shouldn't say, "reasons why coal power plants are still in operation despite developments in green energy." That statement is purely descriptive rather than being analytical or argumentative.
  • Begin with "the point of this paper is …" - A thesis statement does not begin like that, ever. It should occur naturally without announcing itself. In other words, it should not be conspicuous.
  • Appear in the body - the only place for a proper thesis statement is in the introduction.
  • Are a research question. A thesis statement is intimately connected with a research question because one is drawn from the other, but they are not interchangeable. Thus, a thesis statement does not take the form of a question.
  • Are inconsistent- It is common practice to write a thesis statement before starting your paper, but the paper can evolve and change. Always evaluate your thesis by the end of the writing process to ensure that it is precise and accurate.

Even then, you should realize that thesis statements vary slightly depending on the type of paper you’re writing. That can be:

  • An expository paper - One that explains something, in which case the statement will be more descriptive and narrative.
  • Analytical - this is a paper that intends to break down the subject matter into its parts, evaluates them, and presents them for the audience to make up their mind on it. In this case, a thesis statement will be more neutral. It won’t take a stand.
  • Argumentative - the classic essay is argumentative, which means that it will be trying to justify one point of view or another. In this case, the statement must clearly articulate and justify its position and present the main argument(s).

Having explored that, its now time to go through the process of crafting gold-standard thesis statements.

How to Write a Strong Thesis Statements

Thesis statements are founded on topics that you may either have to provide yourself, select from a list, or create from topics assigned by the teacher. In any case, the process of crafting a good statement is the same. We will assume that you already have a topic, whether assigned or not, and go from there.

1. Reduce the topic to a question

A topic is just an indicator. You first need to convert it into a question addressing a specific problem so that you can have direction and focus. For example, if we had narrowed down our topic to solar and wind power generation, we might ask ourselves, why hasn't solar and wind power not replaced coal power plants that release a lot of carbon II oxide? 

The question is referred to as a research question. You will not include it in the essay, but it is very important to formulate one. It should be clear, specific, and interesting.

2. Conduct general research to try and answer the question

Find sources that have the answers you're looking for. Online sources are the easiest to use at this stage since you just want general knowledge and context to help answer the RQ. In the course of this research, you will be able to decide on the scope of your investigation and what stand you want to take.

3. Pick a side based on what you know.

Make an informed decision on what side you want to be on, unless you're writing an expository or analytical essay. You should typically only support a position that has strong supporting evidence. Even if you're passionate about one thing and you have no credible support data, fact stumps passion in this case.

4. Draft two or more sentences summarizing the answer to your research question

The research will let you know exactly what you need to address in your paper. Condense it into two statements, or one if you can. These statements should be exhaustive but concise, written in answer to your research question.

5. Refine the statement

Your thesis statement will need to develop with your paper. As your essay grows, you will find that some subtle changes occur. You might even have to rewrite it, which is okay. Just make sure that by the end, your thesis statement is an accurate representation of your paper.

Need Help With Your Thesis Statement?

Crafting perfect thesis statements is only one step of the way. You will still have the paper to worry about, and we can't guarantee that it will be as easy as this. Luckily, Help for Assessment is here to help you ace that assignment or project. Our experts range from undergraduates to Ph.D. holders, so you are always assured of top quality work based on in-depth, original research. 

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About the author 

Antony W

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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