How to Write a Thesis Statement
You can write a thesis statement in an academic essay by explaining facts, making a valid point, or analyzing a problem your topic aims to solve. A thesis statement forms the bulk of any point your academic essay or paper aims to make.
Your thesis statement might appear different depending on the kind of academic essay you plan to write. However, the statement should always state the central idea clearly, so readers can understand your point with ease. All other points in your thesis should relate to the main idea in this statement.
Let’s see everything about thesis statements below and how you can write one with ease.
What is a Thesis Statement?
A thesis statement is one or more sentences stringed together to state the purpose and topic of your academic paper. A sound thesis statement will define the structure of your paper and allows your reader understand ideas you will discuss later.
Well-written thesis statements must be concise, coherent, and contentious. You do not want to confuse or bore your reader with a lengthy and incoherent paragraph.
Thesis statements should be in the opening paragraphs of your essay and are usually at the last sentence of your introduction. The length of a thesis statement largely depends on your topic and how many ideas you wish to discuss.
Steps to Write a Thesis Statement
Step 1: Begin with a question
A valid research topic should answer a question, and this question should form the basis of your thesis statement.
For example, let’s say your topic seeks to identify the impact of learning aids on the reading ability of disabled people. Your question should be:
Has learning aids had a positive impact on the reading ability of disabled people?
You can proceed to the next step after defining an answer in line with your topic.
Step 2: Write an answer to your question
Write a tentative answer to your question after conducting research. You can form a simple answer that directly backs any point you plan to make.
For example, let’s say your topic aims to talk about social media and its effect on communication. After research, your answer could be:
Social media has had more of a positive than negative effect on communication
Step 3: Improve your answer
Your first answer might need improvement to include:
- why you chose the answer, and
- points to convince readers to agree with your answer
Your thesis statement should state your position and draft valid arguments to support it.
Step 4: Add valid points to your answer
You need to refine your thesis statement to inform readers with few important points. The thesis statement should show readers what they will learn from the essay, vital points in your argument, and why you hold that position.
Step 5: Fashion the answer to be in line with your thesis
Your thesis statement must clearly be in line with the essay you’re working onr.
Types of Thesis Statements
The thesis statement you choose should be in line with your essays goals. Your goals vary depending on your topic, so here are three (3) major types of thesis statements you can use in your academic essay:
Expository thesis statement
An expository thesis statement aims to explain all facts of a topic or steps in a process. Most expository thesis statements do not have to take a rigid opinion but must clearly show central points you plan to make. The statement should also identify all key elements you wish to explain.
Example of an expository thesis statement
- The Trans-Atlantic slave trade is closely linked to Portugal and Britain’s economic prosperity in the 17th and 18th centuries. The development of coastal port towns like Lagos and Ouidah as major trading posts along with the establishment of strong banking systems made commerce possible.
With no strong opinion formed above, the statement still shows valid points the topic intends to explore. In addition, this statement defines all crucial elements required to shed more light on the given topic.
Argumentative thesis statement
An argumentative thesis statement always takes a strong position. It seeks to convince readers that the argument posed in the essay is based on logic and evidence.
Example of an argumentative thesis statement
- Although people see massive public surveillance in China as a negative, positive social effects from it far outweigh any downside. More surveillance in public spaces helps ensure order and promotes the personal safety of all citizens.
The statement above makes a strong point that based on evidence available. It seeks to convince readers about the benefits of public surveillance without sounding vague.
Analytical thesis statement
An analytical thesis statement seeks to define your paper’s topic, what you analyzed, and conclusions reached from your analysis. It is one of the most common thesis statements for science research assignments and essays.
Example of an analytical thesis statement
- An analysis of alternative power sources to coal and other fossil fuels shows that better options are available in wind and solar energy.
From the statement above, we can see that:
- the analysis (alternative power sources) comes first,
- the topics (coal and other fossil fuels) comes second, and
- the conclusion (wind and solar energy) comes last.
Such statements provide clarity and helps writers summarize their entire research idea into a single sentence.
Why do I need to write a thesis statement?
A thesis statement is important in a research paper or academic essay to give your writing focus and direction. Thesis statements also helps readers get a summary of your major point without having to read everything.
How should I form a thesis statement?
You can form a thesis statement by asking questions about your topic, writing an initial answer, and include reasons to back up your answer.
How long should a thesis statement be?
A thesis statement might be between 1 – 3 sentences long. Single-sentence thesis statements are ideal for topics without complex subjects. Two or more sentences in a thesis statement helps the writer break down complex aspects of the topic.
Where should the thesis be in an academic essay?
You can place your thesis statement at the end of your academic essay’s introductory paragraph. Placing your thesis statement in the best position gives readers insight into what to expect from other parts of your research.
A thesis statement sums up the central idea in your essay. The statement acts as a signpost for your entire argument and should pass its main idea across easily. Follow the steps and tips above to write an engaging, concise, and coherent thesis statement for your academic essays.