How to Write a Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is a statement that gives a clear and straight forward summary of the main idea of a research paper and the claims, it is the central idea. It talks about the topic being discussed clearly, it also points out the major points or claims discussed in the paper. It is also written for a particular type of audience. It is a complete statement that expressly shows your stand on a particular topic or area of interest. It usually appears at the last part or concluding part of the first paragraph in the introduction section of your work. It is important to know how to create a proper thesis statement. It should be written in a way that is unambiguous, specific enough, giving a clear direction for the whole paper, in view of the eventual conclusion of the paper and expressing your stand on the topic in such a way that there can be further discussion. It should not be a statement of fact that cannot be argued, it should be written in a way that is arguable. A statement of fact might be like ‘guns are dangerous’ while an arguable thesis statement may look something like ‘government should stop the carriage of guns by policemen except in needful situations’.
A thesis statement might either be direct or indirect, when it is an indirect thesis statement, the reasons are not stated precisely while for direct thesis statement, reasons are clearly stated. To write something like ‘I love to travel to Nigeria for two reasons’, I love to travel to Nigeria is the topic and ‘two reasons’ are indirect thesis statement. But if it written as ‘I love to travel to Nigeria because of their diversity and climate’ then that is a direct thesis statement. It is the thesis statement given that is buttressed and juxtaposed in the course of writing the paper providing examples and using proofs. The thesis statement lets the reader in on what the writer is trying to prove or establish with the paper.
How your thesis statement will look will be based on what the objective of the paper you are writing is. Your thesis statement can take on any of these looks based on your paper’s objective:
If your paper is going to be an argumentative type, then your thesis statement will likely take an argumentative form. You should state your stand on the topic or matter being investigated, and also highlight the logical points you will employ to argue and support your stand. You should not only declare what your position is on the topic in your thesis statement, you should ensure you also talk about the major points and proofs that you will use to make your reader agree with you.
If your objective at writing the paper is simply to pick on aspects of a topic and talk on facts relating to your topic, then you should ensure that when writing your thesis statement, it includes the major area that you will touch on. Ensure that it is clear enough to let your reader know what your main topic is and the aspects or points that your paper will touch on.
In this case it might simply be that you want to offer analysis, interpretation and state your appraisals as regards a particular topic. Then you should ensure that you state all the major points contained in your analysis and also highlight what deductions you will be making based on your evaluations. Ensure you mention what you will be evaluating, your purpose for the evaluation, be as clear as possible so your reader can be well informed about your work.
Why should you have a good thesis statement?
You should have a good thesis statement for your paper as this is what narrows down the focus of you discuss into a simple statement or two. It will clearly state the essence of your paper. It allows you to be able to construct your writing in a directed and focused manner.
It will also serve to help you to put your argument in a more orderly manner and from your thesis statement you know exactly what you are standing to defend as regards your topic. This helps you to develop all of your work around that major argument. Very importantly it serves to give your readers a specific idea of your position on the topic you are talking about. You should ensure that your thesis every part of your paper is written with your thesis statement at the back of your mind to guide and give the right focus.
A proper thesis statement will:
Take a solid stand and will present it as a statement on which people can either agree or disagree logically and based on evidences and proofs.
Major on a particular important idea.
It is usually a complete statement presented in one or two sentences.
How can you create a good thesis argument?
Develop a research question
In cases where you are already given a topic for the paper, then you should find a way of turning the topic to a question, find a way of coining a relevant and appropriate research question from the topic you are given. If no specific topic is given, then you should still form a research question based on the area of interest that your paper is going to focus on. What major question will you like to answer with your paper or writing. Regardless of how complex the topic is, you should be able to form a research question from it.
Answer the question
You should then provide answer to the research question that you have asked. You can provide the answer in one or two sentences. You could do some background research to be able to provide an informed answer to the question you asked. This initial answer you give to the question is just a tentative one, which should help give direction in your researching and putting together of your paper. Your answer should state your position on the topic if it’s an argumentative paper.
Give proofs to support your answer
While you are doing the research, you will likely discover more proofs and points to back up your answer, that is your initial thesis statement, as you discover more proofs, try to adjust your first answer to include these evidences. Continue to adjust and polish your thesis statement as you progress in writing your paper.
How long your thesis statement is, will be determined by how many reasons you are touching on. Usually your thesis statement should just be one sentence, or two, but usually a single sentence involving two clauses at the least, an independent clause, stating your position or stand, and a dependent clause talking about the points or reasons for the stand or position you’ve taken.
Your stand on a particular topic should be made as clear as possible and early enough in your paper. It should be stated right from the introduction, the usual place to put your thesis statement is the concluding part of the first paragraph as earlier stated. You should ensure that your thesis statement is such as can be argued, and such as is not a commonly known fact or just an opinion.