How to Write a Thesis Statement for a Research Paper

If you are a student struggling with a task of composing a good research paper, than you are probably aware of the significance of correctly crafted thesis statement. In-depth study, analysis of reliable sources you found as well as properly developed arguments are of the highest value when it comes to composing a research paper, and one should not underestimate how important it all is to the general success of the whole piece.

However, one of the most significant things in the process of creating of such piece is grasping a correct understanding of how to write a thesis statement for a research paper. It lays the ground for the whole paper right there in an introduction to your research. There are plenty of examples of a good thesis statement for a research paper that illustrate this point perfectly.

Unfortunately, many students today ignore its significance and fail to formulate a proper statement which results in mediocre grades as well as the lack of readers’ interest in their paper. They believe that entirely developed opinions, great evidence as well as excellent sources they take the information from are more valuable than this one sentence. However, it is not so, and that is the reason why we have decided to help you understand how to form a thesis statement for a research paper in the best way possible as well as how to avoid most common mistakes students make when working on it.

However, before we proceed to actual suggestions on how to write a thesis statement for research paper, let’s define what a thesis statement is, as without the clear vision of what this part is all about, you will end up unsure about how to compose it properly.

What is a thesis statement?

Every experienced traveler knows that it is important and sometimes even vital to have a route map, especially if they are going on a dangerous hiking trip to the mountains. Without it, they might easily get lost in the impenetrable jungle or walk in circles instead of moving towards the final destination. As a result of such development of events and due to lack of provision which is essential in this case, they might get some physical injuries or in the worst case scenario die. None of this would happen if only they had a route map with them.

A thesis statement is a road map you leave for your readers. It draws a big picture for them by explaining what your whole text will center around as well as what they can expect. By looking at it, they can gain a better understanding of where they are regarding the author’s position. A good thesis statement for a research paper helps them realize whether they are interested in this particular theme or not. Apart from this, thesis statements have many other functions which we will discuss in the next section.

Thus, as you see, it is important to formulate a proper thesis statement. But how exactly can you do it? After studying a whole lot of material covering this subject, we have crafted a list of practical tips we hope you will find useful while composing this last sentence of your introduction.

7 tips on how to write a strong thesis statement for a research paper

1. Don’t make it too broad or too narrow.

By referring to a general issue, students deprive themselves of an opportunity to describe particular thoughts they have about something. Besides, they might end up confused and not so sure of what to write about now.

On the contrary, do not pick narrow themes which will have little to no space for you to research and explore. Aim for a happy middle ground.

2. Pick questions which have opposite answers to them.

The whole point of an essay is to give room to heated discussions as well as present opposing positions. Look for questions which do not have only the right and wrong answers to them. Opt for gray zones where things are rather debatable.

Besides, do not write things which can be supported or opposed with just one simple “Yes/No.” Remember that a thesis statement is an introduction to a research paper. If you choose something readers cannot discuss or disagree with, they will not continue reading it.

So, search for interesting topics. You can even get help from social media here as there are tons of recommendations there on what themes to pick for an argument.

3. Mention whether you support or oppose the idea.

The whole idea of thesis statement for a research paper is to make it clear to readers what side you are on. Do not try to be politically correct (as long as you stay within smart and legitimate norms). It is what this whole task is about.

So, instead of wasting readers’ time by leaving them guessing whether you support or oppose the idea, state it clearly and move on to backing it up in the main body sections.

4. Back up the thesis statement in the paper.

Writing a thesis statement for a research paper is pretty much meaningless unless you can support it later on. What we mean here is that if you select a topic you are not really good at, than you might end up sounding hollow and prejudiced. So, unless you have a list of reliable sources to consult and refer to in the paper, do not choose themes you do not feel very comfortable about.

Also, you can use the name of the author or an institution you refer to in order to make your thesis more powerful. It is one of the key ideas of how to make a thesis statement for a research paper strong and persuasive.

All in all, pick statements you want to prove and back them up with evidence.

5. Use the correct structure of a thesis statement.

One has to be rather creative to compose a quality thesis statement. However, creativeness does not mean that there should be no structure.

For instance, you can put it this way: “Because of parents who refuse to vaccinate their kids, deadly infections keep spreading around the USA. Thus, to prevent them, the vaccination should be made obligatory for all children.”

As you can see from this example of a thesis statement for a research paper, there is a statement from which it is clear what position the author supports. However, readers can easily oppose their position by hearing them out and using evidence to prove that their position is wrong.

So, stick to using a subject, mentioning your opinion, and demonstrating what you are going to talk about regarding this topic.

6. Do not ask a question.

If there were a thesis statement maker for a research paper, it would never allow people to use questions as a thesis statement. It is essential to pose a question to yourself when you work on paper as it increases your chances of achieving the primary goal of the whole piece. Consider making sure you answered it before you start writing.

However, a question is not appropriate in the form of a thesis statement. It requires clear opinions on particular subjects with a hint of how these opinions will be proved right.

So, make sure you don’t ask a question in this part of your writing.

7. Put it at the end of your introduction.

If you feel like you are ready to create a thesis statement for a research paper now, make sure you place it at the end of the introduction. It is a perfect spot for it.

If you are familiar with the basics of how the introduction should look like, than it is not a surprise for you that it should begin with a hook which serves one purpose. Its purpose is to attract one’s attention to the text. There are many things one can do to make this first sentence truly attention-grabbing including adding a quote by a famous person, providing statistics (people love numbers), or even disclosing some unknown facts.

Think of what would make you interested if you were a reader.

Then such hooks should resolve into one or two sentences which strive to develop the idea. And only after these sentences, your thesis statement comes. Now, as readers are waiting for the climax and are interested in what you have to say, you can present your perfectly crafted thesis statement and let them see your position on certain things as well as how you are going to back up what you believe in.

We hope that from our article, you gained a better understanding of how to write a good thesis statement for a research paper. One can also search for useful examples of such thesis statements online to see how professional and experienced writers deal with a tricky issue of thesis statement composition. Make sure you saved the tips we provided above as they have helped many students before you. They are tried and true, so keep them in mind and good luck!