Writing a Great Research Paper Thesis Statement

When writing a research paper, your thesis statement is a very important part of your essay, because it is the first thing your professors will see when they read your paper.  The purpose of a thesis statement is to explain the main idea of your research paper, what you are trying to answer, and to inspire those reading it, to want to learn more about the subject.  It is the hook that will reel your audience in and prepare them for the rest of the paper.  Writing a great thesis statement takes a lot of critical thinking about what you are researching.  However, you cannot expect to be able to write a great thesis statement, until after you have done your research.  With that in mind, here are some helpful tips to get you started. 

First, your thesis statement should be presented in the introduction of your research paper, and restated in the conclusion at the end of your paper.

  • This is done to bring the readers back to the original purpose of your essay so that you can lead them into the results of your research and whether or not you addressed the question or problem regarding your topic. 

Remember that your thesis statement should be specific and address only the points of your topic you will be discussing in your paper.

  • It tells the reader why your topic is important in an interesting way, convincing them to want to know more. 

Your thesis paper is first seen in the introduction of your paper, which is essential a literal map or guide of what you will be discussing. 

  • Think of your thesis statement as the key to that map, explaining what the information your paper will show them. 

Formulate your thesis from the research you have done. 

  • Look at your notes and outlines to see the relationships between all the different facts of your topic.
  • How are they similar or different from one another?
  • Asking these kinds of questions will help you to start formulating argument ideas that you can support with evidence. 

Your thesis statement should be one that can be challenged.

  • A research paper follows the rules of the scientific method, so it must be written about a topic that you can create a hypothesis about.
  • Being able to support or prove your thesis through the research and date you have collected, helps to validate your paper as a valid source of information. 

Finally, be sure to ask yourself specific questions regarding your thesis. 

  • Is my thesis statement strong enough to convince my readers the importance of my research topic?
  • Have I clearly stated what I will talking about or trying to prove?  Do I have enough evidence support my thesis statement?  If not, you may have to revise your statement to one that your can be clarified by your research. 
  • Can you make a hypothesis regarding your thesis and the results you expect to find or express by your work?
  • Is it interesting enough to catch the attention of the reader?
  • Is it specific enough and and does it address my primary objective?

If your thesis does not follow these rules or cannot answer these basic questions, you may need to go through your work again and create a new one.  Remember, one of the basic rules in the writing process, is to reread and revise.