A Thesis, also known as a dissertation, is a document that presents an author’s research and findings. It is used to support a candidate’s argument in pursuit of an academic degree or professional qualification. Each paper requires a Thesis statement: a one-sentence statement that declares a point of view on a subject matter, offering a concise summary of the main idea expressed in the paper. Usually appearing at the end of an introductory paragraph, a Thesis statement should make a claim and then directly answer that question in the dissertation.
What does a Thesis statement do?
- Conveys a single, core idea.
- Assertively answers the question the thesis seeks to answer.
- Takes a stand on a claim that can be disputed by informed individuals.
- Deals with a subject that can be adequately researched and argued.
- Provides the process or methodology used to reach the conclusion.
4 Tips on how to write a Thesis statement
Thesis Tip #1: Keep it short and punchy. The one-sentence statement should concisely communicate the point of the paper, but still be engaging enough to entice the reader to read the entire document. Use specific language instead of vague adjectives, as well as statistics or facts to make it more compelling. For example, instead of saying ‘makes it more better‘, say ‘shows a 37% improvement‘.
Thesis Tip #2: Be easily understood. A layman or someone unfamiliar with the subject matter should be able to read the thesis statement and immediately understand what the paper is about, and the author’s position on the idea. So avoid technical jargon or abbreviations when constructing the sentence. A good test is to have a friend with no knowledge of the subject matter read the statement; if they understand it, then it works.
Thesis Tip #3: Simple but not simplistic. Writing a thesis statement as a generalised judgment oversimplifies the complex question or issue the thesis is trying to solve, making the reader wonder, ‘why bother?’. For example, ‘we must stop climate change’ is a simplistic thesis statement that might cause derision for your thesis. However, rewording it to ‘4 million people will go hungry if climate change isn’t controlled in the next three years’ better drives home the complex issue surrounding your subject matter.
Thesis Tip #4: There can be only One. It is very easy to get distracted by all the ideas that naturally emerge during the research process of a dissertation. A very common mistake is to becoming distracted by them, losing focus of the core idea and argument the paper is trying to make. The same is true of the Thesis statement. Avoid the temptation to include multiple ideas or supporting arguments in the statement and keep it focussed on the the main, and only point.
Interested in pursuing a postgraduate degree? Speak to a Higher Education Consultant