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How to Write Your Thesis

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❶Even though television can be educational, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch. Child Review of ciliary structure and function.

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How to Write a Thesis Statement


A thesis statement always belongs at the beginning of an essay. This is because it is a sentence that tells the reader what the writer is going to discuss. Teachers will have different preferences for the precise location of the thesis, but a good rule of thumb is in the introduction paragraph, within the last two or three sentences. Finally, for a persuasive thesis to be strong, it needs to be arguable. This means that the statement is not obvious, and it is not something that everyone agrees is true.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are easy to make because it just takes three ingredients. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are fun to eat because they always slide around. Composing a thesis statement does take a bit more thought than many other parts of an essay.

However, because a thesis statement can contain an entire argument in just a few words, it is worth taking the extra time to compose this sentence. It can direct your research and your argument so that your essay is tight, focused, and makes readers think. We also have guides to help anyone make APA citations for books, websites, and other sources.

Informative and Persuasive Just as there are different types of essays, there are different types of thesis statements. Formula for a Strong Argumentative Thesis One thing I find that is helpful for students is having a clear template. The Qualities of a Solid Thesis Statement When composing a thesis, you must consider not only the format, but other qualities like length, position in the essay, and how strong the argument is.

Example of weak thesis: Example of a stronger thesis: Writing is her life. She holds a master's in literature, teaching basic writing at the college level and tutoring in writing at all levels. What is the implication of the present results for other unanswered questions in earth sciences, ecology, environmental policy, etc?

There are usually several possible explanations for results. Be careful to consider all of these rather than simply pushing your favorite one. If you can eliminate all but one, that is great, but often that is not possible with the data in hand. In that case you should give even treatment to the remaining possibilities, and try to indicate ways in which future work may lead to their discrimination. A special case of the above.

Avoid jumping a currently fashionable point of view unless your results really do strongly support them. What are the things we now know or understand that we didn't know or understand before the present work? Include the evidence or line of reasoning supporting each interpretation. What is the significance of the present results: This section should be rich in references to similar work and background needed to interpret results.

Is there material that does not contribute to one of the elements listed above? If so, this may be material that you will want to consider deleting or moving. Break up the section into logical segments by using subheads. Conclusions What is the strongest and most important statement that you can make from your observations?

If you met the reader at a meeting six months from now, what do you want them to remember about your paper? Refer back to problem posed, and describe the conclusions that you reached from carrying out this investigation, summarize new observations, new interpretations, and new insights that have resulted from the present work. Include the broader implications of your results. Do not repeat word for word the abstract, introduction or discussion. Recommendations Include when appropriate most of the time Remedial action to solve the problem.

Further research to fill in gaps in our understanding. Directions for future investigations on this or related topics. Simpson and Hays cite more than double-author references by the surname of the first author followed by et al. Pfirman, Simpson and Hays would be: Nature , , National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commonly asked questions about ozone.

Harper Collins Publishers, New York, pp. Child Review of ciliary structure and function. Biochemistry and Physiology of Protozoa , Vol.

Hutner, editor , Academic Press, New York, Bonani A high altitude continental paleotemperature record derived from noble gases dissolved in groundwater from the San Juan Basin, New Mexico. Tables where more than pages. Calculations where more than pages. You may include a key article as appendix. If you consulted a large number of references but did not cite all of them, you might want to include a list of additional resource material, etc. List of equipment used for an experiment or details of complicated procedures.

Figures and tables, including captions, should be embedded in the text and not in an appendix, unless they are more than pages and are not critical to your argument.

Order of Writing Your thesis is not written in the same order as it is presented in. The following gives you one idea how to proceed. Here is another approach. Write up a preliminary version of the background section first. This will serve as the basis for the introduction in your final paper.

As you collect data, write up the methods section. It is much easier to do this right after you have collected the data.

Be sure to include a description of the research equipment and relevant calibration plots. When you have some data, start making plots and tables of the data. These will help you to visualize the data and to see gaps in your data collection. If time permits, you should go back and fill in the gaps. You are finished when you have a set of plots that show a definite trend or lack of a trend.

Be sure to make adequate statistical tests of your results. Once you have a complete set of plots and statistical tests, arrange the plots and tables in a logical order. Write figure captions for the plots and tables. As much as possible, the captions should stand alone in explaining the plots and tables. Many scientists read only the abstract, figures, figure captions, tables, table captions, and conclusions of a paper.

Be sure that your figures, tables and captions are well labeled and well documented. Once your plots and tables are complete, write the results section. Writing this section requires extreme discipline. You must describe your results, but you must NOT interpret them.

If good ideas occur to you at this time, save them at the bottom of the page for the discussion section. Be factual and orderly in this section, but try not to be too dry. Once you have written the results section, you can move on to the discussion section. This is usually fun to write, because now you can talk about your ideas about the data.

Many papers are cited in the literature because they have a good cartoon that subsequent authors would like to use or modify. In writing the discussion session, be sure to adequately discuss the work of other authors who collected data on the same or related scientific questions.

Be sure to discuss how their work is relevant to your work. If there were flaws in their methodology, this is the place to discuss it. After you have discussed the data, you can write the conclusions section.

In this section, you take the ideas that were mentioned in the discussion section and try to come to some closure. If some hypothesis can be ruled out as a result of your work, say so. If more work is needed for a definitive answer, say that. The final section in the paper is a recommendation section. This is really the end of the conclusion section in a scientific paper.

Make recommendations for further research or policy actions in this section. If you can make predictions about what will be found if X is true, then do so. You will get credit from later researchers for this.

After you have finished the recommendation section, look back at your original introduction. Your introduction should set the stage for the conclusions of the paper by laying out the ideas that you will test in the paper. Now that you know where the paper is leading, you will probably need to rewrite the introduction. You must write your abstract last. Always avoid jargon, unless you are confident your audience will be familiar with it. Compare the original thesis not specific and clear enough with the revised version much more specific and clear: Although the timber wolf is a timid and gentle animal, it is being systematically exterminated.

Although the timber wolf is actually a timid and gentle animal, it is being systematically exterminated because people wrongfully believe it to be a fierce and cold-blooded killer. Does your thesis include a comment about your position on the issue at hand? Avoid merely announcing the topic; your original and specific "angle" should be clear. In this way you will tell your reader why your take on the issue matters.

In this paper, I will discuss the relationship between fairy tales and early childhood. Not just empty stories for kids, fairy tales shed light on the psychology of young children. We must save the whales. Because our planet's health may depend upon biological diversity, we should save the whales. When you make a subjective judgment call, specify and justify your reasoning. Socialism is the best form of government for Kenya. If the government takes over industry in Kenya, the industry will become more efficient.

Avoid merely reporting a fact. Say more than what is already proven fact. Go further with your ideas. Otherwise… why would your point matter? Hoover's administration was rocked by scandal.

The many scandals of Hoover's administration revealed basic problems with the Republican Party's nominating process. Is your thesis statement original? The point you make in the paper should matter: Be prepared to explain why the point you are making is worthy of a paper.

Why should the reader read it? There are advantages and disadvantages to using statistics. Careful manipulation of data allows a researcher to use statistics to support any claim she desires. In order to ensure accurate reporting, journalists must understand the real significance of the statistics they report.


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This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can craft or refine one for your draft. Introduction. Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying.

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begin writing, choosing options in the following hierarchy - paragraphs, sentences, and words. Here is another approach. Write up a preliminary version of the background section first. This will serve as the basis for the introduction in your final paper.

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Writing Tips: Thesis Statements. Defining the Thesis Statement; Questions to Ask When Formulating Your Thesis; Defining the Thesis Statement What is a thesis statement? Every paper you write should have a main point, a main idea, or central message. The argument(s) you make in your paper should reflect this main idea. Aug 31,  · Write down your thesis. Writing down a preliminary thesis will get you on the right track and force you to think about it, develop your ideas further, and clarify the content of the paper. You will be able to think about your thesis logically, 77%().

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Remember that the thesis statement is a kind of "mapping tool" that helps you organize your ideas, and it helps your reader follow your argument. In this body paragraph, after the Assertion, include any evidence–a quotation, statistic, data–that supports this first point. Once you have a working thesis, write it down. There is nothing as frustrating as hitting on a great idea for a thesis, then forgetting it when you lose concentration. And by writing down your thesis you will be forced to think of it clearly, logically, and concisely.