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A thesis statement is a short statement that summarizes the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, etc., and is developed, supported, and explained in the text by means of examples and evidence. Whatever piece of work in which the thesis statement is being used, it should always adhere to the guidelines governed by its school of thought or . Examples
“This book is filled with entertaining words, some of which are very confusing.” “Wikipedia has a fascinating history, especially on how it got started!” “If it weren’t for the dictionary, we wouldn’t know the meaning of words.” Main Sections in a Thesis
There are seven main sections included in a thesis which includes,
7.Table of Figures
Title page contains a unique topic on which the research is based, it is short yet descriptive. Abbreviations are avoided in title. It also includes author’s name. If the research paper is for some academic purpose, it includes the course name, semester and year. 2.Abstract
It is the part that summarizes the whole research into one paragraph (usually). It majorly includes the purpose of the research, the method used in conducting the research (with the names or the brief description of the methods used), the major findings of the research and discussion section that involves interpretation and future recommendations 3.Method/Procedure
This section describes as what has been the method used for the research, that is how you did it and what you did? It explains strategies, procedures, calculations, scientific methods and equipment’s description. The basic idea behind this is to provide reader a sufficient amount of information that explains the whole research report. Further this part also explains as how the data was gathered, how the analysis carried out and the sample selected for the research. 4.Result/Conclusion
This part incorporates the end point of the result that is the result of the conducted research. In this section, a researcher proves the point and includes weather the hypothesis he stated got accepted or rejected. It also gives some guidelines or recommendations for future research.
This part includes the list of sources or reference articles used for writing the research report. This could include the websites, articles, books etc. used to gather the relevant information for the research.
It includes information that has been the side part and not essential but is needed to clarify the information without creating the burden in the body of the research. This part isn’t mandatory and therefore it is hardly found in the research reports. This part includes graphs, raw data, maps or other relevant diagrams. 7.Table of Figures
A table is created which includes the figure numbers in sequence to help readers get better clarity of the research analysis.
Things to Avoid in a Thesis
There are certain things to be avoided in a thesis,
•Direct Quotes: It is advised not to use direct quotes in a scholarly technical paper because the research paper should contain the researcher’s own thoughts and findings.
•Incorrect Verb Tenses: Using wrong verb tenses are common in an academic research paper. These verb tenses includes “We, “Us ,etc.
•Not Proofreading:Spelling mistakes, grammar mistakes, incomplete sentences, irrelevant information and other such errors must be avoided. Proofreading is very much important to make a research paper worth acceptable.
•Incorrect Formatting: Formatting is one of the essential parts of research report. Academic writers at times don’t pay much attention on format and as a result it creates the uneven format mainly in tables and diagrams. The preview must be checked before printing to avoid such mistakes.
The thesis statement is that sentence or two in your text that contains the focus of your essay and tells your reader what the essay is going to be about. Although it is certainly possible to write a good essay without a thesis statement (many narrative essays, for example, contain only an implied thesis statement), the lack of a thesis statement may well be a symptom of an essay beset by a lack of focus. Many writers think of a thesis statement as an umbrella: everything that you carry along in your essay has to fit under this umbrella, and if you try to take on packages that don’t fit, you will either have to get a bigger umbrella or something’s going to get wet. The thesis statement is also a good test for the scope of your intent.
The principle to remember is that when you try to do too much, you end up doing less or nothing at all. Can we write a good paper about problems in higher education in the United States? At best, such a paper would be vague and scattered in its approach. Can we write a good paper about problems in higher education in Connecticut? Well, we’re getting there, but that’s still an awfully big topic, something we might be able to handle in a book or a Ph.D. dissertation, but certainly not in a paper meant for a Composition course. Can we write a paper about problems within the community college system in Connecticut. Now we’re narrowing down to something useful, but once we start writing such a paper, we would find that we’re leaving out so much information, so many ideas that even most casual brainstorming would produce, that we’re not accomplishing much. What if we wrote about the problem of community colleges in Connecticut being so close together geographically that they tend to duplicate programs unnecessarily and impinge on each other’s turf? Now we have a focus that we can probably write about in a few pages (although more, certainly, could be said) and it would have a good argumentative edge to it.
To back up such a thesis statement would require a good deal of work, however, and we might be better off if we limited the discussion to an example of how two particular community colleges tend to work in conflict with each other. It’s not a matter of being lazy; it’s a matter of limiting our discussion to the work that can be accomplished within a certain number of pages. The thesis statement should remain flexible until the paper is actually finished. It ought to be one of the last things that we fuss with in the rewriting process. If we discover new information in the process of writing our paper that ought to be included in the thesis statement, then we’ll have to rewrite our thesis statement. On the other hand, if we discover that our paper has done adequate work but the thesis statement appears to include things that we haven’t actually addressed, then we need to limit that thesis statement. If the thesis statement is something that we needed prior approval for, changing it might require the permission of the instructor or thesis committee, but it is better to seek such permission than to write a paper that tries to do too much or that claims to do less than it actually accomplishes.
The thesis statement usually appears near the beginning of a paper. It can be the first sentence of an essay, but that often feels like a simplistic, unexciting beginning. It more frequently appears at or near the end of the first paragraph or two. Here is the first paragraph of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.’s essay The Crisis of American Masculinity. Notice how everything drives the reader toward the last sentence and how that last sentence clearly signals what the rest of this essay is going to do. What has happened to the American male? For a long time, he seemed utterly confident in his manhood, sure of his masculine role in society, easy and definite in his sense of sexual identity. The frontiersmen of James Fenimore Cooper, for example, never had any concern about masculinity; they were men, and it did not occur to them to think twice about it. Even well into the twentieth century, the heroes of Dreiser, of Fitzgerald, of Hemingway remain men. But one begins to detect a new theme emerging in some of these authors, especially in Hemingway: the theme of the male hero increasingly preoccupied with proving his virility to himself. And by mid-century, the male role had plainly lost its rugged clarity of outline. Today men are more and more conscious of maleness not as a fact but as a problem.
The ways by which American men affirm their masculinity are uncertain and obscure. There are multiplying signs, indeed, that something has gone badly wrong with the American male’s conception of himself. The first paragraph serves as kind of a funnel opening to the essay which draws and invites readers into the discussion, which is then focused by the thesis statement before the work of the essay actually begins. You will discover that some writers will delay the articulation of the paper’s focus, its thesis, until the very end of the paper. That is possible if it is clear to thoughtful readers throughout the paper what the business of the essay truly is; frankly, it’s probably not a good idea for beginning writers. Avoid announcing the thesis statement as if it were a thesis statement. In other words, avoid using phrases such as “The purpose of this paper is . . . . ” or “In this paper, I will attempt to . . . .” Such phrases betray this paper to be the work of an amateur.
If necessary, write the thesis statement that way the first time; it might help you determine, in fact, that this is your thesis statement. But when you rewrite your paper, eliminate the bald assertion that this is your thesis statement and write the statement itself without that annoying, unnecessary preface. Here are the first two paragraphs of George Orwell’s classic essay, “Politics and the English Language” (1946). Which of these sentences would you say is or are the thesis statement of the essay which is to follow? Everything that follows in this essay, then, would have to be something that fits under the “umbrella” of that thesis statement. Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent, and our language—so the argument runs—must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.
Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The point is that the process is reversible. Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step towards political regeneration: so that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers. I will come back to this presently, and I hope that by that time the meaning of what I have said here will have become clearer. Meanwhile, here are five specimens of the English language as it is now habitually written.
What is a thesis?
A thesis statement declares what you believe and what you intend to prove. A good thesis statement makes the difference between a thoughtful research project and a simple retelling of facts. A good tentative thesis will help you focus your search for information. But don’t rush! You must do a lot of background reading before you know enough about a subject to identify key or essential questions. You may not know how you stand on an issue until you have examined the evidence. You will likely begin your research with a working, preliminary or tentative thesis which you will continue to refine until you are certain of where the evidence leads. The thesis statement is typically located at the end of your opening paragraph. (The opening paragraph serves to set the context for the thesis.) Remember, your reader will be looking for your thesis. Make it clear, strong, and easy to find.
Attributes of a good thesis:
It should be contestable, proposing an arguable point with which people could reasonably disagree. A strong thesis is provocative; it takes a stand and justifies the discussion you will present. It tackles a subject that could be adequately covered in the format of the project assigned. It is specific and focused. A strong thesis proves a point without discussing “everything about …” Instead of music, think “American jazz in the 1930s” and your argument about it. It clearly asserts your own conclusion based on evidence. Note: Be flexible. The evidence may lead you to a conclusion you didn’t think you’d reach. It is perfectly okay to change your thesis! It provides the reader with a map to guide him/her through your work. It anticipates and refutes the counter-arguments
It avoids vague language (like “it seems”).
It avoids the first person. (“I believe,” “In my opinion”)
It should pass the So what? or Who cares? test (Would your most honest friend ask why he should care or respond with “but everyone knows that”?) For instance, “people should avoid driving under the influence of alcohol,” would be unlikely to evoke any opposition.
Simple equations for a thesis might look something like this: Specific topic
+ Attitude/Angle/Argument = Thesis
What you plan to argue + How you plan to argue it = Thesis
How do you know if you’ve got a solid tentative thesis?
Try these five tests:
Does the thesis inspire a reasonable reader to ask, “How?” or Why?” Would a reasonable reader NOT respond with “Duh!” or “So what?” or “Gee, no kidding!” or “Who cares?” Does the thesis avoid general phrasing and/or sweeping words such as “all” or “none” or “every”? Does the thesis lead the reader toward the topic sentences (the subtopics needed to prove the thesis)? Can the thesis be adequately developed in the required length of the paper or project? If you cannot answer “YES” to these questions, what changes must you make in order for your thesis to pass these tests? Examine these sample thesis statements.
Visit our thesis generator for more advice.
Proficient vs. Advanced
Proficient: Inspires the reasonable reader to ask “How?” or “Why?” Advanced: Inspires the reasonable reader to ask “How?” or “Why?” and to exclaim “Wow!” This thesis engages the student in challenging or provocative research and displays a level of thought that breaks new ground. Remember: Reading and coaching can significantly improve the tentative thesis.
As you read look for:
Interesting contrasts or comparisons or patterns emerging in the information Is there something about the topic that surprises you?
Do you encounter ideas that make you wonder why?
Does something an “expert” says make you respond, “no way! That can be right!” or “Yes, absolutely. I agree!” Example of brainstorming a thesis:
Select a topic: television violence and children
Ask an interesting question: What are the effects of television violence on children? Revise the question into a thesis: Violence on television increases aggressive behavior in preschool children. Remember this argument
is your “preliminary” or “working” thesis. As you read you may discover evidence that may affect your stance. It is okay to revise your thesis! For more ideas on brainstorming visit Purdue’s Thought Starters Create a list of sample questions to guide your research:
How many hours of television does the average young child watch per week? How do we identify a “violent” program?
Which types of programs are most violent?
Are there scientific research studies that have observed children before and after watching violent programs? Are there experts you might contact?
Which major groups are involved in investigating this question? For basic advice on almost any writing issue as you work on this major project, visit the Purdue OWL Handouts and our own Research Project Guide and our MLA Stylesheet. For advice on selecting your sources, visit Why Should I Take this Author Seriously?
Now, let’s play: Is it a thesis?
I would like to become a chef when I finish school
Although both chefs and cooks can prepare fine meals, chefs differ from cooks in education, professional commitment, and artistry.
I enjoy white water rafting.
A first water rafting experience can challenge the body and spirit and transform an adolescent into an adult
Men are chauvinists.
Our American family structure encourages men to repress their true feelings, leaving them open to physical, psychological, and relationship difficulties.
Steroids, even those legally available, are addictive and should be banned from sports.
Hip hop is the best thing that has happened to music in twenty years Though many people dismiss hip hop as offensive, hip hop music offers urban youth
an important opportunity for artistic expression, and allows them to articulate the poetry of the street.
Many people object to today’s violent horror movies.
Despite their high-tech special effects, today’s graphically violent horror movies do not convey the creative use of cinematography or the emotional impact that we saw in the classic horror films of the 1940s and 50s. Other examples from St. Cloud University
Your turn: Now let’s work together to develop thesis statements around areas in which we already have some background knowledge. Here’s a few ideas: high school sports, school uniforms, high stakes testing, steroid abuse, divorce, school dances, music censorship Let’s start by brainstorming keywords and concepts.