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Thesis statement examples for research papers

May 12, 2018

Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love. Albert Einstein

In today’s world, writing is an essential skill to have for almost any profession; the importance of having a sharp writing technique requires it to be taught in every academic age group, starting from kindergarten and finishing at the Ph.D. dissertation level. With that being said, students often write spontaneously and do not set a game plan for their content goals. This problem stems from a weak central point, meaning that their paper lacks focus and direction. To avoid this problem and write with structure and eloquence, one must know how to properly formulate a thesis statement.

Table Of Contents

What Is A Thesis Statement?

One of the main reasons students struggle with this crucial component comes from a lack of technical understanding. In other words, it may be hard for them to grasp their head around the fact that the thesis is single-handedly the MOST important sentence in an entire body of writing. Taking a look at the definition, a thesis statement is the main argument or point that is set out to be proven using tools such as logical or emotional reasoning. In other words, this is the root from where everything grows.

The goal of any thesis-based paper is to make a claim about the relevant topic of discussion and defend it with logic, analysis and third-party validation (external sources). This essentially states that an author must be well-informed about the topic at hand and have factual confirmation from other parties before they can even begin developing a thesis statement. This is why it is crucially important to do thorough research and have accurate comprehension about your topic before brainstorming ideas.

Length Requirements

Just by looking at the title, we can see that a thesis statement is a short and concise summary of the main claim. This means that a properly formatted thesis should just be one complete sentence. There are, however, circumstances that may require 2-3 sentences; this usually depends on the length of the entire paper.

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For example, a five paragraph essay should only have a thesis that is one sentence long. Since there is not much to prove and details are limited, then an author must be able to summarize the idea concisely.
However, if one is writing a twenty-page research paper, then their thesis statement will most likely require several sentences, simply because there is more information to cover.

Why Is It So Important?

Writing a thesis statement correctly is the best way to organize your thoughts and narrow your focus. When one knows exactly what they are setting out to prove, they will have an easier time making valid points, defending their logic, etc. Above all else, this statement should be the first thing you as an author create when actually sitting down and working on the paper.

How To Create A Powerful Thesis Statement

Unfortunately, students commonly spend a lot of time formulating rough ideas without actually knowing what makes a good thesis statement. When writing any type of academic paper, it is important to have an organized system so that you can complete the task in a timely manner. That being said, here are five things that a good thesis statement consists of:

  1. Narrow + Focused: I can’t stress this enough: a well-written paper should not be filled with general information. As a writer, your goal is to prove your unique point or idea about a specific topic, so make sure this is reflected in the thesis.

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  1. Confidence is Key: Never say things such as “I think” or "In my opinion” when writing one of these sentences. One must be confident in their main idea and supporting points, so always present the thesis statement as a FACT.

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  1. Trump the Counterargument: Not everyone is going to agree with the points that you make or your argument as a whole. To combat this effectively, formulate the thesis in such a way that allows for opposing points; then, challenge the counterargument head-on in a body paragraph and present why your point is indeed BETTER.

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  1. Make Sure It Fits: Writers will commonly decide to create their body paragraphs before phrasing their thesis statement. As a writer, we sometimes set out to prove one thing, but in reality prove an alteration of our initial idea. That’s why it is important go to back through an ensure that our thesis fits with the points we made. If one has proved something different, then fix the thesis accordingly.

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  1. Significance Matters: Although this isn’t a crucial criterion for getting an A+, it is still important to understand the value of overall significance. In other words, will the idea you’re presenting be interesting and captivating to read? Will the audience want to know what you have to say? The best thesis statements are ones that captivate the reader and leave them thinking about the idea even after reading the final words.

Thesis Statement Examples

For many students, the best way to learn is to see some realistic examples. EssayPro understand this, so here are five examples of statements that went from “meh” to “oh wow”!

Example 1

A: The death penalty should not be abolished because people who commit violent crimes should be punished.

B: Although many argue that human life is sacred, the death penalty should remain for people that commit brutal crimes and offer no positive value to their society.

For example 1, thesis B is the better one because the author gave a more descriptive and narrowed version for their beliefs. This makes it easier for them to prove their point overall.

Example 2

A: Owning a college degree should not be a requirement for professional positions in the workforce.

B: If a candidate has work experience, reasonable competency in the field and shows a strong work ethic, they should not be eliminated from contention for a position simply due to the lack of a college degree.

In example 2, option B provides three different subpoints it will use to prove its main statement, while the first sentence just makes a general claim.

Example 3

A: Gun laws should be more strict and demand higher requirements because of increased nationwide shootings.

B: A strict gun regulations policy will not reduce nationwide violence since guns are still obtainable illegally and humans, not weapons, are the catalysts of brutality

In example 3, option B goes in more depth about why this claim is correct and presents reasoning that can be justified from MANY external sources.

In-Text Examples

Download PDF examples of essays with a thesis statement. The statements are underlined and highlighted.

thesis statement example

thesis statement example

Still Can’t Come Up With A Thesis Statement?

We get it, writing a thesis statement is never easy. As it is the most important piece of your entire work, it is important to get it right, and a helping hand neer hurts. EssayPro’s professional service will pair you with an experienced academic writer that has written hundreds of thesis statements before and knows the ingredients for a successful one. To get instant essay help, click down below and fill out the help request form to get in touch with an instructor right away! Academics should never be too stressful, and they don’t have to be with us!

Thesis and Purpose Statements

Use the guidelines below to learn the differences between thesis and purpose statements

In the first stages of writing, thesis or purpose statements are usually rough or ill-formed and are useful primarily as planning tools.

A thesis statement or purpose statement will emerge as you think and write about a topic. The statement can be restricted or clarified and eventually worked into an introduction.

As you revise your paper, try to phrase your thesis or purpose statement in a precise way so that it matches the content and organization of your paper.

Thesis statements

A thesis statement is a sentence that makes an assertion about a topic and predicts how the topic will be developed. It does not simply announce a topic: it says something about the topic.

Good: X has made a significant impact on the teenage population due to its . . .

Bad: In this paper, I will discuss X.

A thesis statement makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of the paper. It summarizes the conclusions that the writer has reached about the topic.

A thesis statement is generally located near the end of the introduction. Sometimes in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or an entire paragraph.

A thesis statement is focused and specific enough to be proven within the boundaries of the paper. Key words (nouns and verbs) should be specific, accurate, and indicative of the range of research, thrust of the argument or analysis, and the organization of supporting information.

Purpose statements

A purpose statement announces the purpose, scope, and direction of the paper. It tells the reader what to expect in a paper and what the specific focus will be.

Common beginnings include:

"This paper examines . . .," "The aim of this paper is to . . .," and "The purpose of this essay is to . . ."

A purpose statement makes a promise to the reader about the development of the argument but does not preview the particular conclusions that the writer has drawn.

A purpose statement usually appears toward the end of the introduction. The purpose statement may be expressed in several sentences or even an entire paragraph.

A purpose statement is specific enough to satisfy the requirements of the assignment. Purpose statements are common in research papers in some academic disciplines, while in other disciplines they are considered too blunt or direct. If you are unsure about using a purpose statement, ask your instructor.

This paper will examine the ecological destruction of the Sahel preceding the drought and the causes of this disintegration of the land. The focus will be on the economic, political, and social relationships which brought about the environmental problems in the Sahel.

Sample purpose and thesis statements

The following example combines a purpose statement and a thesis statement (bold).

The goal of this paper is to examine the effects of Chile's agrarian reform on the lives of rural peasants. The nature of the topic dictates the use of both a chronological and a comparative analysis of peasant lives at various points during the reform period. . . The Chilean reform example provides evidence that land distribution is an essential component of both the improvement of peasant conditions and the development of a democratic society. More extensive and enduring reforms would likely have allowed Chile the opportunity to further expand these horizons.

For more tips about writing thesis statements, take a look at our new handout on Developing a Thesis Statement.

A thesis statement presents the position that you intend to argue within your paper, whereas a research question indicates your direction of inquiry in your research. In general, thesis statements are provided in course-level papers, whereas research questions are used in major research papers or theses. 

Thesis statements

The statement or question is a key piece of information within your writing because it describes the parameters of your study.

Your statement should:

For example: "Royal Roads University is unique amongst post-secondary institutions on Vancouver Island because of its history, wildlife, Hatley Castle, and educational programs". 

The advantage of a clear thesis statement is that it will also help you to stay on track. At any time during your writing process, you should be able to make a direct connection between what you're writing and your thesis statement. If that connection isn't clear, you may need to either adjust your writing, or revisit your thesis statement. Thesis statements can change during the evolution of a paper; however, make sure you re-examine your outline before you divert too far from your original plan.

Please see the resources below for more information on writing thesis statements:

Research question(s)

A research question should:

For example: How is Royal Roads University different from other post-secondary institutions on Vancouver Island?

Please see the resources below for more information on writing research questions:

To search for additional information, please visit WriteAnswers and search the FAQs. If you're a RRU student, you can also use the WriteAnswers contact form to send your questions directly to the Writing Centre. We'll send you a private reply as soon as we can, which is typically within one business day of receiving the message.

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