How to Write a Thesis Statement: Step-by-Step Guide

A thesis statement can make or break your research paper writing experience. If poorly selected, the thesis of your paper could fail to be objective or cost you a huge amount of time and resources. 

The thesis statement also helps your reader gauge the relevance of your paper when looking at your abstract, introduction, and conclusion. You should thus select a good thesis statement to manage your paper in the manner dictated by your faculty. 

What’s the difference between the topic sentence and thesis statement?

The topic sentence shows the key idea of a passage/ paragraph and appears as the first sentence of the paragraph. This sentence is descriptive and only highlights what you could encounter in a paragraph.

Conversely, the thesis statement carries the key idea of your paper and expresses your stand on the topic. Unlike the former, the thesis statement comes at the end of your introductory paragraph, setting the ground for your arguments. 

As such, a thesis statement is a broad idea around which your paper is constructed, whereas the topic sentence is narrower and dictates the content of a paragraph.  

What is the purpose of a thesis statement?

The thesis statement introduces the reader to your argument and provides them with the scope, purpose, and perspective of your paper. This statement thus sparks a reader’s interest and allows them to gauge the relevance of your paper to their needs. 

Where is a thesis statement located?

The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your introduction. Doing this allows you to transition smoothly from the background information into your arguments. The thesis statement could also be stated in your conclusion when showing how various research objectives have been achieved. 

Why is a thesis statement important?

The thesis statement is a vital component of your paper that helps create focus on your main idea. This helps the reader gauge the purpose of a paper and keeps the writer from veering off their key argument.

Components of a thesis statement

Like all components of academic writing, the thesis statement is geared to achieve a certain goal in bringing out your key arguments. A good thesis statement contains the argument proposal and the support for your claim

The argument proposal shines a light on the topic of your paper while the support shows where you stand concerning a topic. In some instances, your thesis statement could entail the counterarguments to your topic. 

How long is a thesis statement?

The thesis statement ranges between one to two sentences. This equates to a word count between 25 and 50 words. 

However, complex topics may have longer complex thesis statements spanning up to four lines. As such, gauge your thesis by its ability to express your topic idea and stand and not its length. 

If your thesis statement exceeds four lines, consider rechecking it to determine the frivolous words you could omit from your thesis.  

Steps to writing a thesis statement

Learning how to write a hook and thesis statement is a crucial skill for writing a quality paper. Some of the steps we recommend when writing your thesis statement are:

  1. Brainstorm a good topic for your essay

Topic selection is the crucial step to writing a good paper. We thus recommend that you gauge the topics that are familiar with the general idea of your research question. Be keen to avoid complex claims as they may be hard to exhaust within the provided word count. 

Narrow down your topic to a specific idea that piques your interest to gain the impetus to exhaust your research topic.

  1. Express your topic as a question and provide an answer

This is a great approach to quickly preparing a catchy statement that captures the critical details of your paper. If you want to write an essay arguing that social media is behind the surge in moral decadence, your could structure your thesis statement as:

“What factors are promoting moral decadence in society?” Next, research your answers and select the strongest argument that supports the role of social media. After this, you could pair the answer and question to make a thesis statement.

I.e., Limited censorship on social media platforms is the key cause of moral decadence in the society. 

This statement gives your readers a hint of the argument and allows them to derive your paper’s purpose. 

Can a thesis statement be a question?

No. Your thesis statement aims at presenting your readers with answers to a question. As such, asking a question does not inspire any confidence in your essay, and loses the declarative purpose of a thesis statement. 

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