What Makes a Good Thesis Statement for a Research Paper

An introduction is the face your piece of writing shows to the world. The thesis statement should therefore be the most distinguishing feature on that face. It should be the thing that stops the reader dead in his tracks and makes him re-read everything that went before then continue going through the paper in amazement. To achieve that, you must concentrate on the following factors in your writing:

Brevity

In all things there is a long way and a short way. The practice of padding to achieve a word count is fairly common and most students have done it a time or two over the duration of their academic careers. Ensure that you don’t exercise this practice on your thesis statement. Your aim should be to write it in outline form and then remove as much as possible from it until nothing else can be taken away without removing its true meaning.

Relevance

Your thesis statement should encapsulate the reason for your research. Ensure that its relevance is clear at first glance. It should never be up to the reader to prove your point for you or find ways to explain what you meant to say but really didn’t.

Style

Often the difference between writers who are adequate and writers who are great can be narrowed down to style. Develop a clear writing style and use it when you write your thesis statement.

Originality

While style and originality may be related they are used in two different senses for this article. Originality here refers to what you’re saying not how you choose to say it. You may use your unique style to convey a well worn point and have a good result but it would be much better if that same style were applied to a point that was unique.

Research

Thorough research should be evident throughout your writing but you should also find ways to show this in your thesis statement. Even this early on in the paper your reader should not ever wonder if the bulk of your writing is off the top of your head and was hastily put together seconds before the deadline. This is another area that style will not make up for.

These elements make up an exceptional thesis statement. The best thing about thesis statements is that you can practice achieving all of these without even doing research so that by the time you need the skill you’ve already honed it to perfection.

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