research paper guides

How to Compose a Strong Thesis Statement for a Research Paper

If you don't already know, then please be advised that a strong thesis statement for your research paper is absolutely essential. In fact it's the trigger point for everything which follows. In many cases the thesis statement will appear close to or at the very beginning of your research paper. For many students it is the first sentence of the research paper and is therefore obviously part of the introduction.

Let's be clear about this. If you write a strong thesis statement you give yourself the perfect launching pad to write a strong research paper. The opposite does not bear thinking about. If you write a week thesis statement you will struggle to even complete your research paper let alone complete a well-written one. So what is required to compose a strong thesis statement?

  • Decide whether you wish to make a statement or ask a question.
  • Relate the thesis statement precisely and directly to the topic.
  • Have as many main points to support the thesis statement as possible.
  • Keep it specific and keep it short.

You can make a dramatic impact to the start of your research paper with a powerful thesis statement. If you think the best way to establish the theme and promote the topic of your research paper is to ask a strong question then do so. On the other hand you can make a powerful statement, one which is crying out for an explanation. In both cases providing an answer to a question or an explanation of the statement are powerful ways to compose a strong thesis statement.

You have chosen the topic for your research paper and you create your thesis statement. What is the relationship between the two? Unless this is direct and unless it feeds from one to the other then you will need to make changes. If you're locked into the topic then you will need to re-jig your thesis statement and vice versa.

If you have a set word count for your research paper you will need to marry the number of words you need to write with the number of main points you're going to list. All of this takes place before you do any actual writing. Look at your thesis statement. How many main points have you discovered which you can use? All of this activity is part of the structure or plan or outline of your research paper. Everything is driven by your choice of thesis statement.

And if you do nothing else with your thesis statement make it precise and concise. If your thesis statement is too broad and lacks focus you will find your research paper becomes unwieldy.