Tips to Craft an Effective Thesis for Your College Paper
Lots of students consider essay writing a mind-numbing process as it often takes too much time and leaves students completely drained. The problem is few learners bother to think through every writing stage and plan their work in advance. How many times did you get down to writing your college papers without any plan or at least a couple of worthwhile ideas to start? We guess the answer is obvious.
It’s possible to compare the readers of academic papers to jury members. They are knowledgeable, impartial, and always hungry for good evidence upon which their final verdict depends. Thus, in your college papers, such as research papers, theses, annotated bibliographies, and essays you need to show your audience what you’re arguing right from the start, as well as how you are planning to make this argument. In our today’s article, we’re going to focus on a thesis statement which, as you know, is one of the most important pillars upon which every academic paper rests. Below are some easy tips that will help you craft a strong thesis in the blink of an eye.
What’s a Thesis?
It’s a paradoxical fact that a good many students (and we’re not talking only about freshman students here) don’t know the role a thesis plays in a paper, which often results in weak essays and low grades. Of course, nowadays when virtually any service can be rendered through the Internet, lots of college students bombard essay writing services with “write a thesis for me” requests and get their papers written within the short space of time. But knowing how to make an argument and convey the main idea of your writing in one succinct and to-the-point sentence is a skill worth developing. To make this task easier, let’s take a look at the definition of a thesis.
A thesis statement is a sentence or two in which an author declares their opinion and what they aim to prove. It’s important to keep in mind that a strong thesis statement doesn’t merely retell the facts. It represents a contestable, specific, and focused statement that reveals your point of view on what’s being discussed.
Note that not all of your college assignments may require a thesis. There are may be creative writing pieces where arguments and supporting them with relevant evidence don’t play an important part. If you’re hesitant as to whether to include a thesis statement, consider contacting your writing center or instructor to remove your doubts. Moreover, not all assignments may explicitly ask you to include a thesis statement just because it’s a default requirement for the majority for academic papers. Note that if you’re assigned a research paper, argumentative essay, or asked to compare or contrast something in your paper, including a thesis statement is a prerequisite you shouldn’t ignore.
Other important characteristics of a strong thesis statement include:
- Arguability. Your thesis should contain anything that’s of common knowledge or too broad. A thesis needs to introduce an arguable point with can be reasonably contested. But at the same time it can anticipate and refute possible counterarguments.
- Clarity. As it has been noted, your thesis should introduce your position and outline the ideas you’ll be presenting as you go further with your research. Steer clear of mentioning any superfluous facts and arguments in the thesis statement. Be specific. Also, don’t use vague and personal language (e.g., “In my opinion,” “I seems,” and the like).
- Ability to guide your readers. Very often a thesis is compared to a map that shows the direction of your paper. It helps your readers not to get lost in the flow of your thoughts and ideas. It’s also important that your thesis is preceded by a paragraph where you set the context for the subject matter under discussion. This will help your readers successfully orient themselves in your writing.
- Easy to find. As you probably know, a thesis statement is usually the last sentence in the introductory paragraph. Thus, a reader may easily locate your main claim and decide whether or not to dispute it.
How Do I Formulate My Thesis?
Though a working tentative thesis may help you streamline your research and make find some useful ideas for your paper, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to craft it immediately after familiarizing yourself with the essay prompt. First, make sure you’ve taken in the task and understood what is asked of you. After that, do some background reading on the topic you want to explore. It’s pretty normal to take a stand only after perusing tons of readings and analyzing evidence. Once you come up with a tentative thesis, you will proceed to develop your argument and organize evidence to convince your audience of the validity of your claims. Don’t be afraid if you discover the evidence that will make you change your initial stance. You can adjust, refine, or even overhaul your thesis as you go along.