Writing a Thesis Statement for Research Paper: Guide

The thesis statement is an essential part of any academic essay or research paper because it explains the central point of your thesis. It usually appears near the end of your paper’s introduction. The thesis statement should be precise to the main discussion of your paper. The thesis statement purpose is to express the main point of your paper.

The thesis statement presents your readers an easy-to-follow summary of the paper’s content. It also states what you, the researcher, are setting out to tell the readers. If your research paper purpose statement isn’t met, then your research paper isn’t complete.

To fully understand the purpose of a thesis statement, you need to understand what a thesis is.

So, what is a research thesis?

A research thesis is a piece of academic writing containing original, independent research results.

This article will explore the types and parts of thesis statements and provide a guide to writing one.

Types of thesis statement

Now that you understand what a thesis and thesis statement is, let’s look at the types of thesis statements.

  • Analytical thesis statements are used for research papers, essays, and other articles that aim to analyze and interpret the various aspects of a topic.
  • Expository thesis statements explain the topic to the reader in a clear and explanatory manner.
  • Argumentative thesis statements offer a topic and state the author’s position on it. They are used to persuade the reader.

Parts of a thesis statement

A thesis statement consists of two major components:

  • Your topic: this is the essential idea of your paper. The topic summarizes the entire subject of your paper.
  • Your assertion: this is your topic’s angle or main idea. This is where you take a stand and drop the argument to your reader.

Total guide to writing a thesis statement for research paper

Writing a thesis statement requires extensive research, reading, and collecting data for your argument. Below are some steps to developing a thesis statement.

  1. Start with a question: it’s common to start with a research question. Once you’re clear on what the research question is, you can start determining what your answer would be. A clear and direct question will give you clarity on what your answers would be and where the thesis statement is headed.
  2. Give an initial answer: after the question has been asked, do preliminary research on the topic to come up with an initial answer. It doesn’t have to be a detailed answer; it should just be enough to open the reader to the idea of the answer.
  3. Develop the answer: now, you need to give further details to your audience on why this is your position on the topic. This is where you convince the reader with key, detailed arguments. Use published research literature to gather the necessary information to drive home your point.
  4. Refine your statement: your thesis statement goes several steps further than just stating your position. It summarizes your entire argument or the whole topic of your thesis. To have a strong thesis statement, your reader should know:
  1. Why you hold the position
  2. What they will learn from your paper
  3. The salient points of your statement.

Tips to write a strong thesis statement

  • Be clear and precise: strong thesis statements are clear in terms and precise in delivery. It would be best if you tried to be unambiguous in presenting your arguments to the reader. You should clearly state your main arguments and your stand in your research.
  • Be original: avoid vague generalizations in your thesis statements to keep the readers’ interest. A strong thesis statement embraces originality – carry out thorough research to develop your novel arguments. With research, you discover the existing arguments in the field and come up with your original angle.
  • Be controversial: thesis statements are not supposed to be factual and straightforward. It should be controversial and debatable enough to demand arguments and counter-arguments from the readers.

FAQs on thesis statements: Common questions surrounding thesis statements

If you haven’t written a research paper before, you’re bound to have several questions concerning your thesis statement. Here are some popular thesis-related questions and the answers to them.

1. How long is a thesis statement?

Ideally, a thesis statement should be one or two sentences long with about 25 to 50 words.

2. Can a thesis statement be a question?

A thesis statement cannot be a question. A thesis statement must be debatable and present a valid point to provoke the reader’s reasoning.


When writing a thesis for a research paper, keep in mind that your thesis statement should be concise yet articulate enough to pass the message to your reader. Remember that your thesis statement presents a clear summary of your thesis to your reader.

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