How to Write a Thesis Statement for a Research Paper

When you produce a research paper, you want it to be convincing. You’ve done the research and put in the hours, so naturally, you want readers to be on board with whatever you’ve written. A simple and effective way to do this is by having a strong thesis statement. It’s a base on which you build your essay and put across your main argument and/or analysis.

If you want to know how to write a thesis statement for a research paper, stay on this page. Read our detailed guide and improve your academic writing.

Table of contents

What Is A Thesis Statement?

In a research paper, a thesis should summarise the main argument or analysis you’re putting forward. Those who write good research papers always include a thesis statement that’s direct and concise. They ensure the statement gives the reader an idea of what to expect and what their essay is going to be about.

Structure of a Thesis Statement

An ideal thesis statement should be one or two sentences in length. It should be just one sentence if your essay is on the shorter side, or two if it’s a longer piece.

For an argumentative essay or paper, i.e. one that’s trying to prove something, the thesis statement should reflect this. It should be as convincing as the rest of your writing. For analytical pieces such as an expository essay, the thesis statement should summarise the topic. It should also mention one or two other important facts relating to the central material covered in the text.

Writing a thesis for a research paper or essay doesn’t have to be hard. It’s important that you get it right so that readers are engaged with what you’ve written. We’ll provide some thesis statement examples later, so you can get an idea of how to write them yourself.

How To Start A Thesis Statement For A Research Paper

Having a structured research paper outline can help you stay focused when you produce your essay. If you write a thesis statement that’s good, this should help you with writing the rest of your paper.

To start your thesis statement for a research paper, you have to think about the subject of your essay. Determine whether it’s an argumentative or expository piece. Is it trying to prove something? Or is it a summary of facts? When you’ve got an idea of what type of writing you’ve produced, think about the content.

Gather thoughts about what the core aim of your essay is and what effect you want it to have on readers. If it’s about an important argument, what is this, and how are you persuading readers to side with you? If your essay is factual, what are the salient facts, and how do lesser parts of your paper relate to it?

So, the first step of producing a high-quality thesis statement involves thinking about your work. It’s not just the content that you should be taking into consideration, but also the purpose of it.

How To Make A Thesis

If you’re wondering how to write a thesis statement, the process is straightforward. Here’s a brief step-by-step guide to developing a thesis for any kind of academic writing:

● Convert the title into a simple question
● Answer this question in detail
● Trim your response down to one or two sentences

Remember, the thesis statement should match the style of your research paper or essay. If you’re arguing a particular case, so should the statement. For a piece that’s more about facts and exposition, the statement doesn’t necessarily need to be argumentative.

Some students turn to research paper writers for hire to produce written content for them. These writers will cover all sorts of research paper topics. For each piece, they will, of course, create a thesis statement that’s persuasive and convincing.

Some people even use a thesis statement generator to come up with a statement for them. It’s always best if you’re able to produce one yourself. The thesis statement examples that we provide further down should give you an idea of how to write one yourself.

Key Points for Making a Thesis Statement

Here’s a summary of what your thesis statement should be:

● Concise. One or two short sentences
● Direct. Straight to the core of the subject with no waffle
● Informative. Explains what your piece is about

If you’re buying research papers online, some of them may not have good thesis statements. This is something when using such services.

Examples That Don’t Count as Thesis Statements

When writing a thesis for a research paper, there are a few approaches you shouldn’t take. Each of the examples below doesn’t count as a thesis statement for various reasons:

● A question. You can answer a question, but don’t ask one
● A statement of intent. Don’t explain that you’re going to discuss something; summarise your topic instead
● A summary that’s too general and short. Your thesis statement is summarising a research paper or essay, so it should have more to say than just a few vague words

Remember that a thesis statement doesn’t go into the conclusion for research paper, even though it’s a summary of your writing. Think of the statement as an introductory summary, i.e. one that tells the reader what’s coming up. The conclusion, on the other hand, should be a paragraph or two that recaps the main argument in more detail.

Thesis Statement Examples For Research Paper

Below are some examples for you to compare and contrast. Some of them are great examples, while others are the sorts of summaries you shouldn’t be writing. If you use a website that writes essays for you, read the introduction and see if the thesis statement is worthwhile. Compare it with the examples below:

Thesis Examples For A Bullying Research Paper

❌ Bad Example: Bullying isn’t all right because it affects people in a bad way

This is a bad example of a thesis statement because of two important reasons: it’s vague, and the language is basic. ‘Bullying isn’t all right’ is too general for an academic research paper. The words ‘all right’ and ‘bad’ could be replaced by more effective words, e.g. ‘acceptable’ or ‘negative’

✅ Good Example: Bullying isn’t socially acceptable as it can affect a person’s mental well-being and physical health.

 

❌ Bad Example: Why do people bully others?

This qualifies as a bad example of a thesis statement because it asks a question. Your statement should provide the readers with a summary, not get them to answer questions themselves

✅ Good Example: People bully others due to stress, trauma, insecurity, or even because they’ve been bullied themselves

 

❌ Bad Example: How bullying can be a good thing

This is a bad statement because even though it isn’t a direct question, it’s still inviting the reader to question something. It doesn’t offer any specifics; is bullying good for the bully or the victim? The statement should make this clear

✅ Good Example: Research has shown that bullying can actually have positive effects on people, such as improved confidence and social skills

 

Thesis Examples For An Abortion Research Paper

❌ Bad Example: Abortion is murder

A profound statement, yes, but not an acceptable thesis statement. It’s too short, and it doesn’t address the many ethical and moral implications that the debate on abortion has

✅ Good Example: Many believe abortion to be akin to murder because they view the unborn baby as being alive; it should therefore have human rights

 

❌ Bad Example: Abortion can be good, but it can also be bad in some situations

This statement does open things up by saying that abortion can be both positive and negative. However, it doesn’t give examples of how it can be good/bad. If this is an argumentative essay, the thesis statement should be backing good or bad, except it doesn’t. If it’s meant to be expository, the statement is a bit better, though it can still be expanded on

✅ Good Example: Abortion can be beneficial to victims of rape and women whose life is in danger, though it has some negative connotations among some demographics

 

❌ Bad Example: Abortion is a controversial topic, and the debate on it is ongoing

Why is this a weak thesis statement? Because it doesn’t provide the reader with anything new. It tells them what they already know, that abortion is a hot, albeit touchy subject. The reader wants to know more about what the paper is presenting, which this statement fails to inform them of

✅ Good Example: Many countries and states have different laws on abortion, and many countries’ populations are split on whether it’s right or not

 

Thesis Examples For A Gun Control Research Paper

Bad Example: We need gun control checks

This is a concise statement that does affirm something, but it’s not enough for it to be a worthwhile thesis statement. Though it’s obvious why the writer wants more checks, this isn’t explained.

Good Example: Gun checks need to be more stringent and thorough so that there are fewer criminal incidents involving guns

 

Bad Example: People who own lots of guns are violent

A thesis statement shouldn’t be a broad assumption of a particular demographic. There’s nothing wrong with discussing the characteristics of certain people, but the thesis statement shouldn’t just be a stereotypical assumption

Good Example: Research has shown that those who own multiple guns are more likely to be involved in criminal activities

 

Bad Example: We’d be better off without guns

This is a general statement that many would agree with, but it’s too brief. Who would be better off – everyone in the world or people in certain countries? Is the writer referring to all guns, including those carried by police, or just those owned by civilians?

Good Example: American society would benefit from having no guns as there’d be no mass shootings or other gun-related tragedies

Conclusion

Writing a good thesis statement is vital for producing convincing academic work. Use our thesis statement examples to produce some effective ones of your own. Make your research papers more engaging and beneficial to the reader.

FAQs About Research Paper Thesis Statement

Does A Research Paper Need A Thesis?

Any piece of academic writing, especially a college research paper, should have a thesis. It gives the reader a strong indication of what’s to come, and it helps you stick to your objective when developing the writing.

How Long Should A Thesis Be For A Research Paper?

When writing a thesis statement for a research paper, you should make it one or two sentences long. The word count should be fewer than 40 words, ideally.

Where Does A Thesis Go In A Research Paper?

When you make a thesis statement for a research paper, you should place it near the front of your writing. A suitable place is at the end of your introduction.

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