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SciSpace Resources

What is a thesis | A Complete Guide with Examples

Madalsa

Table of Contents

A thesis is a comprehensive academic paper based on your original research that presents new findings, arguments, and ideas of your study. It’s typically submitted at the end of your master’s degree or as a capstone of your bachelor’s degree.

However, writing a thesis can be laborious, especially for beginners. From the initial challenge of pinpointing a compelling research topic to organizing and presenting findings, the process is filled with potential pitfalls.

Therefore, to help you, this guide talks about what is a thesis. Additionally, it offers revelations and methodologies to transform it from an overwhelming task to a manageable and rewarding academic milestone.

What is a thesis?

A thesis is an in-depth research study that identifies a particular topic of inquiry and presents a clear argument or perspective about that topic using evidence and logic.

Writing a thesis showcases your ability of critical thinking, gathering evidence, and making a compelling argument. Integral to these competencies is thorough research, which not only fortifies your propositions but also confers credibility to your entire study.

Furthermore, there's another phenomenon you might often confuse with the thesis: the ' working thesis .' However, they aren't similar and shouldn't be used interchangeably.

A working thesis, often referred to as a preliminary or tentative thesis, is an initial version of your thesis statement. It serves as a draft or a starting point that guides your research in its early stages.

As you research more and gather more evidence, your initial thesis (aka working thesis) might change. It's like a starting point that can be adjusted as you learn more. It's normal for your main topic to change a few times before you finalize it.

While a thesis identifies and provides an overarching argument, the key to clearly communicating the central point of that argument lies in writing a strong thesis statement.

What is a thesis statement?

A strong thesis statement (aka thesis sentence) is a concise summary of the main argument or claim of the paper. It serves as a critical anchor in any academic work, succinctly encapsulating the primary argument or main idea of the entire paper.

Typically found within the introductory section, a strong thesis statement acts as a roadmap of your thesis, directing readers through your arguments and findings. By delineating the core focus of your investigation, it offers readers an immediate understanding of the context and the gravity of your study.

Furthermore, an effectively crafted thesis statement can set forth the boundaries of your research, helping readers anticipate the specific areas of inquiry you are addressing.

Different types of thesis statements

A good thesis statement is clear, specific, and arguable. Therefore, it is necessary for you to choose the right type of thesis statement for your academic papers.

Thesis statements can be classified based on their purpose and structure. Here are the primary types of thesis statements:

Argumentative (or Persuasive) thesis statement

Purpose : To convince the reader of a particular stance or point of view by presenting evidence and formulating a compelling argument.

Example : Reducing plastic use in daily life is essential for environmental health.

Analytical thesis statement

Purpose : To break down an idea or issue into its components and evaluate it.

Example : By examining the long-term effects, social implications, and economic impact of climate change, it becomes evident that immediate global action is necessary.

Expository (or Descriptive) thesis statement

Purpose : To explain a topic or subject to the reader.

Example : The Great Depression, spanning the 1930s, was a severe worldwide economic downturn triggered by a stock market crash, bank failures, and reduced consumer spending.

Cause and effect thesis statement

Purpose : To demonstrate a cause and its resulting effect.

Example : Overuse of smartphones can lead to impaired sleep patterns, reduced face-to-face social interactions, and increased levels of anxiety.

Compare and contrast thesis statement

Purpose : To highlight similarities and differences between two subjects.

Example : "While both novels '1984' and 'Brave New World' delve into dystopian futures, they differ in their portrayal of individual freedom, societal control, and the role of technology."

When you write a thesis statement , it's important to ensure clarity and precision, so the reader immediately understands the central focus of your work.

What is the difference between a thesis and a thesis statement?

While both terms are frequently used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings.

A thesis refers to the entire research document, encompassing all its chapters and sections. In contrast, a thesis statement is a brief assertion that encapsulates the central argument of the research.

Here’s an in-depth differentiation table of a thesis and a thesis statement.

Aspect

Thesis

Thesis Statement

Definition

An extensive document presenting the author's research and findings, typically for a degree or professional qualification.

A concise sentence or two in an essay or research paper that outlines the main idea or argument.  

Position

It’s the entire document on its own.

Typically found at the end of the introduction of an essay, research paper, or thesis.

Components

Introduction, methodology, results, conclusions, and bibliography or references.

Doesn't include any specific components

Purpose

Provides detailed research, presents findings, and contributes to a field of study. 

To guide the reader about the main point or argument of the paper or essay.

Now, to craft a compelling thesis, it's crucial to adhere to a specific structure. Let’s break down these essential components that make up a thesis structure

15 components of a thesis structure

Navigating a thesis can be daunting. However, understanding its structure can make the process more manageable.

Here are the key components or different sections of a thesis structure:

Your thesis begins with the title page. It's not just a formality but the gateway to your research.

title-page-of-a-thesis

Here, you'll prominently display the necessary information about you (the author) and your institutional details.

  • Title of your thesis
  • Your full name
  • Your department
  • Your institution and degree program
  • Your submission date
  • Your Supervisor's name (in some cases)
  • Your Department or faculty (in some cases)
  • Your University's logo (in some cases)
  • Your Student ID (in some cases)

In a concise manner, you'll have to summarize the critical aspects of your research in typically no more than 200-300 words.

Abstract-section-of-a-thesis

This includes the problem statement, methodology, key findings, and conclusions. For many, the abstract will determine if they delve deeper into your work, so ensure it's clear and compelling.

Acknowledgments

Research is rarely a solitary endeavor. In the acknowledgments section, you have the chance to express gratitude to those who've supported your journey.

Acknowledgement-section-of-a-thesis

This might include advisors, peers, institutions, or even personal sources of inspiration and support. It's a personal touch, reflecting the humanity behind the academic rigor.

Table of contents

A roadmap for your readers, the table of contents lists the chapters, sections, and subsections of your thesis.

Table-of-contents-of-a-thesis

By providing page numbers, you allow readers to navigate your work easily, jumping to sections that pique their interest.

List of figures and tables

Research often involves data, and presenting this data visually can enhance understanding. This section provides an organized listing of all figures and tables in your thesis.

List-of-tables-and-figures-in-a-thesis

It's a visual index, ensuring that readers can quickly locate and reference your graphical data.

Introduction

Here's where you introduce your research topic, articulate the research question or objective, and outline the significance of your study.

Introduction-section-of-a-thesis

  • Present the research topic : Clearly articulate the central theme or subject of your research.
  • Background information : Ground your research topic, providing any necessary context or background information your readers might need to understand the significance of your study.
  • Define the scope : Clearly delineate the boundaries of your research, indicating what will and won't be covered.
  • Literature review : Introduce any relevant existing research on your topic, situating your work within the broader academic conversation and highlighting where your research fits in.
  • State the research Question(s) or objective(s) : Clearly articulate the primary questions or objectives your research aims to address.
  • Outline the study's structure : Give a brief overview of how the subsequent sections of your work will unfold, guiding your readers through the journey ahead.

The introduction should captivate your readers, making them eager to delve deeper into your research journey.

Literature review section

Your study correlates with existing research. Therefore, in the literature review section, you'll engage in a dialogue with existing knowledge, highlighting relevant studies, theories, and findings.

Literature-review-section-thesis

It's here that you identify gaps in the current knowledge, positioning your research as a bridge to new insights.

To streamline this process, consider leveraging AI tools. For example, the SciSpace literature review tool enables you to efficiently explore and delve into research papers, simplifying your literature review journey.

Methodology

In the research methodology section, you’ll detail the tools, techniques, and processes you employed to gather and analyze data. This section will inform the readers about how you approached your research questions and ensures the reproducibility of your study.

Methodology-section-thesis

Here's a breakdown of what it should encompass:

  • Research Design : Describe the overall structure and approach of your research. Are you conducting a qualitative study with in-depth interviews? Or is it a quantitative study using statistical analysis? Perhaps it's a mixed-methods approach?
  • Data Collection : Detail the methods you used to gather data. This could include surveys, experiments, observations, interviews, archival research, etc. Mention where you sourced your data, the duration of data collection, and any tools or instruments used.
  • Sampling : If applicable, explain how you selected participants or data sources for your study. Discuss the size of your sample and the rationale behind choosing it.
  • Data Analysis : Describe the techniques and tools you used to process and analyze the data. This could range from statistical tests in quantitative research to thematic analysis in qualitative research.
  • Validity and Reliability : Address the steps you took to ensure the validity and reliability of your findings to ensure that your results are both accurate and consistent.
  • Ethical Considerations : Highlight any ethical issues related to your research and the measures you took to address them, including — informed consent, confidentiality, and data storage and protection measures.

Moreover, different research questions necessitate different types of methodologies. For instance:

  • Experimental methodology : Often used in sciences, this involves a controlled experiment to discern causality.
  • Qualitative methodology : Employed when exploring patterns or phenomena without numerical data. Methods can include interviews, focus groups, or content analysis.
  • Quantitative methodology : Concerned with measurable data and often involves statistical analysis. Surveys and structured observations are common tools here.
  • Mixed methods : As the name implies, this combines both qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

The Methodology section isn’t just about detailing the methods but also justifying why they were chosen. The appropriateness of the methods in addressing your research question can significantly impact the credibility of your findings.

Results (or Findings)

This section presents the outcomes of your research. It's crucial to note that the nature of your results may vary; they could be quantitative, qualitative, or a mix of both.

Results-section-thesis

Quantitative results often present statistical data, showcasing measurable outcomes, and they benefit from tables, graphs, and figures to depict these data points.

Qualitative results , on the other hand, might delve into patterns, themes, or narratives derived from non-numerical data, such as interviews or observations.

Regardless of the nature of your results, clarity is essential. This section is purely about presenting the data without offering interpretations — that comes later in the discussion.

In the discussion section, the raw data transforms into valuable insights.

Start by revisiting your research question and contrast it with the findings. How do your results expand, constrict, or challenge current academic conversations?

Dive into the intricacies of the data, guiding the reader through its implications. Detail potential limitations transparently, signaling your awareness of the research's boundaries. This is where your academic voice should be resonant and confident.

Practical implications (Recommendation) section

Based on the insights derived from your research, this section provides actionable suggestions or proposed solutions.

Whether aimed at industry professionals or the general public, recommendations translate your academic findings into potential real-world actions. They help readers understand the practical implications of your work and how it can be applied to effect change or improvement in a given field.

When crafting recommendations, it's essential to ensure they're feasible and rooted in the evidence provided by your research. They shouldn't merely be aspirational but should offer a clear path forward, grounded in your findings.

The conclusion provides closure to your research narrative.

It's not merely a recap but a synthesis of your main findings and their broader implications. Reconnect with the research questions or hypotheses posited at the beginning, offering clear answers based on your findings.

Conclusion-section-thesis

Reflect on the broader contributions of your study, considering its impact on the academic community and potential real-world applications.

Lastly, the conclusion should leave your readers with a clear understanding of the value and impact of your study.

References (or Bibliography)

Every theory you've expounded upon, every data point you've cited, and every methodological precedent you've followed finds its acknowledgment here.

References-section-thesis

In references, it's crucial to ensure meticulous consistency in formatting, mirroring the specific guidelines of the chosen citation style .

Proper referencing helps to avoid plagiarism , gives credit to original ideas, and allows readers to explore topics of interest. Moreover, it situates your work within the continuum of academic knowledge.

To properly cite the sources used in the study, you can rely on online citation generator tools  to generate accurate citations!

Here’s more on how you can cite your sources.

Often, the depth of research produces a wealth of material that, while crucial, can make the core content of the thesis cumbersome. The appendix is where you mention extra information that supports your research but isn't central to the main text.

Appendices-section-thesis

Whether it's raw datasets, detailed procedural methodologies, extended case studies, or any other ancillary material, the appendices ensure that these elements are archived for reference without breaking the main narrative's flow.

For thorough researchers and readers keen on meticulous details, the appendices provide a treasure trove of insights.

Glossary (optional)

In academics, specialized terminologies, and jargon are inevitable. However, not every reader is versed in every term.

The glossary, while optional, is a critical tool for accessibility. It's a bridge ensuring that even readers from outside the discipline can access, understand, and appreciate your work.

Glossary-section-of-a-thesis

By defining complex terms and providing context, you're inviting a wider audience to engage with your research, enhancing its reach and impact.

Remember, while these components provide a structured framework, the essence of your thesis lies in the originality of your ideas, the rigor of your research, and the clarity of your presentation.

As you craft each section, keep your readers in mind, ensuring that your passion and dedication shine through every page.

Thesis examples

To further elucidate the concept of a thesis, here are illustrative examples from various fields:

Example 1 (History): Abolition, Africans, and Abstraction: the Influence of the ‘Noble Savage’ on British and French Antislavery Thought, 1787-1807 by Suchait Kahlon.
Example 2 (Climate Dynamics): Influence of external forcings on abrupt millennial-scale climate changes: a statistical modelling study by Takahito Mitsui · Michel Crucifix

Checklist for your thesis evaluation

Evaluating your thesis ensures that your research meets the standards of academia. Here's an elaborate checklist to guide you through this critical process.

Content and structure

  • Is the thesis statement clear, concise, and debatable?
  • Does the introduction provide sufficient background and context?
  • Is the literature review comprehensive, relevant, and well-organized?
  • Does the methodology section clearly describe and justify the research methods?
  • Are the results/findings presented clearly and logically?
  • Does the discussion interpret the results in light of the research question and existing literature?
  • Is the conclusion summarizing the research and suggesting future directions or implications?

Clarity and coherence

  • Is the writing clear and free of jargon?
  • Are ideas and sections logically connected and flowing?
  • Is there a clear narrative or argument throughout the thesis?

Research quality

  • Is the research question significant and relevant?
  • Are the research methods appropriate for the question?
  • Is the sample size (if applicable) adequate?
  • Are the data analysis techniques appropriate and correctly applied?
  • Are potential biases or limitations addressed?

Originality and significance

  • Does the thesis contribute new knowledge or insights to the field?
  • Is the research grounded in existing literature while offering fresh perspectives?

Formatting and presentation

  • Is the thesis formatted according to institutional guidelines?
  • Are figures, tables, and charts clear, labeled, and referenced in the text?
  • Is the bibliography or reference list complete and consistently formatted?
  • Are appendices relevant and appropriately referenced in the main text?

Grammar and language

  • Is the thesis free of grammatical and spelling errors?
  • Is the language professional, consistent, and appropriate for an academic audience?
  • Are quotations and paraphrased material correctly cited?

Feedback and revision

  • Have you sought feedback from peers, advisors, or experts in the field?
  • Have you addressed the feedback and made the necessary revisions?

Overall assessment

  • Does the thesis as a whole feel cohesive and comprehensive?
  • Would the thesis be understandable and valuable to someone in your field?

Ensure to use this checklist to leave no ground for doubt or missed information in your thesis.

After writing your thesis, the next step is to discuss and defend your findings verbally in front of a knowledgeable panel. You’ve to be well prepared as your professors may grade your presentation abilities.

Preparing your thesis defense

A thesis defense, also known as "defending the thesis," is the culmination of a scholar's research journey. It's the final frontier, where you’ll present their findings and face scrutiny from a panel of experts.

Typically, the defense involves a public presentation where you’ll have to outline your study, followed by a question-and-answer session with a committee of experts. This committee assesses the validity, originality, and significance of the research.

The defense serves as a rite of passage for scholars. It's an opportunity to showcase expertise, address criticisms, and refine arguments. A successful defense not only validates the research but also establishes your authority as a researcher in your field.

Here’s how you can effectively prepare for your thesis defense .

Now, having touched upon the process of defending a thesis, it's worth noting that scholarly work can take various forms, depending on academic and regional practices.

One such form, often paralleled with the thesis, is the 'dissertation.' But what differentiates the two?

Dissertation vs. Thesis

Often used interchangeably in casual discourse, they refer to distinct research projects undertaken at different levels of higher education.

To the uninitiated, understanding their meaning might be elusive. So, let's demystify these terms and delve into their core differences.

Here's a table differentiating between the two.

Aspect

Thesis

Dissertation

Purpose

Often for a master's degree, showcasing a grasp of existing research

Primarily for a doctoral degree, contributing new knowledge to the field

Length

100 pages, focusing on a specific topic or question.

400-500 pages, involving deep research and comprehensive findings

Research Depth

Builds upon existing research

Involves original and groundbreaking research

Advisor's Role

Guides the research process

Acts more as a consultant, allowing the student to take the lead

Outcome

Demonstrates understanding of the subject

Proves capability to conduct independent and original research

Wrapping up

From understanding the foundational concept of a thesis to navigating its various components, differentiating it from a dissertation, and recognizing the importance of proper citation — this guide covers it all.

As scholars and readers, understanding these nuances not only aids in academic pursuits but also fosters a deeper appreciation for the relentless quest for knowledge that drives academia.

It’s important to remember that every thesis is a testament to curiosity, dedication, and the indomitable spirit of discovery.

Good luck with your thesis writing!

Frequently Asked Questions

A thesis typically ranges between 40-80 pages, but its length can vary based on the research topic, institution guidelines, and level of study.

A PhD thesis usually spans 200-300 pages, though this can vary based on the discipline, complexity of the research, and institutional requirements.

To identify a thesis topic, consider current trends in your field, gaps in existing literature, personal interests, and discussions with advisors or mentors. Additionally, reviewing related journals and conference proceedings can provide insights into potential areas of exploration.

The conceptual framework is often situated in the literature review or theoretical framework section of a thesis. It helps set the stage by providing the context, defining key concepts, and explaining the relationships between variables.

A thesis statement should be concise, clear, and specific. It should state the main argument or point of your research. Start by pinpointing the central question or issue your research addresses, then condense that into a single statement, ensuring it reflects the essence of your paper.

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How To Write A Dissertation Or Thesis

8 straightforward steps to craft an a-grade dissertation.

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) Expert Reviewed By: Dr Eunice Rautenbach | June 2020

Writing a dissertation or thesis is not a simple task. It takes time, energy and a lot of will power to get you across the finish line. It’s not easy – but it doesn’t necessarily need to be a painful process. If you understand the big-picture process of how to write a dissertation or thesis, your research journey will be a lot smoother.  

In this post, I’m going to outline the big-picture process of how to write a high-quality dissertation or thesis, without losing your mind along the way. If you’re just starting your research, this post is perfect for you. Alternatively, if you’ve already submitted your proposal, this article which covers how to structure a dissertation might be more helpful.

How To Write A Dissertation: 8 Steps

  • Clearly understand what a dissertation (or thesis) is
  • Find a unique and valuable research topic
  • Craft a convincing research proposal
  • Write up a strong introduction chapter
  • Review the existing literature and compile a literature review
  • Design a rigorous research strategy and undertake your own research
  • Present the findings of your research
  • Draw a conclusion and discuss the implications

Start writing your dissertation

Step 1: Understand exactly what a dissertation is

This probably sounds like a no-brainer, but all too often, students come to us for help with their research and the underlying issue is that they don’t fully understand what a dissertation (or thesis) actually is.

So, what is a dissertation?

At its simplest, a dissertation or thesis is a formal piece of research , reflecting the standard research process . But what is the standard research process, you ask? The research process involves 4 key steps:

  • Ask a very specific, well-articulated question (s) (your research topic)
  • See what other researchers have said about it (if they’ve already answered it)
  • If they haven’t answered it adequately, undertake your own data collection and analysis in a scientifically rigorous fashion
  • Answer your original question(s), based on your analysis findings

 A dissertation or thesis is a formal piece of research, reflecting the standard four step academic research process.

In short, the research process is simply about asking and answering questions in a systematic fashion . This probably sounds pretty obvious, but people often think they’ve done “research”, when in fact what they have done is:

  • Started with a vague, poorly articulated question
  • Not taken the time to see what research has already been done regarding the question
  • Collected data and opinions that support their gut and undertaken a flimsy analysis
  • Drawn a shaky conclusion, based on that analysis

If you want to see the perfect example of this in action, look out for the next Facebook post where someone claims they’ve done “research”… All too often, people consider reading a few blog posts to constitute research. Its no surprise then that what they end up with is an opinion piece, not research. Okay, okay – I’ll climb off my soapbox now.

The key takeaway here is that a dissertation (or thesis) is a formal piece of research, reflecting the research process. It’s not an opinion piece , nor a place to push your agenda or try to convince someone of your position. Writing a good dissertation involves asking a question and taking a systematic, rigorous approach to answering it.

If you understand this and are comfortable leaving your opinions or preconceived ideas at the door, you’re already off to a good start!

 A dissertation is not an opinion piece, nor a place to push your agenda or try to  convince someone of your position.

Step 2: Find a unique, valuable research topic

As we saw, the first step of the research process is to ask a specific, well-articulated question. In other words, you need to find a research topic that asks a specific question or set of questions (these are called research questions ). Sounds easy enough, right? All you’ve got to do is identify a question or two and you’ve got a winning research topic. Well, not quite…

A good dissertation or thesis topic has a few important attributes. Specifically, a solid research topic should be:

Let’s take a closer look at these:

Attribute #1: Clear

Your research topic needs to be crystal clear about what you’re planning to research, what you want to know, and within what context. There shouldn’t be any ambiguity or vagueness about what you’ll research.

Here’s an example of a clearly articulated research topic:

An analysis of consumer-based factors influencing organisational trust in British low-cost online equity brokerage firms.

As you can see in the example, its crystal clear what will be analysed (factors impacting organisational trust), amongst who (consumers) and in what context (British low-cost equity brokerage firms, based online).

Need a helping hand?

help to write a thesis

Attribute #2:   Unique

Your research should be asking a question(s) that hasn’t been asked before, or that hasn’t been asked in a specific context (for example, in a specific country or industry).

For example, sticking organisational trust topic above, it’s quite likely that organisational trust factors in the UK have been investigated before, but the context (online low-cost equity brokerages) could make this research unique. Therefore, the context makes this research original.

One caveat when using context as the basis for originality – you need to have a good reason to suspect that your findings in this context might be different from the existing research – otherwise, there’s no reason to warrant researching it.

Attribute #3: Important

Simply asking a unique or original question is not enough – the question needs to create value. In other words, successfully answering your research questions should provide some value to the field of research or the industry. You can’t research something just to satisfy your curiosity. It needs to make some form of contribution either to research or industry.

For example, researching the factors influencing consumer trust would create value by enabling businesses to tailor their operations and marketing to leverage factors that promote trust. In other words, it would have a clear benefit to industry.

So, how do you go about finding a unique and valuable research topic? We explain that in detail in this video post – How To Find A Research Topic . Yeah, we’ve got you covered 😊

Step 3: Write a convincing research proposal

Once you’ve pinned down a high-quality research topic, the next step is to convince your university to let you research it. No matter how awesome you think your topic is, it still needs to get the rubber stamp before you can move forward with your research. The research proposal is the tool you’ll use for this job.

So, what’s in a research proposal?

The main “job” of a research proposal is to convince your university, advisor or committee that your research topic is worthy of approval. But convince them of what? Well, this varies from university to university, but generally, they want to see that:

  • You have a clearly articulated, unique and important topic (this might sound familiar…)
  • You’ve done some initial reading of the existing literature relevant to your topic (i.e. a literature review)
  • You have a provisional plan in terms of how you will collect data and analyse it (i.e. a methodology)

At the proposal stage, it’s (generally) not expected that you’ve extensively reviewed the existing literature , but you will need to show that you’ve done enough reading to identify a clear gap for original (unique) research. Similarly, they generally don’t expect that you have a rock-solid research methodology mapped out, but you should have an idea of whether you’ll be undertaking qualitative or quantitative analysis , and how you’ll collect your data (we’ll discuss this in more detail later).

Long story short – don’t stress about having every detail of your research meticulously thought out at the proposal stage – this will develop as you progress through your research. However, you do need to show that you’ve “done your homework” and that your research is worthy of approval .

So, how do you go about crafting a high-quality, convincing proposal? We cover that in detail in this video post – How To Write A Top-Class Research Proposal . We’ve also got a video walkthrough of two proposal examples here .

Step 4: Craft a strong introduction chapter

Once your proposal’s been approved, its time to get writing your actual dissertation or thesis! The good news is that if you put the time into crafting a high-quality proposal, you’ve already got a head start on your first three chapters – introduction, literature review and methodology – as you can use your proposal as the basis for these.

Handy sidenote – our free dissertation & thesis template is a great way to speed up your dissertation writing journey.

What’s the introduction chapter all about?

The purpose of the introduction chapter is to set the scene for your research (dare I say, to introduce it…) so that the reader understands what you’ll be researching and why it’s important. In other words, it covers the same ground as the research proposal in that it justifies your research topic.

What goes into the introduction chapter?

This can vary slightly between universities and degrees, but generally, the introduction chapter will include the following:

  • A brief background to the study, explaining the overall area of research
  • A problem statement , explaining what the problem is with the current state of research (in other words, where the knowledge gap exists)
  • Your research questions – in other words, the specific questions your study will seek to answer (based on the knowledge gap)
  • The significance of your study – in other words, why it’s important and how its findings will be useful in the world

As you can see, this all about explaining the “what” and the “why” of your research (as opposed to the “how”). So, your introduction chapter is basically the salesman of your study, “selling” your research to the first-time reader and (hopefully) getting them interested to read more.

How do I write the introduction chapter, you ask? We cover that in detail in this post .

The introduction chapter is where you set the scene for your research, detailing exactly what you’ll be researching and why it’s important.

Step 5: Undertake an in-depth literature review

As I mentioned earlier, you’ll need to do some initial review of the literature in Steps 2 and 3 to find your research gap and craft a convincing research proposal – but that’s just scratching the surface. Once you reach the literature review stage of your dissertation or thesis, you need to dig a lot deeper into the existing research and write up a comprehensive literature review chapter.

What’s the literature review all about?

There are two main stages in the literature review process:

Literature Review Step 1: Reading up

The first stage is for you to deep dive into the existing literature (journal articles, textbook chapters, industry reports, etc) to gain an in-depth understanding of the current state of research regarding your topic. While you don’t need to read every single article, you do need to ensure that you cover all literature that is related to your core research questions, and create a comprehensive catalogue of that literature , which you’ll use in the next step.

Reading and digesting all the relevant literature is a time consuming and intellectually demanding process. Many students underestimate just how much work goes into this step, so make sure that you allocate a good amount of time for this when planning out your research. Thankfully, there are ways to fast track the process – be sure to check out this article covering how to read journal articles quickly .

Dissertation Coaching

Literature Review Step 2: Writing up

Once you’ve worked through the literature and digested it all, you’ll need to write up your literature review chapter. Many students make the mistake of thinking that the literature review chapter is simply a summary of what other researchers have said. While this is partly true, a literature review is much more than just a summary. To pull off a good literature review chapter, you’ll need to achieve at least 3 things:

  • You need to synthesise the existing research , not just summarise it. In other words, you need to show how different pieces of theory fit together, what’s agreed on by researchers, what’s not.
  • You need to highlight a research gap that your research is going to fill. In other words, you’ve got to outline the problem so that your research topic can provide a solution.
  • You need to use the existing research to inform your methodology and approach to your own research design. For example, you might use questions or Likert scales from previous studies in your your own survey design .

As you can see, a good literature review is more than just a summary of the published research. It’s the foundation on which your own research is built, so it deserves a lot of love and attention. Take the time to craft a comprehensive literature review with a suitable structure .

But, how do I actually write the literature review chapter, you ask? We cover that in detail in this video post .

Step 6: Carry out your own research

Once you’ve completed your literature review and have a sound understanding of the existing research, its time to develop your own research (finally!). You’ll design this research specifically so that you can find the answers to your unique research question.

There are two steps here – designing your research strategy and executing on it:

1 – Design your research strategy

The first step is to design your research strategy and craft a methodology chapter . I won’t get into the technicalities of the methodology chapter here, but in simple terms, this chapter is about explaining the “how” of your research. If you recall, the introduction and literature review chapters discussed the “what” and the “why”, so it makes sense that the next point to cover is the “how” –that’s what the methodology chapter is all about.

In this section, you’ll need to make firm decisions about your research design. This includes things like:

  • Your research philosophy (e.g. positivism or interpretivism )
  • Your overall methodology (e.g. qualitative , quantitative or mixed methods)
  • Your data collection strategy (e.g. interviews , focus groups, surveys)
  • Your data analysis strategy (e.g. content analysis , correlation analysis, regression)

If these words have got your head spinning, don’t worry! We’ll explain these in plain language in other posts. It’s not essential that you understand the intricacies of research design (yet!). The key takeaway here is that you’ll need to make decisions about how you’ll design your own research, and you’ll need to describe (and justify) your decisions in your methodology chapter.

2 – Execute: Collect and analyse your data

Once you’ve worked out your research design, you’ll put it into action and start collecting your data. This might mean undertaking interviews, hosting an online survey or any other data collection method. Data collection can take quite a bit of time (especially if you host in-person interviews), so be sure to factor sufficient time into your project plan for this. Oftentimes, things don’t go 100% to plan (for example, you don’t get as many survey responses as you hoped for), so bake a little extra time into your budget here.

Once you’ve collected your data, you’ll need to do some data preparation before you can sink your teeth into the analysis. For example:

  • If you carry out interviews or focus groups, you’ll need to transcribe your audio data to text (i.e. a Word document).
  • If you collect quantitative survey data, you’ll need to clean up your data and get it into the right format for whichever analysis software you use (for example, SPSS, R or STATA).

Once you’ve completed your data prep, you’ll undertake your analysis, using the techniques that you described in your methodology. Depending on what you find in your analysis, you might also do some additional forms of analysis that you hadn’t planned for. For example, you might see something in the data that raises new questions or that requires clarification with further analysis.

The type(s) of analysis that you’ll use depend entirely on the nature of your research and your research questions. For example:

  • If your research if exploratory in nature, you’ll often use qualitative analysis techniques .
  • If your research is confirmatory in nature, you’ll often use quantitative analysis techniques
  • If your research involves a mix of both, you might use a mixed methods approach

Again, if these words have got your head spinning, don’t worry! We’ll explain these concepts and techniques in other posts. The key takeaway is simply that there’s no “one size fits all” for research design and methodology – it all depends on your topic, your research questions and your data. So, don’t be surprised if your study colleagues take a completely different approach to yours.

The research philosophy is at the core of the methodology chapter

Step 7: Present your findings

Once you’ve completed your analysis, it’s time to present your findings (finally!). In a dissertation or thesis, you’ll typically present your findings in two chapters – the results chapter and the discussion chapter .

What’s the difference between the results chapter and the discussion chapter?

While these two chapters are similar, the results chapter generally just presents the processed data neatly and clearly without interpretation, while the discussion chapter explains the story the data are telling  – in other words, it provides your interpretation of the results.

For example, if you were researching the factors that influence consumer trust, you might have used a quantitative approach to identify the relationship between potential factors (e.g. perceived integrity and competence of the organisation) and consumer trust. In this case:

  • Your results chapter would just present the results of the statistical tests. For example, correlation results or differences between groups. In other words, the processed numbers.
  • Your discussion chapter would explain what the numbers mean in relation to your research question(s). For example, Factor 1 has a weak relationship with consumer trust, while Factor 2 has a strong relationship.

Depending on the university and degree, these two chapters (results and discussion) are sometimes merged into one , so be sure to check with your institution what their preference is. Regardless of the chapter structure, this section is about presenting the findings of your research in a clear, easy to understand fashion.

Importantly, your discussion here needs to link back to your research questions (which you outlined in the introduction or literature review chapter). In other words, it needs to answer the key questions you asked (or at least attempt to answer them).

For example, if we look at the sample research topic:

In this case, the discussion section would clearly outline which factors seem to have a noteworthy influence on organisational trust. By doing so, they are answering the overarching question and fulfilling the purpose of the research .

Your discussion here needs to link back to your research questions. It needs to answer the key questions you asked in your introduction.

For more information about the results chapter , check out this post for qualitative studies and this post for quantitative studies .

Step 8: The Final Step Draw a conclusion and discuss the implications

Last but not least, you’ll need to wrap up your research with the conclusion chapter . In this chapter, you’ll bring your research full circle by highlighting the key findings of your study and explaining what the implications of these findings are.

What exactly are key findings? The key findings are those findings which directly relate to your original research questions and overall research objectives (which you discussed in your introduction chapter). The implications, on the other hand, explain what your findings mean for industry, or for research in your area.

Sticking with the consumer trust topic example, the conclusion might look something like this:

Key findings

This study set out to identify which factors influence consumer-based trust in British low-cost online equity brokerage firms. The results suggest that the following factors have a large impact on consumer trust:

While the following factors have a very limited impact on consumer trust:

Notably, within the 25-30 age groups, Factors E had a noticeably larger impact, which may be explained by…

Implications

The findings having noteworthy implications for British low-cost online equity brokers. Specifically:

The large impact of Factors X and Y implies that brokers need to consider….

The limited impact of Factor E implies that brokers need to…

As you can see, the conclusion chapter is basically explaining the “what” (what your study found) and the “so what?” (what the findings mean for the industry or research). This brings the study full circle and closes off the document.

In the final chapter, you’ll bring your research full circle by highlighting the key findings of your study and the implications thereof.

Let’s recap – how to write a dissertation or thesis

You’re still with me? Impressive! I know that this post was a long one, but hopefully you’ve learnt a thing or two about how to write a dissertation or thesis, and are now better equipped to start your own research.

To recap, the 8 steps to writing a quality dissertation (or thesis) are as follows:

  • Understand what a dissertation (or thesis) is – a research project that follows the research process.
  • Find a unique (original) and important research topic
  • Craft a convincing dissertation or thesis research proposal
  • Write a clear, compelling introduction chapter
  • Undertake a thorough review of the existing research and write up a literature review
  • Undertake your own research
  • Present and interpret your findings

Once you’ve wrapped up the core chapters, all that’s typically left is the abstract , reference list and appendices. As always, be sure to check with your university if they have any additional requirements in terms of structure or content.  

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This post was based on one of our popular Research Bootcamps . If you're working on a research project, you'll definitely want to check this out ...

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20 Comments

Romia

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Derek Jansen

Great to hear that – thanks for the feedback. Good luck writing your dissertation/thesis.

Writer

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Sam

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Hailu

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Nunurayi Tambala

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Ken

I can say that your explanations are simple and enlightening – understanding what you have done here is easy for me. Could you write more about the different types of research methods specific to the three methodologies: quan, qual and MM. I look forward to interacting with this website more in the future.

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions 🙂

Osasuyi Blessing

Hello, your write ups is quite educative. However, l have challenges in going about my research questions which is below; *Building the enablers of organisational growth through effective governance and purposeful leadership.*

Dung Doh

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Ezra Daniel

Just listening to the name of the dissertation makes the student nervous. As writing a top-quality dissertation is a difficult task as it is a lengthy topic, requires a lot of research and understanding and is usually around 10,000 to 15000 words. Sometimes due to studies, unbalanced workload or lack of research and writing skill students look for dissertation submission from professional writers.

Nice Edinam Hoyah

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Sehauli

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Daniel Madsen

Hi. Where is the excel spread sheet ark?

Emmanuel kKoko

could you please help me look at your thesis paper to enable me to do the portion that has to do with the specification

my topic is “the impact of domestic revenue mobilization.

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  • What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples

What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples

Published on September 14, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on April 16, 2024.

A thesis is a type of research paper based on your original research. It is usually submitted as the final step of a master’s program or a capstone to a bachelor’s degree.

Writing a thesis can be a daunting experience. Other than a dissertation , it is one of the longest pieces of writing students typically complete. It relies on your ability to conduct research from start to finish: choosing a relevant topic , crafting a proposal , designing your research , collecting data , developing a robust analysis, drawing strong conclusions , and writing concisely .

Thesis template

You can also download our full thesis template in the format of your choice below. Our template includes a ready-made table of contents , as well as guidance for what each chapter should include. It’s easy to make it your own, and can help you get started.

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Table of contents

Thesis vs. thesis statement, how to structure a thesis, acknowledgements or preface, list of figures and tables, list of abbreviations, introduction, literature review, methodology, reference list, proofreading and editing, defending your thesis, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about theses.

You may have heard the word thesis as a standalone term or as a component of academic writing called a thesis statement . Keep in mind that these are two very different things.

  • A thesis statement is a very common component of an essay, particularly in the humanities. It usually comprises 1 or 2 sentences in the introduction of your essay , and should clearly and concisely summarize the central points of your academic essay .
  • A thesis is a long-form piece of academic writing, often taking more than a full semester to complete. It is generally a degree requirement for Master’s programs, and is also sometimes required to complete a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts colleges.
  • In the US, a dissertation is generally written as a final step toward obtaining a PhD.
  • In other countries (particularly the UK), a dissertation is generally written at the bachelor’s or master’s level.

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The final structure of your thesis depends on a variety of components, such as:

  • Your discipline
  • Your theoretical approach

Humanities theses are often structured more like a longer-form essay . Just like in an essay, you build an argument to support a central thesis.

In both hard and social sciences, theses typically include an introduction , literature review , methodology section ,  results section , discussion section , and conclusion section . These are each presented in their own dedicated section or chapter. In some cases, you might want to add an appendix .

Thesis examples

We’ve compiled a short list of thesis examples to help you get started.

  • Example thesis #1:   “Abolition, Africans, and Abstraction: the Influence of the ‘Noble Savage’ on British and French Antislavery Thought, 1787-1807” by Suchait Kahlon.
  • Example thesis #2: “’A Starving Man Helping Another Starving Man’: UNRRA, India, and the Genesis of Global Relief, 1943-1947″ by Julian Saint Reiman.

The very first page of your thesis contains all necessary identifying information, including:

  • Your full title
  • Your full name
  • Your department
  • Your institution and degree program
  • Your submission date.

Sometimes the title page also includes your student ID, the name of your supervisor, or the university’s logo. Check out your university’s guidelines if you’re not sure.

Read more about title pages

The acknowledgements section is usually optional. Its main point is to allow you to thank everyone who helped you in your thesis journey, such as supervisors, friends, or family. You can also choose to write a preface , but it’s typically one or the other, not both.

Read more about acknowledgements Read more about prefaces

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An abstract is a short summary of your thesis. Usually a maximum of 300 words long, it’s should include brief descriptions of your research objectives , methods, results, and conclusions. Though it may seem short, it introduces your work to your audience, serving as a first impression of your thesis.

Read more about abstracts

A table of contents lists all of your sections, plus their corresponding page numbers and subheadings if you have them. This helps your reader seamlessly navigate your document.

Your table of contents should include all the major parts of your thesis. In particular, don’t forget the the appendices. If you used heading styles, it’s easy to generate an automatic table Microsoft Word.

Read more about tables of contents

While not mandatory, if you used a lot of tables and/or figures, it’s nice to include a list of them to help guide your reader. It’s also easy to generate one of these in Word: just use the “Insert Caption” feature.

Read more about lists of figures and tables

If you have used a lot of industry- or field-specific abbreviations in your thesis, you should include them in an alphabetized list of abbreviations . This way, your readers can easily look up any meanings they aren’t familiar with.

Read more about lists of abbreviations

Relatedly, if you find yourself using a lot of very specialized or field-specific terms that may not be familiar to your reader, consider including a glossary . Alphabetize the terms you want to include with a brief definition.

Read more about glossaries

An introduction sets up the topic, purpose, and relevance of your thesis, as well as expectations for your reader. This should:

  • Ground your research topic , sharing any background information your reader may need
  • Define the scope of your work
  • Introduce any existing research on your topic, situating your work within a broader problem or debate
  • State your research question(s)
  • Outline (briefly) how the remainder of your work will proceed

In other words, your introduction should clearly and concisely show your reader the “what, why, and how” of your research.

Read more about introductions

A literature review helps you gain a robust understanding of any extant academic work on your topic, encompassing:

  • Selecting relevant sources
  • Determining the credibility of your sources
  • Critically evaluating each of your sources
  • Drawing connections between sources, including any themes, patterns, conflicts, or gaps

A literature review is not merely a summary of existing work. Rather, your literature review should ultimately lead to a clear justification for your own research, perhaps via:

  • Addressing a gap in the literature
  • Building on existing knowledge to draw new conclusions
  • Exploring a new theoretical or methodological approach
  • Introducing a new solution to an unresolved problem
  • Definitively advocating for one side of a theoretical debate

Read more about literature reviews

Theoretical framework

Your literature review can often form the basis for your theoretical framework, but these are not the same thing. A theoretical framework defines and analyzes the concepts and theories that your research hinges on.

Read more about theoretical frameworks

Your methodology chapter shows your reader how you conducted your research. It should be written clearly and methodically, easily allowing your reader to critically assess the credibility of your argument. Furthermore, your methods section should convince your reader that your method was the best way to answer your research question.

A methodology section should generally include:

  • Your overall approach ( quantitative vs. qualitative )
  • Your research methods (e.g., a longitudinal study )
  • Your data collection methods (e.g., interviews or a controlled experiment
  • Any tools or materials you used (e.g., computer software)
  • The data analysis methods you chose (e.g., statistical analysis , discourse analysis )
  • A strong, but not defensive justification of your methods

Read more about methodology sections

Your results section should highlight what your methodology discovered. These two sections work in tandem, but shouldn’t repeat each other. While your results section can include hypotheses or themes, don’t include any speculation or new arguments here.

Your results section should:

  • State each (relevant) result with any (relevant) descriptive statistics (e.g., mean , standard deviation ) and inferential statistics (e.g., test statistics , p values )
  • Explain how each result relates to the research question
  • Determine whether the hypothesis was supported

Additional data (like raw numbers or interview transcripts ) can be included as an appendix . You can include tables and figures, but only if they help the reader better understand your results.

Read more about results sections

Your discussion section is where you can interpret your results in detail. Did they meet your expectations? How well do they fit within the framework that you built? You can refer back to any relevant source material to situate your results within your field, but leave most of that analysis in your literature review.

For any unexpected results, offer explanations or alternative interpretations of your data.

Read more about discussion sections

Your thesis conclusion should concisely answer your main research question. It should leave your reader with an ultra-clear understanding of your central argument, and emphasize what your research specifically has contributed to your field.

Why does your research matter? What recommendations for future research do you have? Lastly, wrap up your work with any concluding remarks.

Read more about conclusions

In order to avoid plagiarism , don’t forget to include a full reference list at the end of your thesis, citing the sources that you used. Choose one citation style and follow it consistently throughout your thesis, taking note of the formatting requirements of each style.

Which style you choose is often set by your department or your field, but common styles include MLA , Chicago , and APA.

Create APA citations Create MLA citations

In order to stay clear and concise, your thesis should include the most essential information needed to answer your research question. However, chances are you have many contributing documents, like interview transcripts or survey questions . These can be added as appendices , to save space in the main body.

Read more about appendices

Once you’re done writing, the next part of your editing process begins. Leave plenty of time for proofreading and editing prior to submission. Nothing looks worse than grammar mistakes or sloppy spelling errors!

Consider using a professional thesis editing service or grammar checker to make sure your final project is perfect.

Once you’ve submitted your final product, it’s common practice to have a thesis defense, an oral component of your finished work. This is scheduled by your advisor or committee, and usually entails a presentation and Q&A session.

After your defense , your committee will meet to determine if you deserve any departmental honors or accolades. However, keep in mind that defenses are usually just a formality. If there are any serious issues with your work, these should be resolved with your advisor way before a defense.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

Research bias

  • Survivorship bias
  • Self-serving bias
  • Availability heuristic
  • Halo effect
  • Hindsight bias
  • Deep learning
  • Generative AI
  • Machine learning
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Supervised vs. unsupervised learning

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The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation shouldn’t take up more than 5–7% of your overall word count.

If you only used a few abbreviations in your thesis or dissertation , you don’t necessarily need to include a list of abbreviations .

If your abbreviations are numerous, or if you think they won’t be known to your audience, it’s never a bad idea to add one. They can also improve readability, minimizing confusion about abbreviations unfamiliar to your reader.

When you mention different chapters within your text, it’s considered best to use Roman numerals for most citation styles. However, the most important thing here is to remain consistent whenever using numbers in your dissertation .

A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical first steps in your writing process. It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.

Generally, an outline contains information on the different sections included in your thesis or dissertation , such as:

  • Your anticipated title
  • Your abstract
  • Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review , research methods , avenues for future research, etc.)

A thesis is typically written by students finishing up a bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Some educational institutions, particularly in the liberal arts, have mandatory theses, but they are often not mandatory to graduate from bachelor’s degrees. It is more common for a thesis to be a graduation requirement from a Master’s degree.

Even if not mandatory, you may want to consider writing a thesis if you:

  • Plan to attend graduate school soon
  • Have a particular topic you’d like to study more in-depth
  • Are considering a career in research
  • Would like a capstone experience to tie up your academic experience

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While Sandel argues that pursuing perfection through genetic engineering would decrease our sense of humility, he claims that the sense of solidarity we would lose is also important.

This thesis summarizes several points in Sandel’s argument, but it does not make a claim about how we should understand his argument. A reader who read Sandel’s argument would not also need to read an essay based on this descriptive thesis.  

Broad thesis (arguable, but difficult to support with evidence) 

Michael Sandel’s arguments about genetic engineering do not take into consideration all the relevant issues.

This is an arguable claim because it would be possible to argue against it by saying that Michael Sandel’s arguments do take all of the relevant issues into consideration. But the claim is too broad. Because the thesis does not specify which “issues” it is focused on—or why it matters if they are considered—readers won’t know what the rest of the essay will argue, and the writer won’t know what to focus on. If there is a particular issue that Sandel does not address, then a more specific version of the thesis would include that issue—hand an explanation of why it is important.  

Arguable thesis with analytical claim 

While Sandel argues persuasively that our instinct to “remake” (54) ourselves into something ever more perfect is a problem, his belief that we can always draw a line between what is medically necessary and what makes us simply “better than well” (51) is less convincing.

This is an arguable analytical claim. To argue for this claim, the essay writer will need to show how evidence from the article itself points to this interpretation. It’s also a reasonable scope for a thesis because it can be supported with evidence available in the text and is neither too broad nor too narrow.  

Arguable thesis with normative claim 

Given Sandel’s argument against genetic enhancement, we should not allow parents to decide on using Human Growth Hormone for their children.

This thesis tells us what we should do about a particular issue discussed in Sandel’s article, but it does not tell us how we should understand Sandel’s argument.  

Questions to ask about your thesis 

  • Is the thesis truly arguable? Does it speak to a genuine dilemma in the source, or would most readers automatically agree with it?  
  • Is the thesis too obvious? Again, would most or all readers agree with it without needing to see your argument?  
  • Is the thesis complex enough to require a whole essay's worth of argument?  
  • Is the thesis supportable with evidence from the text rather than with generalizations or outside research?  
  • Would anyone want to read a paper in which this thesis was developed? That is, can you explain what this paper is adding to our understanding of a problem, question, or topic?
  • picture_as_pdf Thesis

Developing a Thesis Statement

Many papers you write require developing a thesis statement. In this section you’ll learn what a thesis statement is and how to write one.

Keep in mind that not all papers require thesis statements . If in doubt, please consult your instructor for assistance.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement . . .

  • Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic.
  • Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper.
  • Is focused and specific enough to be “proven” within the boundaries of your paper.
  • Is generally located near the end of the introduction ; sometimes, in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or in an entire paragraph.
  • Identifies the relationships between the pieces of evidence that you are using to support your argument.

Not all papers require thesis statements! Ask your instructor if you’re in doubt whether you need one.

Identify a topic

Your topic is the subject about which you will write. Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic; or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper.

Consider what your assignment asks you to do

Inform yourself about your topic, focus on one aspect of your topic, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts, generate a topic from an assignment.

Below are some possible topics based on sample assignments.

Sample assignment 1

Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II.

Identified topic

Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis

This topic avoids generalities such as “Spain” and “World War II,” addressing instead on Franco’s role (a specific aspect of “Spain”) and the diplomatic relations between the Allies and Axis (a specific aspect of World War II).

Sample assignment 2

Analyze one of Homer’s epic similes in the Iliad.

The relationship between the portrayal of warfare and the epic simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64.

This topic focuses on a single simile and relates it to a single aspect of the Iliad ( warfare being a major theme in that work).

Developing a Thesis Statement–Additional information

Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic, or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper. You’ll want to read your assignment carefully, looking for key terms that you can use to focus your topic.

Sample assignment: Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II Key terms: analyze, Spain’s neutrality, World War II

After you’ve identified the key words in your topic, the next step is to read about them in several sources, or generate as much information as possible through an analysis of your topic. Obviously, the more material or knowledge you have, the more possibilities will be available for a strong argument. For the sample assignment above, you’ll want to look at books and articles on World War II in general, and Spain’s neutrality in particular.

As you consider your options, you must decide to focus on one aspect of your topic. This means that you cannot include everything you’ve learned about your topic, nor should you go off in several directions. If you end up covering too many different aspects of a topic, your paper will sprawl and be unconvincing in its argument, and it most likely will not fulfull the assignment requirements.

For the sample assignment above, both Spain’s neutrality and World War II are topics far too broad to explore in a paper. You may instead decide to focus on Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis , which narrows down what aspects of Spain’s neutrality and World War II you want to discuss, as well as establishes a specific link between those two aspects.

Before you go too far, however, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts. Try to avoid topics that already have too much written about them (i.e., “eating disorders and body image among adolescent women”) or that simply are not important (i.e. “why I like ice cream”). These topics may lead to a thesis that is either dry fact or a weird claim that cannot be supported. A good thesis falls somewhere between the two extremes. To arrive at this point, ask yourself what is new, interesting, contestable, or controversial about your topic.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times . Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Derive a main point from topic

Once you have a topic, you will have to decide what the main point of your paper will be. This point, the “controlling idea,” becomes the core of your argument (thesis statement) and it is the unifying idea to which you will relate all your sub-theses. You can then turn this “controlling idea” into a purpose statement about what you intend to do in your paper.

Look for patterns in your evidence

Compose a purpose statement.

Consult the examples below for suggestions on how to look for patterns in your evidence and construct a purpose statement.

  • Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis
  • Franco turned to the Allies when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from the Axis

Possible conclusion:

Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: Franco’s desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power.

Purpose statement

This paper will analyze Franco’s diplomacy during World War II to see how it contributed to Spain’s neutrality.
  • The simile compares Simoisius to a tree, which is a peaceful, natural image.
  • The tree in the simile is chopped down to make wheels for a chariot, which is an object used in warfare.

At first, the simile seems to take the reader away from the world of warfare, but we end up back in that world by the end.

This paper will analyze the way the simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64 moves in and out of the world of warfare.

Derive purpose statement from topic

To find out what your “controlling idea” is, you have to examine and evaluate your evidence . As you consider your evidence, you may notice patterns emerging, data repeated in more than one source, or facts that favor one view more than another. These patterns or data may then lead you to some conclusions about your topic and suggest that you can successfully argue for one idea better than another.

For instance, you might find out that Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis, but when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from them, he turned to the Allies. As you read more about Franco’s decisions, you may conclude that Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: his desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power. Based on this conclusion, you can then write a trial thesis statement to help you decide what material belongs in your paper.

Sometimes you won’t be able to find a focus or identify your “spin” or specific argument immediately. Like some writers, you might begin with a purpose statement just to get yourself going. A purpose statement is one or more sentences that announce your topic and indicate the structure of the paper but do not state the conclusions you have drawn . Thus, you might begin with something like this:

  • This paper will look at modern language to see if it reflects male dominance or female oppression.
  • I plan to analyze anger and derision in offensive language to see if they represent a challenge of society’s authority.

At some point, you can turn a purpose statement into a thesis statement. As you think and write about your topic, you can restrict, clarify, and refine your argument, crafting your thesis statement to reflect your thinking.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Compose a draft thesis statement

If you are writing a paper that will have an argumentative thesis and are having trouble getting started, the techniques in the table below may help you develop a temporary or “working” thesis statement.

Begin with a purpose statement that you will later turn into a thesis statement.

Assignment: Discuss the history of the Reform Party and explain its influence on the 1990 presidential and Congressional election.

Purpose Statement: This paper briefly sketches the history of the grassroots, conservative, Perot-led Reform Party and analyzes how it influenced the economic and social ideologies of the two mainstream parties.

Question-to-Assertion

If your assignment asks a specific question(s), turn the question(s) into an assertion and give reasons why it is true or reasons for your opinion.

Assignment : What do Aylmer and Rappaccini have to be proud of? Why aren’t they satisfied with these things? How does pride, as demonstrated in “The Birthmark” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” lead to unexpected problems?

Beginning thesis statement: Alymer and Rappaccinni are proud of their great knowledge; however, they are also very greedy and are driven to use their knowledge to alter some aspect of nature as a test of their ability. Evil results when they try to “play God.”

Write a sentence that summarizes the main idea of the essay you plan to write.

Main idea: The reason some toys succeed in the market is that they appeal to the consumers’ sense of the ridiculous and their basic desire to laugh at themselves.

Make a list of the ideas that you want to include; consider the ideas and try to group them.

  • nature = peaceful
  • war matériel = violent (competes with 1?)
  • need for time and space to mourn the dead
  • war is inescapable (competes with 3?)

Use a formula to arrive at a working thesis statement (you will revise this later).

  • although most readers of _______ have argued that _______, closer examination shows that _______.
  • _______ uses _______ and _____ to prove that ________.
  • phenomenon x is a result of the combination of __________, __________, and _________.

What to keep in mind as you draft an initial thesis statement

Beginning statements obtained through the methods illustrated above can serve as a framework for planning or drafting your paper, but remember they’re not yet the specific, argumentative thesis you want for the final version of your paper. In fact, in its first stages, a thesis statement usually is ill-formed or rough and serves only as a planning tool.

As you write, you may discover evidence that does not fit your temporary or “working” thesis. Or you may reach deeper insights about your topic as you do more research, and you will find that your thesis statement has to be more complicated to match the evidence that you want to use.

You must be willing to reject or omit some evidence in order to keep your paper cohesive and your reader focused. Or you may have to revise your thesis to match the evidence and insights that you want to discuss. Read your draft carefully, noting the conclusions you have drawn and the major ideas which support or prove those conclusions. These will be the elements of your final thesis statement.

Sometimes you will not be able to identify these elements in your early drafts, but as you consider how your argument is developing and how your evidence supports your main idea, ask yourself, “ What is the main point that I want to prove/discuss? ” and “ How will I convince the reader that this is true? ” When you can answer these questions, then you can begin to refine the thesis statement.

Refine and polish the thesis statement

To get to your final thesis, you’ll need to refine your draft thesis so that it’s specific and arguable.

  • Ask if your draft thesis addresses the assignment
  • Question each part of your draft thesis
  • Clarify vague phrases and assertions
  • Investigate alternatives to your draft thesis

Consult the example below for suggestions on how to refine your draft thesis statement.

Sample Assignment

Choose an activity and define it as a symbol of American culture. Your essay should cause the reader to think critically about the society which produces and enjoys that activity.

  • Ask The phenomenon of drive-in facilities is an interesting symbol of american culture, and these facilities demonstrate significant characteristics of our society.This statement does not fulfill the assignment because it does not require the reader to think critically about society.
Drive-ins are an interesting symbol of American culture because they represent Americans’ significant creativity and business ingenuity.
Among the types of drive-in facilities familiar during the twentieth century, drive-in movie theaters best represent American creativity, not merely because they were the forerunner of later drive-ins and drive-throughs, but because of their impact on our culture: they changed our relationship to the automobile, changed the way people experienced movies, and changed movie-going into a family activity.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast-food establishments, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize America’s economic ingenuity, they also have affected our personal standards.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast- food restaurants, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize (1) Americans’ business ingenuity, they also have contributed (2) to an increasing homogenization of our culture, (3) a willingness to depersonalize relationships with others, and (4) a tendency to sacrifice quality for convenience.

This statement is now specific and fulfills all parts of the assignment. This version, like any good thesis, is not self-evident; its points, 1-4, will have to be proven with evidence in the body of the paper. The numbers in this statement indicate the order in which the points will be presented. Depending on the length of the paper, there could be one paragraph for each numbered item or there could be blocks of paragraph for even pages for each one.

Complete the final thesis statement

The bottom line.

As you move through the process of crafting a thesis, you’ll need to remember four things:

  • Context matters! Think about your course materials and lectures. Try to relate your thesis to the ideas your instructor is discussing.
  • As you go through the process described in this section, always keep your assignment in mind . You will be more successful when your thesis (and paper) responds to the assignment than if it argues a semi-related idea.
  • Your thesis statement should be precise, focused, and contestable ; it should predict the sub-theses or blocks of information that you will use to prove your argument.
  • Make sure that you keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Change your thesis as your paper evolves, because you do not want your thesis to promise more than your paper actually delivers.

In the beginning, the thesis statement was a tool to help you sharpen your focus, limit material and establish the paper’s purpose. When your paper is finished, however, the thesis statement becomes a tool for your reader. It tells the reader what you have learned about your topic and what evidence led you to your conclusion. It keeps the reader on track–well able to understand and appreciate your argument.

help to write a thesis

Writing Process and Structure

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Getting Started with Your Paper

Interpreting Writing Assignments from Your Courses

Generating Ideas for

Creating an Argument

Thesis vs. Purpose Statements

Architecture of Arguments

Working with Sources

Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources

Using Literary Quotations

Citing Sources in Your Paper

Drafting Your Paper

Generating Ideas for Your Paper

Introductions

Paragraphing

Developing Strategic Transitions

Conclusions

Revising Your Paper

Peer Reviews

Reverse Outlines

Revising an Argumentative Paper

Revision Strategies for Longer Projects

Finishing Your Paper

Twelve Common Errors: An Editing Checklist

How to Proofread your Paper

Writing Collaboratively

Collaborative and Group Writing

Reference management. Clean and simple.

How to write a thesis statement + examples

Thesis statement

What is a thesis statement?

Is a thesis statement a question, how do you write a good thesis statement, how do i know if my thesis statement is good, examples of thesis statements, helpful resources on how to write a thesis statement, frequently asked questions about writing a thesis statement, related articles.

A thesis statement is the main argument of your paper or thesis.

The thesis statement is one of the most important elements of any piece of academic writing . It is a brief statement of your paper’s main argument. Essentially, you are stating what you will be writing about.

You can see your thesis statement as an answer to a question. While it also contains the question, it should really give an answer to the question with new information and not just restate or reiterate it.

Your thesis statement is part of your introduction. Learn more about how to write a good thesis introduction in our introduction guide .

A thesis statement is not a question. A statement must be arguable and provable through evidence and analysis. While your thesis might stem from a research question, it should be in the form of a statement.

Tip: A thesis statement is typically 1-2 sentences. For a longer project like a thesis, the statement may be several sentences or a paragraph.

A good thesis statement needs to do the following:

  • Condense the main idea of your thesis into one or two sentences.
  • Answer your project’s main research question.
  • Clearly state your position in relation to the topic .
  • Make an argument that requires support or evidence.

Once you have written down a thesis statement, check if it fulfills the following criteria:

  • Your statement needs to be provable by evidence. As an argument, a thesis statement needs to be debatable.
  • Your statement needs to be precise. Do not give away too much information in the thesis statement and do not load it with unnecessary information.
  • Your statement cannot say that one solution is simply right or simply wrong as a matter of fact. You should draw upon verified facts to persuade the reader of your solution, but you cannot just declare something as right or wrong.

As previously mentioned, your thesis statement should answer a question.

If the question is:

What do you think the City of New York should do to reduce traffic congestion?

A good thesis statement restates the question and answers it:

In this paper, I will argue that the City of New York should focus on providing exclusive lanes for public transport and adaptive traffic signals to reduce traffic congestion by the year 2035.

Here is another example. If the question is:

How can we end poverty?

A good thesis statement should give more than one solution to the problem in question:

In this paper, I will argue that introducing universal basic income can help reduce poverty and positively impact the way we work.

  • The Writing Center of the University of North Carolina has a list of questions to ask to see if your thesis is strong .

A thesis statement is part of the introduction of your paper. It is usually found in the first or second paragraph to let the reader know your research purpose from the beginning.

In general, a thesis statement should have one or two sentences. But the length really depends on the overall length of your project. Take a look at our guide about the length of thesis statements for more insight on this topic.

Here is a list of Thesis Statement Examples that will help you understand better how to write them.

Every good essay should include a thesis statement as part of its introduction, no matter the academic level. Of course, if you are a high school student you are not expected to have the same type of thesis as a PhD student.

Here is a great YouTube tutorial showing How To Write An Essay: Thesis Statements .

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How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement: 4 Steps + Examples

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What’s Covered:

What is the purpose of a thesis statement, writing a good thesis statement: 4 steps, common pitfalls to avoid, where to get your essay edited for free.

When you set out to write an essay, there has to be some kind of point to it, right? Otherwise, your essay would just be a big jumble of word salad that makes absolutely no sense. An essay needs a central point that ties into everything else. That main point is called a thesis statement, and it’s the core of any essay or research paper.

You may hear about Master degree candidates writing a thesis, and that is an entire paper–not to be confused with the thesis statement, which is typically one sentence that contains your paper’s focus. 

Read on to learn more about thesis statements and how to write them. We’ve also included some solid examples for you to reference.

Typically the last sentence of your introductory paragraph, the thesis statement serves as the roadmap for your essay. When your reader gets to the thesis statement, they should have a clear outline of your main point, as well as the information you’ll be presenting in order to either prove or support your point. 

The thesis statement should not be confused for a topic sentence , which is the first sentence of every paragraph in your essay. If you need help writing topic sentences, numerous resources are available. Topic sentences should go along with your thesis statement, though.

Since the thesis statement is the most important sentence of your entire essay or paper, it’s imperative that you get this part right. Otherwise, your paper will not have a good flow and will seem disjointed. That’s why it’s vital not to rush through developing one. It’s a methodical process with steps that you need to follow in order to create the best thesis statement possible.

Step 1: Decide what kind of paper you’re writing

When you’re assigned an essay, there are several different types you may get. Argumentative essays are designed to get the reader to agree with you on a topic. Informative or expository essays present information to the reader. Analytical essays offer up a point and then expand on it by analyzing relevant information. Thesis statements can look and sound different based on the type of paper you’re writing. For example:

  • Argumentative: The United States needs a viable third political party to decrease bipartisanship, increase options, and help reduce corruption in government.
  • Informative: The Libertarian party has thrown off elections before by gaining enough support in states to get on the ballot and by taking away crucial votes from candidates.
  • Analytical: An analysis of past presidential elections shows that while third party votes may have been the minority, they did affect the outcome of the elections in 2020, 2016, and beyond.

Step 2: Figure out what point you want to make

Once you know what type of paper you’re writing, you then need to figure out the point you want to make with your thesis statement, and subsequently, your paper. In other words, you need to decide to answer a question about something, such as:

  • What impact did reality TV have on American society?
  • How has the musical Hamilton affected perception of American history?
  • Why do I want to major in [chosen major here]?

If you have an argumentative essay, then you will be writing about an opinion. To make it easier, you may want to choose an opinion that you feel passionate about so that you’re writing about something that interests you. For example, if you have an interest in preserving the environment, you may want to choose a topic that relates to that. 

If you’re writing your college essay and they ask why you want to attend that school, you may want to have a main point and back it up with information, something along the lines of:

“Attending Harvard University would benefit me both academically and professionally, as it would give me a strong knowledge base upon which to build my career, develop my network, and hopefully give me an advantage in my chosen field.”

Step 3: Determine what information you’ll use to back up your point

Once you have the point you want to make, you need to figure out how you plan to back it up throughout the rest of your essay. Without this information, it will be hard to either prove or argue the main point of your thesis statement. If you decide to write about the Hamilton example, you may decide to address any falsehoods that the writer put into the musical, such as:

“The musical Hamilton, while accurate in many ways, leaves out key parts of American history, presents a nationalist view of founding fathers, and downplays the racism of the times.”

Once you’ve written your initial working thesis statement, you’ll then need to get information to back that up. For example, the musical completely leaves out Benjamin Franklin, portrays the founding fathers in a nationalist way that is too complimentary, and shows Hamilton as a staunch abolitionist despite the fact that his family likely did own slaves. 

Step 4: Revise and refine your thesis statement before you start writing

Read through your thesis statement several times before you begin to compose your full essay. You need to make sure the statement is ironclad, since it is the foundation of the entire paper. Edit it or have a peer review it for you to make sure everything makes sense and that you feel like you can truly write a paper on the topic. Once you’ve done that, you can then begin writing your paper.

When writing a thesis statement, there are some common pitfalls you should avoid so that your paper can be as solid as possible. Make sure you always edit the thesis statement before you do anything else. You also want to ensure that the thesis statement is clear and concise. Don’t make your reader hunt for your point. Finally, put your thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph and have your introduction flow toward that statement. Your reader will expect to find your statement in its traditional spot.

If you’re having trouble getting started, or need some guidance on your essay, there are tools available that can help you. CollegeVine offers a free peer essay review tool where one of your peers can read through your essay and provide you with valuable feedback. Getting essay feedback from a peer can help you wow your instructor or college admissions officer with an impactful essay that effectively illustrates your point.

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How to write a thesis statement, what is a thesis statement.

Almost all of us—even if we don’t do it consciously—look early in an essay for a one- or two-sentence condensation of the argument or analysis that is to follow. We refer to that condensation as a thesis statement.

Why Should Your Essay Contain a Thesis Statement?

  • to test your ideas by distilling them into a sentence or two
  • to better organize and develop your argument
  • to provide your reader with a “guide” to your argument

In general, your thesis statement will accomplish these goals if you think of the thesis as the answer to the question your paper explores.

How Can You Write a Good Thesis Statement?

Here are some helpful hints to get you started. You can either scroll down or select a link to a specific topic.

How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One

How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned

Almost all assignments, no matter how complicated, can be reduced to a single question. Your first step, then, is to distill the assignment into a specific question. For example, if your assignment is, “Write a report to the local school board explaining the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class,” turn the request into a question like, “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?” After you’ve chosen the question your essay will answer, compose one or two complete sentences answering that question.

Q: “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?” A: “The potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class are . . .”
A: “Using computers in a fourth-grade class promises to improve . . .”

The answer to the question is the thesis statement for the essay.

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How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned

Even if your assignment doesn’t ask a specific question, your thesis statement still needs to answer a question about the issue you’d like to explore. In this situation, your job is to figure out what question you’d like to write about.

A good thesis statement will usually include the following four attributes:

  • take on a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree
  • deal with a subject that can be adequately treated given the nature of the assignment
  • express one main idea
  • assert your conclusions about a subject

Let’s see how to generate a thesis statement for a social policy paper.

Brainstorm the topic . Let’s say that your class focuses upon the problems posed by changes in the dietary habits of Americans. You find that you are interested in the amount of sugar Americans consume.

You start out with a thesis statement like this:

Sugar consumption.

This fragment isn’t a thesis statement. Instead, it simply indicates a general subject. Furthermore, your reader doesn’t know what you want to say about sugar consumption.

Narrow the topic . Your readings about the topic, however, have led you to the conclusion that elementary school children are consuming far more sugar than is healthy.

You change your thesis to look like this:

Reducing sugar consumption by elementary school children.

This fragment not only announces your subject, but it focuses on one segment of the population: elementary school children. Furthermore, it raises a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree, because while most people might agree that children consume more sugar than they used to, not everyone would agree on what should be done or who should do it. You should note that this fragment is not a thesis statement because your reader doesn’t know your conclusions on the topic.

Take a position on the topic. After reflecting on the topic a little while longer, you decide that what you really want to say about this topic is that something should be done to reduce the amount of sugar these children consume.

You revise your thesis statement to look like this:

More attention should be paid to the food and beverage choices available to elementary school children.

This statement asserts your position, but the terms more attention and food and beverage choices are vague.

Use specific language . You decide to explain what you mean about food and beverage choices , so you write:

Experts estimate that half of elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar.

This statement is specific, but it isn’t a thesis. It merely reports a statistic instead of making an assertion.

Make an assertion based on clearly stated support. You finally revise your thesis statement one more time to look like this:

Because half of all American elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar, schools should be required to replace the beverages in soda machines with healthy alternatives.

Notice how the thesis answers the question, “What should be done to reduce sugar consumption by children, and who should do it?” When you started thinking about the paper, you may not have had a specific question in mind, but as you became more involved in the topic, your ideas became more specific. Your thesis changed to reflect your new insights.

How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One

1. a strong thesis statement takes some sort of stand..

Remember that your thesis needs to show your conclusions about a subject. For example, if you are writing a paper for a class on fitness, you might be asked to choose a popular weight-loss product to evaluate. Here are two thesis statements:

There are some negative and positive aspects to the Banana Herb Tea Supplement.

This is a weak thesis statement. First, it fails to take a stand. Second, the phrase negative and positive aspects is vague.

Because Banana Herb Tea Supplement promotes rapid weight loss that results in the loss of muscle and lean body mass, it poses a potential danger to customers.

This is a strong thesis because it takes a stand, and because it's specific.

2. A strong thesis statement justifies discussion.

Your thesis should indicate the point of the discussion. If your assignment is to write a paper on kinship systems, using your own family as an example, you might come up with either of these two thesis statements:

My family is an extended family.

This is a weak thesis because it merely states an observation. Your reader won’t be able to tell the point of the statement, and will probably stop reading.

While most American families would view consanguineal marriage as a threat to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families, like my own, believe that these marriages help reinforce kinship ties in an extended family.

This is a strong thesis because it shows how your experience contradicts a widely-accepted view. A good strategy for creating a strong thesis is to show that the topic is controversial. Readers will be interested in reading the rest of the essay to see how you support your point.

3. A strong thesis statement expresses one main idea.

Readers need to be able to see that your paper has one main point. If your thesis statement expresses more than one idea, then you might confuse your readers about the subject of your paper. For example:

Companies need to exploit the marketing potential of the Internet, and Web pages can provide both advertising and customer support.

This is a weak thesis statement because the reader can’t decide whether the paper is about marketing on the Internet or Web pages. To revise the thesis, the relationship between the two ideas needs to become more clear. One way to revise the thesis would be to write:

Because the Internet is filled with tremendous marketing potential, companies should exploit this potential by using Web pages that offer both advertising and customer support.

This is a strong thesis because it shows that the two ideas are related. Hint: a great many clear and engaging thesis statements contain words like because , since , so , although , unless , and however .

4. A strong thesis statement is specific.

A thesis statement should show exactly what your paper will be about, and will help you keep your paper to a manageable topic. For example, if you're writing a seven-to-ten page paper on hunger, you might say:

World hunger has many causes and effects.

This is a weak thesis statement for two major reasons. First, world hunger can’t be discussed thoroughly in seven to ten pages. Second, many causes and effects is vague. You should be able to identify specific causes and effects. A revised thesis might look like this:

Hunger persists in Glandelinia because jobs are scarce and farming in the infertile soil is rarely profitable.

This is a strong thesis statement because it narrows the subject to a more specific and manageable topic, and it also identifies the specific causes for the existence of hunger.

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Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements

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Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement

1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing:

  • An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.
  • An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.
  • An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.

If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.

2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.

3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.

4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Examples

Example of an analytical thesis statement:

The paper that follows should:

  • Explain the analysis of the college admission process
  • Explain the challenge facing admissions counselors

Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:

  • Explain how students spend their time studying, attending class, and socializing with peers

Example of an argumentative thesis statement:

  • Present an argument and give evidence to support the claim that students should pursue community projects before entering college

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How to Write a Thesis: Home

  • Getting Started
  • Choosing a Topic
  • Creating an Outline
  • Conducting Research
  • Drafting a Thesis
  • Revising a Thesis
  • Creating Citations

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This guide features information and resources for each step of the research and writing process. You'll find material on how to:

  • chose a topic
  • create an outline
  • craft a thesis statement
  • draft all the components of a typical thesis (introduction, literature review, analysis, conclusion, etc.)
  • revise a thesis for better clarity, structure, and organization
  • create accurate citations and avoid plagiarism

General Resources

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)   The Purdue OWL contains a wealth of articles on research, writing, and citation. They are especially well-known for their citation guides.

  • Next: Getting Started >>
  • Last Updated: Aug 30, 2022 12:14 PM
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HOW TO WRITE A THESIS: Steps by step guide

help to write a thesis

Introduction

In the academic world, one of the hallmark rites signifying mastery of a course or academic area is the writing of a thesis . Essentially a thesis is a typewritten work, usually 50 to 350 pages in length depending on institutions, discipline, and educational level which is often aimed at addressing a particular problem in a given field.

While a thesis is inadequate to address all the problems in a given field, it is succinct enough to address a specialized aspect of the problem by taking a stance or making a claim on what the resolution of the problem should be. Writing a thesis can be a very daunting task because most times it is the first complex research undertaking for the student. The lack of research and writing skills to write a thesis coupled with fear and a limited time frame are factors that makes the writing of a thesis daunting. However, commitment to excellence on the part of the student combined with some of the techniques and methods that will be discussed below gives a fair chance that the student will be able to deliver an excellent thesis regardless of the subject area, the depth of the research specialization and the daunting amount of materials that must be comprehended(RE: write a thesis or writing a thesis).

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What is a thesis?

A thesis is a statement, theory, argument, proposal or proposition, which is put forward as a premise to be maintained or proved. It explains the stand someone takes on an issue and how the person intends to justify the stand. It is always better to pick a topic that will be able to render professional help, a topic that you will be happy to talk about with anybody, a topic you have personal interest and passion for, because when writing a thesis gets frustrating personal interest, happiness and passion coupled with the professional help it will be easier to write a great thesis (see you through the thesis). One has to source for a lot of information concerning the topic one is writing a thesis on in order to know the important question, because for you to take a good stand on an issue you have to study the evidence first.

Qualities of a good thesis

A good thesis has the following qualities

  • A good thesis must solve an existing problem in the society, organisation, government among others.
  • A good thesis should be contestable, it should propose a point that is arguable which people can agree with or disagree.
  • It is specific, clear and focused.
  •   A good thesis does not use general terms and abstractions.  
  • The claims of a good thesis should be definable and arguable.
  • It anticipates the counter-argument s
  • It does not use unclear language
  • It avoids the first person. (“In my opinion”)
  • A strong thesis should be able to take a stand and not just taking a stand but should be able to justify the stand that is taken, so that the reader will be tempted to ask questions like how or why.
  • The thesis should be arguable, contestable, focused, specific, and clear. Make your thesis clear, strong and easy to find.
  • The conclusion of a thesis should be based on evidence.

Steps in writing a Thesis

  • First, think about good topics and theories that you can write before writing the thesis, then pick a topic. The topic or thesis statement is derived from a review of existing literature in the area of study that the researcher wants to explore. This route is taken when the unknowns in an area of study are not yet defined. Some areas of study have existing problems yearning to be solved and the drafting of the thesis topic or statement revolves around a selection of one of these problems.
  • Once you have a good thesis, put it down and draw an outline . The outline is like a map of the whole thesis and it covers more commonly the introduction, literature review, discussion of methodology, discussion of results and the thesis’ conclusions and recommendations. The outline might differ from one institution to another but the one described in the preceding sentence is what is more commonly obtainable. It is imperative at this point to note that the outline drew still requires other mini- outlines for each of the sections mentioned. The outlines and mini- outlines provide a graphical over- view of the whole project and can also be used in allocating the word- count for each section and sub- section based on the overall word- count requirement of the thesis(RE: write a thesis or writing a thesis).
  • Literature search. Remember to draw a good outline you need to do literature search to familiarize yourself with the concepts and the works of others. Similarly, to achieve this, you need to read as much material that contains necessary information as you can. There will always be a counter argument for everything so anticipate it because it will help shape your thesis. Read everything you can–academic research, trade literature, and information in the popular press and on the Internet(RE: write a thesis or writing a thesis).
  • After getting all the information you need, the knowledge you gathered should help in suggesting the aim of your thesis.

Remember; a thesis is not supposed to be a question or a list, thesis should specific and as clear as possible. The claims of a thesis should be definable and also arguable.

  • Then collecting and analyzing data, after data analysis, the result of the analysis should be written and discussed, followed by summary, conclusion, recommendations, list of references and the appendices
  • The last step is editing of the thesis and proper spell checking.

Structure of a Thesis

A conventional thesis has five chapters – chapter 1-5 which will be discussed in detail below. However, it is important to state that a thesis is not limited to any chapter or section as the case may be. In fact, a thesis can be five, six, seven or even eight chapters.  What determines the number of chapters in a thesis includes institution rules/ guideline, researcher choice, supervisor choice, programme or educational level. In fact, most PhD thesis are usually more than 5 chapters(RE: write a thesis or writing a thesis).

Preliminaries Pages: The preliminaries are the cover page, the title page, the table of contents page, and the abstract.

The introduction: The introduction is the first section and it provides as the name implies an introduction to the thesis. The introduction contains such aspects as the background to the study which provides information on the topic in the context of what is happening in the world as related to the topic. It also discusses the relevance of the topic to society, policies formulated success and failure. The introduction also contains the statement of the problem which is essentially a succinct description of the problem that the thesis want to solve and what the trend will be if the problem is not solved. The concluding part of the statement of problem ends with an outline of the research questions. These are the questions which when answered helps in achieving the aim of the thesis. The third section is the outline of research objectives. Conventionally research objectives re a conversion the research questions into an active statement form. Other parts of the introduction are a discussion of hypotheses (if any), the significance of the study, delimitations, proposed methodology and a discussion of the structure of the study(RE: write a thesis or writing a thesis).

The main body includes the following; the literature review, methodology, research results and discussion of the result, the summary, conclusion and recommendations, the list of references and the appendices.

The literature review : The literature review is often the most voluminous aspects of a thesis because it reviews past empirical and theoretical literature about the problem being studied. This section starts by discussing the concepts relevant to the problem as indicated in the topic, the relationship between the concepts and what discoveries have being made on topic based on the choice of methodologies. The validity of the studies reviewed are questioned and findings are compared in order to get a comprehensive picture of the problem. The literature review also discusses the theories and theoretical frameworks that are relevant to the problem, the gaps that are evident in literature and how the thesis being written helps in resolving some of the gaps.

The major importance of Literature review is that it specifies the gap in the existing knowledge (gap in literature). The source of the literature that is being reviewed should be specified. For instance; ‘It has been argued that if the rural youth are to be aware of their community development role they need to be educated’ Effiong, (1992). The author’s name can be at the beginning, end or in between the literature. The literature should be discussed and not just stated (RE: write a thesis or writing a thesis).

The methodology: The third section is a discussion of the research methodology adopted in the thesis and touches on aspects such as the research design, the area, population and sample that will be considered for the study as well as the sampling procedure. These aspects are discussed in terms of choice, method and rationale. This section also covers the sub- section of data collection, data analysis and measures of ensuring validity of study. It is the chapter 3. This chapter explains the method used in data collection and data analysis. It explains the methodology adopted and why it is the best method to be used, it also explains every step of data collection and analysis. The data used could be primary data or secondary data. While analysing the data, proper statistical tool should be used in order to fit the stated objectives of the thesis. The statistical tool could be; the spearman rank order correlation, chi square, analysis of variance (ANOVA) etc (RE: write a thesis or writing a thesis).

The findings and discussion of result : The next section is a discussion of findings based on the data collection instrumentation used and the objectives or hypotheses of study if any. It is the chapter 4. It is research results. This is the part that describes the research. It shows the result gotten from data that is collected and analysed. It discusses the result and how it relates to your profession.

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation: This is normally the chapter 5. The last section discusses the summary of the study and the conclusions arrived at based on the findings discussed in the previous section. This section also presents any policy recommendations that the researcher wants to propose (RE: write a thesis or writing a thesis).

References: It cite all ideas, concepts, text, data that are not your own. It is acceptable to put the initials of the individual authors behind their last names. The way single author is referenced is different from the way more than one author is referenced (RE: write a thesis or writing a thesis).

The appendices; it includes all data in the appendix. Reference data or materials that is not easily available. It includes tables and calculations, List of equipment used for an experiment or details of complicated procedures. If a large number of references are consulted but all are not cited, it may also be included in the appendix. The appendices also contain supportive or complementary information like the questionnaire, the interview schedule, tables and charts while the references section contain an ordered list of all literature, academic and contemporary cited in the thesis. Different schools have their own preferred referencing styles(RE: write a thesis or writing a thesis).   

Follow the following steps to achieve successful thesis writing

Start writing early. Do not delay writing until you have finished your project or research. Write complete and concise “Technical Reports” as and when you finish each nugget of work. This way, you will remember everything you did and document it accurately, when the work is still fresh in your mind. This is especially so if your work involves programming.

Spot errors early. A well-written “Technical Report” will force you to think about what you have done, before you move on to something else. If anything is amiss, you will detect it at once and can easily correct it, rather than have to re-visit the work later, when you may be pressured for time and have lost touch with it.

Write your thesis from the inside out. Begin with the chapters on your own experimental work. You will develop confidence in writing them because you know your own work better than anyone else. Once you have overcome the initial inertia, move on to the other chapters.

End with a bang, not a whimper. First things first, and save the best for last. First and last impressions persist. Arrange your chapters so that your first and last experimental chapters are sound and solid.

Write the Introduction after writing the Conclusions. The examiner will read the Introduction first, and then the Conclusions, to see if the promises made in the former are indeed fulfilled in the latter. Ensure that your introduction and Conclusions match.

“No man is an Island”. The critical review of the literature places your work in context. Usually, one third of the PhD thesis is about others’ work; two thirds, what you have done yourself. After a thorough and critical literature review, the PhD candidate must be able to identify the major researchers in the field and make a sound proposal for doctoral research. Estimate the time to write your thesis and then multiply it by three to get the correct estimate. Writing at one stretch is very demanding and it is all too easy to underestimate the time required for it; inflating your first estimate by a factor of three is more realistic.

Punctuating your thesis

Punctuation Good punctuation makes reading easy. The simplest way to find out where to punctuate is to read aloud what you have written. Each time you pause, you should add a punctuation symbol. There are four major pause symbols, arranged below in ascending order of “degree of pause”:

  • Comma. Use the comma to indicate a short pause or to separate items in a list. A pair of commas may delimit the beginning and end of a subordinate clause or phrase. Sometimes, this is also done with a pair of “em dashes” which are printed like this:
  • Semi-colon. The semi-colon signifies a longer pause than the comma. It separates segments of a sentence that are “further apart” in position, or meaning, but which are nevertheless related. If the ideas were “closer together”, a comma would have been used. It is also used to separate two clauses that may stand on their own but which are too closely related for a colon or full stop to intervene between them.
  • Colon. The colon is used before one or more examples of a concept, and whenever items are to be listed in a visually separate fashion. The sentence that introduced the itemized list you are now reading ended in a colon. It may also be used to separate two fairly—but not totally—independent clauses in a sentence.
  • Full stop or period. The full stop ends a sentence. If the sentence embodies a question or an exclamation, then, of course, it is ended with a question mark or exclamation mark, respectively. The full stop is also used to terminate abbreviations like etc., (for et cetera), e.g., (for exempli gratia), et al., (for et alia) etc., but not with abbreviations for SI units. The readability of your writing will improve greatly if you take the trouble to learn the basic rules of punctuation given above.

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How to Write a Thesis Statement

Last Updated: February 27, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was reviewed by Gerald Posner . Gerald Posner is an Author & Journalist based in Miami, Florida. With over 35 years of experience, he specializes in investigative journalism, nonfiction books, and editorials. He holds a law degree from UC College of the Law, San Francisco, and a BA in Political Science from the University of California-Berkeley. He’s the author of thirteen books, including several New York Times bestsellers, the winner of the Florida Book Award for General Nonfiction, and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. He was also shortlisted for the Best Business Book of 2020 by the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 3,204,634 times.

Whether you’re writing a short essay or a doctoral dissertation, your thesis statement can be one of the trickiest sentences to formulate. Fortunately, there are some basic rules you can follow to ensure your thesis statement is effective and interesting, including that it must be a debatable analytical point, not a general truism.

Crafting Great Thesis Statements

Step 1 Start with a question -- then make the answer your thesis.

  • Thesis: "Computers allow fourth graders an early advantage in technological and scientific education."
  • ' Thesis: "The river comes to symbolize both division and progress, as it separates our characters and country while still providing the best chance for Huck and Jim to get to know one another."
  • Thesis: "Through careful sociological study, we've found that people naturally assume that "morally righteous" people look down on them as "inferior," causing anger and conflict where there generally is none."

Step 2 Tailor your thesis to the type of paper you're writing.

  • Ex. "This dynamic between different generations sparks much of the play’s tension, as age becomes a motive for the violence and unrest that rocks King Lear."
  • Ex. "The explosion of 1800s philosophies like Positivism, Marxism, and Darwinism undermined and refuted Christianity to instead focus on the real, tangible world."
  • Ex. "Without the steady hand and specific decisions of Barack Obama, America would never have recovered from the hole it entered in the early 2000s."

Step 3 Take a specific stance to make your thesis more powerful.

  • "While both sides fought the Civil War over the issue of slavery, the North fought for moral reasons while the South fought to preserve its own institutions."
  • "The primary problem of the American steel industry is the lack of funds to renovate outdated plants and equipment."
  • "Hemingway's stories helped create a new prose style by employing extensive dialogue, shorter sentences, and strong Anglo-Saxon words."

Step 4 Make the argument you've never seen before.

  • "After the third and fourth time you see him beat himself, one finally realizes that Huck Finn is literature's first full-blown sadomasochist."
  • "The advent of internet technology has rendered copyright laws irrelevant -- everyone can and should get writing, movies, art, and music for free."
  • "Though they have served admirably for the past two centuries, recent research shows that America needs to ditch the two-party system, and quickly."

Step 5 Ensure your thesis is provable.

  • "By owning up to the impossible contradictions, embracing them and questioning them, Blake forges his own faith, and is stronger for it. Ultimately, the only way for his poems to have faith is to temporarily lose it."
  • "According to its well-documented beliefs and philosophies, an existential society with no notion of either past or future cannot help but become stagnant."
  • "By reading “Ode to a Nightingale” through a modern deconstructionist lens, we can see how Keats viewed poetry as shifting and subjective, not some rigid form."
  • "The wrong people won the American Revolution." While striking and unique, who is "right" and who is "wrong" is exceptionally hard to prove, and very subjective.
  • "The theory of genetic inheritance is the binding theory of every human interaction." Too complicated and overzealous. The scope of "every human interaction" is just too big
  • "Paul Harding's novel Tinkers is ultimately a cry for help from a clearly depressed author." Unless you interviewed Harding extensively, or had a lot of real-life sources, you have no way of proving what is fact and what is fiction."

Getting it Right

Step 1 State your thesis statement correctly.

  • is an assertion, not a fact or observation. Facts are used within the paper to support your thesis.
  • takes a stand, meaning it announces your position towards a particular topic.
  • is the main idea and explains what you intend to discuss.
  • answers a specific question and explains how you plan to support your argument.
  • is debatable. Someone should be able to argue an alternate position, or conversely, support your claims.

Step 2 Get the sound right.

  • "Because of William the Conqueror's campaign into England, that nation developed the strength and culture it would need to eventually build the British Empire."
  • "Hemingway significantly changed literature by normalizing simplistic writing and frank tone."

Step 3 Know where to place a thesis statement.

Finding the Perfect Thesis

Step 1 Pick a topic that interests you.

  • A clear topic or subject matter
  • A brief summary of what you will say
  • [Something] [does something] because [reason(s)].
  • Because [reason(s)], [something] [does something].
  • Although [opposing evidence], [reasons] show [Something] [does something].
  • The last example includes a counter-argument, which complicates the thesis but strengthens the argument. In fact, you should always be aware of all counter-arguments against your thesis. Doing so will refine your thesis, and also force you to consider arguments you have to refute in your paper.

Step 5 Write down your thesis.

  • There are two schools of thought on thesis timing. Some people say you should not write the paper without a thesis in mind and written down, even if you have to alter it slightly by the end. The other school of thought says that you probably won't know where you're going until you get there, so don't write the thesis until you know what it should be. Do whatever seems best to you.

Step 6 Analyze your thesis...

  • Never frame your thesis as a question . The job of a thesis is to answer a question, not ask one.
  • A thesis is not a list. If you're trying to answer a specific question, too many variables will send your paper off-focus. Keep it concise and brief.
  • Never mention a new topic that you do not intend to discuss in the paper.
  • Do not write in the first person. Using sentences such as, "I will show...," is generally frowned upon by scholars.
  • Do not be combative. The point of your paper is to convince someone of your position, not turn them off, and the best way to achieve that is to make them want to listen to you. Express an open-minded tone, finding common ground between different views.

Step 7 Realize that your thesis does not have to be absolute.

Sample Thesis and List of Things to Include

help to write a thesis

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Think of your thesis as a case a lawyer has to defend. A thesis statement should explain to your readers the case you wish to make and how you will accomplish that. You can also think of your thesis as a contract. Introducing new ideas the reader is not prepared for may be alienating. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 1
  • An effective thesis statement controls the entire argument. It determines what you cannot say. If a paragraph does not support your thesis, either omit it or change your thesis. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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  • ↑ https://wts.indiana.edu/writing-guides/how-to-write-a-thesis-statement.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/the_writing_process/thesis_statement_tips.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/thesis-statements/
  • ↑ http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/planning-and-organizing/thesis-statements
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.uagc.edu/writing-a-thesis

About This Article

Gerald Posner

To write an effective thesis statement, choose a statement that answers a general question about your topic. Check that your thesis is arguable, not factual, and make sure you can back it up your with evidence. For example, your thesis statement could be something like "Computers allow fourth graders an early advantage in technological and scientific education." To learn about writing thesis statements for different types of essays or how to incorporate them into your essay, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to structure your PhD thesis

Organising your PhD thesis in a logical order is one of the crucial stages of your writing process. Here is a list of the individual components to include

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Shama Prasada Kabekkodu

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Using non verbal cues to build rapport with students, emotionally challenging research and researcher well-being, augmenting the doctoral thesis in preparation for a viva, how hard can it be testing ai detection tools.

The task of writing a PhD thesis is top of mind for many aspiring scholars. After all, completing one is no small task. And while these pieces of writing often share a standard format, this can differ slightly based on the requirements of your institution or subject. So what elements make up a PhD thesis?

A doctoral thesis usually contains:

  • A title page
  • Declarations from the candidate and supervisor
  • A certificate from the candidate and supervisor
  • A plagiarism report
  • Acknowledgements 
  • A table of contents
  • Abbreviations 
  • An abstract

Chapters typically cover:

  • A general introduction 
  • Literature review
  • Analysis of the gap in research with aims and objectives
  • Materials and methods
  • Summary and conclusion
  • References or bibliography. 

You should also include a list of papers you have published and any relevant achievements at the end. 

An explanation of each of the components of a PhD dissertation 

Title page: a PhD thesis starts with a title page that contains the complete title of the research work, the submitting university, names of the candidate and supervisor, affiliation and month and year of submission.

Abstract: this serves as a concise synopsis of the dissertation, covering the research context, purpose of the study or research questions, methodology, findings and conclusions. This section is usually one to two pages in length. 

Table of contents: this page lists the thesis content and respective page numbers.

General introduction and literature review: this component is usually 20 to 40 pages long. It presents the readers with the primary material and discusses relevant published data. It provides an overview of pertinent literature related to the thesis such as texts that critically assess the existing literature to identify the gap in research and explain the need behind the study. 

Aims and objectives: this section of the thesis is typically one to two pages long and describes the aims and objectives of the study. Structure them as three to four bullet points describing specific points that you will investigate. Approach this by thinking about what readers should understand by the end of the thesis. Ensure you:

  • Give a clear explanation of the purpose and goals of your study 
  • Outline each aim concisely
  • Explain how you will measure your objectives
  • Ensure there is a clear connection between each aim
  • Use verbs such as investigate, evaluate, explore, analyse and demonstrate.

Materials and methods: this section briefly explains how you have conducted the study and should include all the materials you used and procedures you implemented. For example, if your research involves working with chemicals, list the chemicals and instruments used, along with their catalogue numbers and manufacturers’ names. This section should also explicitly explain the methodology you used, step-by-step. Use the past tense while writing this section and do not describe any results or findings of the study yet.

Results: this section is sometimes called the “findings report” or “the experimental findings” (referring to data collection and analysis). Write the results concisely and in the past tense. Include text, figure and table infographics created with tools such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe Illustrator and BioRender to visualise your data . 

Discussion: this is a chance to discuss the results and compare the findings of your study with the initial hypothesis and existing knowledge. Focus on discussing interpretations, implications, limitations and recommendations here.

  • Resources on academic writing for higher education staff 
  • Tips for writing a PhD dissertation: FAQs answered
  • How to tackle the PhD dissertation

Summary and conclusion: this section should be shorter than the discussion and summarise your key findings. The summary and conclusion should be brief and engaging, allowing the reader to easily understand the major findings of the research work. Provide clear answers to the research questions, generate new knowledge and clarify the need for the study. 

Future perspective: this section of the thesis (which is often combined with a summary or conclusion) talks about the study's limitations, if any, and indicates the directions for future studies based on your findings. 

References or bibliography: the last section should include the list of articles, websites and other resources cited in the thesis.

Always remember that, depending on the department, university or field of study, you might have to follow specific guidelines on how to organise your PhD thesis. Ensure you consult your supervisor or academic department if you have any doubts.

Shama Prasada Kabekkodu is a professor and head of cell and molecular biology at Manipal School of Life Sciences, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India.

If you would like advice and insight from academics and university staff delivered direct to your inbox each week, sign up for the Campus newsletter .

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help to write a thesis

A thesis is a comprehensive research paper that presents a central argument or claim supported by evidence. Typically written by students pursuing advanced degrees, a thesis demonstrates a deep understanding of a subject. It includes a clear research question, literature review, methodology, analysis, and conclusions. The process enhances critical thinking, research skills , and subject expertise, culminating in a significant academic contribution.

Thesis paper . Many students tend to fear this word and there is a good reason as to why they do.  You may already have tried making a thesis before and at some point, you would also realize the trial and error stage of making one. 

What Is a Thesis?

A thesis a research paper writing that is made for a purpose. Thesis papers consists of a research statement , a kind of statement , a theory, a purpose. The thesis is made in order to prove your theory and make it into a fact. There are a lot of kinds of thesis, but the most common thesis kinds are analytical thesis, an argumentative thesis and an explanatory thesis.

Types of Thesis

Analytical thesis.

An analytical thesis breaks down an issue or idea into its component parts, evaluates the topic, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience. It is often used in literature, history, and social sciences.

Expository Thesis

An expository thesis explains a topic to the audience. It provides a comprehensive overview of a subject, presenting facts and analysis without personal opinion. This type is common in science and technical writing.

Argumentative Thesis

An argumentative thesis makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The goal is to persuade the reader of a particular viewpoint. This type is prevalent in fields like philosophy, political science, and law.

Narrative Thesis

A narrative thesis tells a story or recounts an event. It includes personal experiences or detailed descriptions of events to support the main argument. This type is often used in creative writing and autobiographies.

Comparative Thesis

A comparative thesis compares and contrasts two or more subjects, evaluating their similarities and differences. It is commonly used in literature, history, and social sciences to draw meaningful conclusions.

Descriptive Thesis

A descriptive thesis provides a detailed description of a topic without arguing a specific point. It paints a vivid picture of the subject, often used in fields like anthropology and sociology to explore cultural phenomena.

Empirical Thesis

An empirical thesis is based on original research and data collection. It involves experiments, surveys, or observations to answer a specific research question. This type is typical in natural and social sciences.

Examples of Thesis

Thesis examples in literature, 1: analysis of a single work.

Title: “The Use of Symbolism in ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald”

Thesis Statement: In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby,’ the use of symbolism, particularly through the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, and the Valley of Ashes, serves to illustrate the overarching themes of the American Dream, moral decay, and the quest for identity.

2: Comparative Analysis

Title: “The Role of Women in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen and ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Brontë”

Thesis Statement: While both Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Jane Eyre’ critique the limited roles and expectations of women in 19th-century British society, Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet and Brontë’s Jane Eyre embody different forms of rebellion against societal norms, highlighting the evolving perception of women’s independence and self-worth.

3: Thematic Analysis

Title: “Exploring the Theme of Isolation in ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley”

Thesis Statement: Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ explores the theme of isolation through the experiences of Victor Frankenstein and his creation, the monster, demonstrating how isolation leads to destructive consequences for both individuals and society.

4: Character Analysis

Title: “The Evolution of Hamlet’s Character in William Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet'”

Thesis Statement: In William Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet,’ the protagonist undergoes a significant transformation from a grief-stricken and indecisive prince to a determined and introspective avenger, reflecting the complexities of human nature and the impact of existential contemplation.

5: Genre Analysis

Title: “Gothic Elements in ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Brontë”

Thesis Statement: Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ employs key elements of Gothic literature, including a brooding atmosphere, supernatural occurrences, and the exploration of human psychology, to create a haunting and timeless tale of passion and revenge.

6: Symbolic Analysis

Title: “The Symbolism of the Green Light in ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald”

Thesis Statement: The green light in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ symbolizes Gatsby’s unattainable dreams and the elusive nature of the American Dream, reflecting the broader themes of hope, disillusionment, and the pursuit of an idealized future.

7: Historical Context

Title: “Historical Influences on George Orwell’s ‘1984’”

Thesis Statement: George Orwell’s ‘1984’ draws heavily on the political climate of the early 20th century, particularly the rise of totalitarian regimes and the impact of World War II, to present a dystopian vision of a future where government surveillance and propaganda control every aspect of life.

8: Feminist Critique

Title: “Feminist Perspectives in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood”

Thesis Statement: Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ critiques the patriarchal structures of contemporary society by depicting a dystopian world where women’s rights are stripped away, illustrating the extreme consequences of gender oppression and the resilience of female solidarity.

9: Psychoanalytic Criticism

Title: “Freudian Elements in ‘The Turn of the Screw’ by Henry James”

Thesis Statement: Henry James’s ‘The Turn of the Screw’ can be interpreted through a Freudian lens, where the governess’s experiences and the ambiguous nature of the ghosts reflect deep-seated psychological conflicts and repressed desires, highlighting the novella’s exploration of the human psyche.

10: Postcolonial Analysis

Title: “Postcolonial Themes in ‘Things Fall Apart’ by Chinua Achebe”

Thesis Statement: Chinua Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’ addresses postcolonial themes by portraying the clash between traditional Igbo society and British colonial forces, illustrating the devastating effects of colonialism on indigenous cultures and the struggle for cultural identity and autonomy.

Thesis Examples for Essays

1: persuasive essay.

Topic: “The Importance of Renewable Energy”

Thesis Statement: Governments around the world should invest heavily in renewable energy sources like solar and wind power to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, combat climate change, and create sustainable job opportunities.

2: Analytical Essay

Topic: “The Symbolism in ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald”

Thesis Statement: In ‘The Great Gatsby,’ F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the symbols of the green light, the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, and the Valley of Ashes to illustrate the moral and social decay of America during the Roaring Twenties.

3: Expository Essay

Topic: “The Impact of Social Media on Teenagers”

Thesis Statement: Social media has significantly impacted teenagers’ mental health, social skills, and academic performance, both positively and negatively, necessitating a balanced approach to its usage.

4: Compare and Contrast Essay

Topic: “Public vs. Private School Education”

Thesis Statement: While public schools offer a more diverse social environment and extracurricular opportunities, private schools provide smaller class sizes and specialized curriculums, making the choice dependent on individual student needs and family priorities.

5: Cause and Effect Essay

Topic: “The Causes and Effects of the Rise in Obesity Rates”

Thesis Statement: The rise in obesity rates can be attributed to poor dietary habits, sedentary lifestyles, and genetic factors, leading to serious health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, and decreased life expectancy.

6: Narrative Essay

Topic: “A Life-Changing Experience”

Thesis Statement: My trip to volunteer at a rural school in Kenya was a life-changing experience that taught me the value of education, the importance of cultural exchange, and the power of empathy and compassion.

7: Argumentative Essay

Topic: “The Necessity of Free College Education”

Thesis Statement: Free college education is essential for ensuring equal opportunities for all, reducing student debt burdens, and fostering a more educated and productive workforce.

8: Descriptive Essay

Topic: “The Beauty of a Sunset”

Thesis Statement: A sunset, with its vibrant hues and serene ambiance, evokes a sense of peace and reflection, illustrating nature’s ability to inspire awe and tranquility in our daily lives.

9: Definition Essay

Topic: “What is Happiness?”

Thesis Statement: Happiness is a complex and multifaceted emotion characterized by feelings of contentment, fulfillment, and joy, influenced by both internal factors like mindset and external factors such as relationships and achievements.

10: Process Essay

Topic: “How to Bake the Perfect Chocolate Cake”

Thesis Statement: Baking the perfect chocolate cake involves selecting high-quality ingredients, precisely following the recipe, and understanding the nuances of baking techniques, from mixing to temperature control.

Thesis Examples for Argumentative Essay

1: gun control.

Topic: “Stricter Gun Control Laws”

Thesis Statement: Stricter gun control laws are necessary to reduce gun violence in the United States, as evidenced by lower rates of gun-related deaths in countries with stringent regulations.

2: Climate Change

Topic: “Addressing Climate Change”

Thesis Statement: To effectively combat climate change, governments worldwide must implement aggressive policies to reduce carbon emissions, invest in renewable energy, and promote sustainable practices.

3: Animal Testing

Topic: “Ban on Animal Testing”

Thesis Statement: Animal testing for cosmetics should be banned globally due to its ethical implications, the availability of alternative testing methods, and the questionable reliability of animal-based results for human safety.

4: Education Reform

Topic: “Standardized Testing in Schools”

Thesis Statement: Standardized testing should be eliminated in schools as it narrows the curriculum, causes undue stress to students, and fails to accurately measure a student’s potential and abilities.

5: Universal Basic Income

Topic: “Implementing Universal Basic Income”

Thesis Statement: Implementing a universal basic income would help alleviate poverty, reduce income inequality, and provide financial stability in an increasingly automated and unpredictable job market.

6: Health Care

Topic: “Universal Health Care”

Thesis Statement: Universal health care should be adopted in the United States to ensure that all citizens have access to essential medical services, reduce overall healthcare costs, and improve public health outcomes.

7: Immigration Policy

Topic: “Reforming Immigration Policies”

Thesis Statement: Comprehensive immigration reform is essential to address undocumented immigration, protect human rights, and contribute to economic growth by recognizing the contributions of immigrants to society.

8: Death Penalty

Topic: “Abolishing the Death Penalty”

Thesis Statement: The death penalty should be abolished as it is an inhumane practice, prone to judicial errors, and has not been proven to deter crime more effectively than life imprisonment.

9: Social Media Regulation

Topic: “Regulating Social Media Platforms”

Thesis Statement: Social media platforms should be regulated to prevent the spread of misinformation, protect user privacy, and reduce the negative impact on mental health, particularly among adolescents.

10: College Tuition

Topic: “Free College Tuition”

Thesis Statement: Providing free college tuition at public universities would increase access to higher education, reduce student debt, and help create a more educated and skilled workforce to meet future economic demands.

Thesis Examples for Research Papers

1: environmental science.

Topic: “Impact of Plastic Pollution on Marine Life”

Thesis Statement: Plastic pollution in the oceans is causing significant harm to marine life, leading to ingestion and entanglement of plastic debris, disruption of ecosystems, and bioaccumulation of toxic substances in the food chain.

2: Psychology

Topic: “Effects of Social Media on Adolescent Mental Health”

Thesis Statement: Excessive use of social media negatively impacts adolescent mental health by increasing the risk of anxiety, depression, and poor sleep quality, while also contributing to body image issues and cyberbullying.

3: Education

Topic: “Benefits of Bilingual Education Programs”

Thesis Statement: Bilingual education programs enhance cognitive abilities, improve academic performance, and promote cultural awareness, making them a valuable approach in the increasingly globalized and multicultural society.

4: Public Health

Topic: “Addressing the Obesity Epidemic”

Thesis Statement: Addressing the obesity epidemic requires a multifaceted approach that includes implementing public health campaigns, promoting healthy eating habits, increasing physical activity, and regulating food advertising targeted at children.

5: Economics

Topic: “Universal Basic Income and Economic Stability”

Thesis Statement: Implementing a universal basic income can provide economic stability by reducing poverty, ensuring a safety net during economic downturns, and stimulating consumer spending, thereby supporting overall economic growth.

6: Political Science

Topic: “Impact of Voter ID Laws on Voter Turnout”

Thesis Statement: Voter ID laws disproportionately reduce voter turnout among minority and low-income populations, undermining the democratic process and exacerbating existing inequalities in political participation.

7: Sociology

Topic: “Gender Stereotypes in Media Representation”

Thesis Statement: Media representation perpetuates gender stereotypes by consistently portraying men and women in traditional roles, which reinforces societal norms and limits the opportunities for gender equality.

8: Technology

Topic: “Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare”

Thesis Statement: The integration of artificial intelligence in healthcare can improve patient outcomes, enhance diagnostic accuracy, and streamline administrative processes, but it also raises ethical concerns regarding data privacy and the potential for job displacement.

Topic: “Causes and Consequences of the American Civil War”

Thesis Statement: The American Civil War was primarily caused by deep-seated economic, social, and political differences between the North and South, particularly over the issue of slavery, and it resulted in significant social and political changes, including the abolition of slavery and the reconstruction of the South.

10: Environmental Policy

Topic: “Renewable Energy Policies and Their Effectiveness”

Thesis Statement: Renewable energy policies, such as subsidies for solar and wind power and carbon pricing, are effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable energy sources, but their success depends on comprehensive implementation and international cooperation.

Thesis Examples for Informative Essay

Topic: “The Water Cycle”

Thesis Statement: The water cycle, which includes processes such as evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and infiltration, is essential for distributing water across the Earth’s surface and maintaining ecological balance.

2: Health and Wellness

Topic: “The Benefits of Regular Exercise”

Thesis Statement: Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining physical health, improving mental well-being, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular conditions.

3: Technology

Topic: “The Development of Artificial Intelligence”

Thesis Statement: The development of artificial intelligence has progressed from simple machine learning algorithms to complex neural networks capable of performing tasks such as natural language processing, image recognition, and autonomous driving.

Topic: “The Causes and Effects of the American Civil Rights Movement”

Thesis Statement: The American Civil Rights Movement was driven by factors such as racial segregation, economic disparity, and political disenfranchisement, leading to significant legislative and social changes that improved the rights and freedoms of African Americans.

5: Education

Topic: “The Montessori Method of Education”

Thesis Statement: The Montessori method of education, developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, emphasizes self-directed learning, hands-on activities, and collaborative play, fostering independence and critical thinking skills in young children.

6: Sociology

Topic: “The Impact of Urbanization on Community Life”

Thesis Statement: Urbanization significantly impacts community life by altering social structures, increasing economic opportunities, and presenting challenges such as overcrowding, pollution, and loss of green spaces.

7: Environmental Policy

Topic: “The Role of Renewable Energy in Combating Climate Change”

Thesis Statement: Renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, play a critical role in combating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels.

8: Business

Topic: “The Rise of Gig Economy”

Thesis Statement: The rise of the gig economy has transformed the labor market by offering flexible work opportunities, fostering entrepreneurship, and posing challenges such as job insecurity and lack of benefits for workers.

9: Psychology

Topic: “The Importance of Sleep for Cognitive Function”

Thesis Statement: Adequate sleep is essential for cognitive function, memory consolidation, and emotional regulation, with chronic sleep deprivation leading to impaired mental performance and increased risk of mental health disorders.

10: Cultural Studies

Topic: “The Influence of Japanese Anime on Global Pop Culture”

Thesis Statement: Japanese anime has significantly influenced global pop culture by shaping trends in fashion, art, and storytelling, and fostering a dedicated international fanbase that celebrates its unique aesthetic and thematic elements.

Thesis Examples for Synthesis Essay

1: climate change.

Topic: “Combating Climate Change through Policy and Innovation”

Thesis Statement: Combating climate change requires a multifaceted approach that includes stringent environmental policies, investment in renewable energy technologies, and community-based initiatives to reduce carbon footprints, integrating efforts from government, industry, and society.

2: Education

Topic: “Balancing Technology and Traditional Teaching Methods in Education”

Thesis Statement: A balanced approach to education that combines the benefits of technology, such as interactive learning tools and online resources, with traditional teaching methods, like face-to-face instruction and hands-on activities, can enhance student engagement and academic achievement.

Topic: “Addressing the Opioid Crisis through Comprehensive Strategies”

Thesis Statement: Addressing the opioid crisis requires comprehensive strategies that include better access to addiction treatment programs, stricter regulations on prescription opioids, and increased public awareness campaigns to educate communities about the risks of opioid misuse.

4: Technology

Topic: “The Impact of Social Media on Political Mobilization”

Thesis Statement: Social media has revolutionized political mobilization by providing platforms for grassroots campaigns, enabling real-time communication, and fostering civic engagement, but it also poses challenges such as the spread of misinformation and echo chambers.

5: Business

Topic: “Corporate Social Responsibility and Its Impact on Brand Loyalty”

Thesis Statement: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, when genuinely implemented, can significantly enhance brand loyalty by aligning company values with consumer expectations, fostering trust, and contributing positively to societal well-being.

Topic: “The Role of Gender Stereotypes in Media Representation”

Thesis Statement: Media representation perpetuates gender stereotypes by consistently depicting men and women in traditional roles, which influences societal perceptions and expectations, but progressive portrayals are gradually challenging these norms and promoting gender equality.

Topic: “Sustainable Urban Development and Green Infrastructure”

Thesis Statement: Sustainable urban development that incorporates green infrastructure, such as green roofs, urban gardens, and eco-friendly public transportation, is essential for mitigating environmental impacts, improving public health, and enhancing the quality of urban life.

8: Psychology

Topic: “The Effects of Mindfulness Practices on Mental Health”

Thesis Statement: Mindfulness practices, including meditation, yoga, and mindful breathing, have been shown to significantly improve mental health by reducing stress, enhancing emotional regulation, and promoting overall well-being, supported by a growing body of scientific research.

9: Economics

Topic: “Universal Basic Income as a Solution to Economic Inequality”

Thesis Statement: Universal Basic Income (UBI) presents a viable solution to economic inequality by providing financial security, reducing poverty, and supporting economic stability, though it requires careful consideration of funding mechanisms and potential societal impacts.

10: Public Health

Topic: “The Importance of Vaccination Programs in Preventing Epidemics”

Thesis Statement: Vaccination programs are crucial for preventing epidemics, protecting public health, and achieving herd immunity, as evidenced by the successful eradication of diseases like smallpox and the control of outbreaks such as measles and influenza.

Thesis Examples for Persuasive Essays

Thesis Statement: Stricter gun control laws are essential to reduce gun violence in the United States, as they will help prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands, decrease the number of mass shootings, and enhance public safety.

Topic: “Urgent Action on Climate Change”

Thesis Statement: Immediate and robust action is needed to combat climate change, including reducing carbon emissions, transitioning to renewable energy sources, and implementing sustainable practices to mitigate the devastating effects on our planet.

3: Animal Rights

Topic: “Ban on Animal Testing for Cosmetics”

Thesis Statement: Animal testing for cosmetics should be banned worldwide due to its ethical implications, the availability of alternative testing methods, and the questionable reliability of animal-based results for human safety.

Topic: “Abolishing Standardized Testing in Schools”

Thesis Statement: Standardized testing should be abolished in schools as it narrows the curriculum, places undue stress on students, and fails to accurately measure a student’s potential and abilities, thereby hindering educational growth.

5: Universal Health Care

Topic: “Adopting Universal Health Care in the United States”

Thesis Statement: The United States should adopt a universal health care system to ensure that all citizens have access to essential medical services, reduce overall healthcare costs, and improve public health outcomes.

6: Immigration Policy

Thesis Statement: Comprehensive immigration reform is essential to address undocumented immigration, protect human rights, and contribute to economic growth by recognizing the contributions of immigrants to society and ensuring a fair, efficient legal process.

7: Death Penalty

Thesis Statement: The death penalty should be abolished as it is an inhumane practice, prone to judicial errors, and has not been proven to deter crime more effectively than life imprisonment, while also being more costly to taxpayers.

8: Social Media Regulation

Thesis Statement: Social media platforms should be regulated to prevent the spread of misinformation, protect user privacy, and reduce the negative impact on mental health, particularly among adolescents, to create a safer online environment.

9: College Tuition

Topic: “Providing Free College Tuition”

10: Renewable Energy

Topic: “Investing in Renewable Energy Sources”

Thesis Statement: Governments should invest heavily in renewable energy sources like solar and wind power to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, combat climate change, and create sustainable job opportunities, ensuring a cleaner and healthier future.

Thesis Examples for Analysis Essays

1: literary analysis.

Topic: “Symbolism in ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald”

Thesis Statement: In ‘The Great Gatsby,’ F. Scott Fitzgerald uses symbols such as the green light, the Valley of Ashes, and the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg to critique the American Dream and explore themes of ambition, disillusionment, and moral decay.

2: Film Analysis

Topic: “Themes of Redemption in ‘The Shawshank Redemption'”

Thesis Statement: ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ explores themes of hope, friendship, and the human spirit’s resilience, using the character arcs of Andy Dufresne and Red to highlight the transformative power of hope and redemption within the confines of a corrupt prison system.

3: Rhetorical Analysis

Topic: “Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech”

Thesis Statement: In his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, Martin Luther King Jr. employs rhetorical strategies such as repetition, parallelism, and powerful imagery to effectively convey his vision of racial equality and galvanize the civil rights movement.

4: Historical Analysis

Topic: “Causes of the Fall of the Roman Empire”

Thesis Statement: The fall of the Roman Empire was the result of a complex interplay of factors, including political corruption, economic instability, military defeats, and the gradual erosion of civic virtue, which collectively undermined the empire’s ability to sustain itself.

5: Character Analysis

Topic: “The Complexity of Hamlet in William Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet'”

Thesis Statement: In William Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet,’ the titular character’s complexity is revealed through his introspective nature, moral ambiguity, and fluctuating resolve, which collectively illustrate the play’s exploration of existential themes and the human condition.

6: Social Analysis

Topic: “The Impact of Social Media on Modern Communication”

Thesis Statement: Social media has significantly altered modern communication by enabling instantaneous sharing of information and fostering global connectivity, while also contributing to issues such as reduced face-to-face interactions, cyberbullying, and the spread of misinformation.

7: Cultural Analysis

Topic: “Cultural Significance of Traditional Festivals”

Thesis Statement: Traditional festivals play a crucial role in preserving cultural heritage, fostering community identity, and promoting social cohesion, as they provide a platform for the transmission of customs, values, and shared history across generations.

8: Economic Analysis

Topic: “The Effects of Globalization on Local Economies”

Thesis Statement: Globalization has profoundly impacted local economies by enhancing market access, fostering economic growth, and encouraging cultural exchange, but it has also led to job displacement, wage suppression, and the erosion of local industries in some regions.

9: Psychological Analysis

Topic: “Freudian Themes in ‘The Turn of the Screw’ by Henry James”

Thesis Statement: Henry James’s ‘The Turn of the Screw’ can be analyzed through a Freudian lens, where the governess’s experiences and the ambiguous nature of the ghosts reflect deep-seated psychological conflicts, repressed desires, and the complexities of the human psyche.

10: Political Analysis

Topic: “The Effectiveness of the New Deal Programs”

Thesis Statement: The New Deal programs implemented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt were effective in providing immediate relief during the Great Depression, spurring economic recovery, and implementing long-term reforms that reshaped the American social and economic landscape.

Thesis Examples for Compare and Contrast Essay

1: literature.

Topic: “Comparing ‘1984’ by George Orwell and ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley”

Thesis Statement: While George Orwell’s ‘1984’ presents a dystopian future of totalitarian control through fear and oppression, Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ explores a similar theme through a society controlled by pleasure and conditioning, highlighting different methods of societal control and their implications.

Topic: “Public School vs. Private School Education”

Thesis Statement: Public schools offer a diverse social environment and a broad curriculum, whereas private schools provide smaller class sizes and specialized programs, making the choice between the two dependent on individual educational goals and personal preferences.

Topic: “E-books vs. Printed Books”

Thesis Statement: While e-books offer convenience, portability, and interactive features, printed books provide a tactile experience, lack of screen strain, and a sense of nostalgia, demonstrating how each format caters to different reader preferences and needs.

Topic: “Traditional Medicine vs. Modern Medicine”

Thesis Statement: Traditional medicine emphasizes holistic and natural treatments based on centuries-old practices, while modern medicine focuses on scientific research and technological advancements, highlighting the strengths and limitations of each approach in addressing health issues.

5: Social Media

Topic: “Facebook vs. Instagram”

Thesis Statement: Facebook facilitates in-depth social interaction and a wide range of features for communication and information sharing, whereas Instagram focuses on visual content and a streamlined user experience, catering to different user preferences and social engagement styles.

Topic: “Traveling by Plane vs. Traveling by Train”

Thesis Statement: Traveling by plane offers speed and efficiency for long distances, while traveling by train provides scenic views and a more relaxed experience, highlighting the trade-offs between convenience and leisure in different modes of transportation.

7: Economics

Topic: “Capitalism vs. Socialism”

Thesis Statement: Capitalism promotes economic growth and individual entrepreneurship through market competition, whereas socialism emphasizes social welfare and equitable distribution of resources, reflecting contrasting ideologies on economic management and social equity.

8: Literature

Topic: “Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ vs. Sophocles’ ‘Oedipus Rex'”

Thesis Statement: While Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ delves into themes of indecision, revenge, and existential angst, Sophocles’ ‘Oedipus Rex’ explores fate, self-discovery, and the inevitability of destiny, illustrating different approaches to tragedy in Western literature.

9: Lifestyle

Topic: “Urban Living vs. Rural Living”

Thesis Statement: Urban living offers convenience, diverse cultural experiences, and numerous job opportunities, while rural living provides a peaceful environment, close-knit communities, and a connection to nature, demonstrating the contrasting lifestyles and priorities of each setting.

10: History

Topic: “The American Revolution vs. The French Revolution”

Thesis Statement: The American Revolution focused on independence from colonial rule and the establishment of a democratic republic, whereas the French Revolution aimed to overthrow the monarchy and address social inequalities, highlighting different motivations, outcomes, and impacts on world history.

More Thesis Samples & Examples:

1. thesis statements.

Thesis Statements

2. University Thesis Research

University Thesis Research

3. Working Thesis

Working Thesis

4. Master Thesis

Master Thesis

5. Basics About Thesis Statements

Basics About Thesis Statements

6. Thesis Sample

Thesis-Sample1

7. Thesis Format

Thesis Format

8. Thesis PDF

Thesis PDF

9. Graduate Students Thesis

Graduate Students Thesis

10. Thesis Example

Thesis Example

Tips for Writing Your Thesis

Tips for Writing Your Thesis

Start Early

  • Begin your thesis process early to allow ample time for research , writing , and revisions.

Choose a Relevant Topic

  • Select a topic that interests you and has sufficient research material available. Ensure it is specific enough to be manageable but broad enough to find sources.

Develop a Strong Thesis Statement

  • Craft a clear, concise thesis statement that outlines the main argument or focus of your paper. This will guide your research and writing.

Create an Outline

  • Plan your thesis structure with a detailed outline. Include sections for the introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion.

Conduct Thorough Research

  • Use a variety of sources, such as books, journal articles, and credible websites. Take detailed notes and organize your research to support your thesis statement.

Write in Stages

  • Break down the writing process into manageable stages. Start with the introduction, move to the literature review, then the methodology, and so on.

Maintain Consistent Formatting

  • Follow the required formatting style (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago) consistently throughout your thesis. Pay attention to citation rules and references.

Seek Feedback

  • Regularly consult with your advisor and seek feedback from peers. Incorporate their suggestions to improve your work.

Edit and Revise

  • Set aside time for multiple rounds of editing and revising. Check for clarity, coherence, grammar, and spelling errors.

Stay Organized

  • Keep all your research materials, notes, and drafts well-organized. Use tools like folders, labels, and reference management software.

Stay Motivated

  • Set small, achievable goals and reward yourself for meeting them. Stay positive and remember that writing a thesis is a marathon, not a sprint.

Proofread Thoroughly

  • Conduct a final proofread to catch any remaining errors. Consider using grammar checking tools or hiring a professional proofreader.

What to include in a Thesis

Writing a thesis involves several critical sections that contribute to the overall structure and argumentation of the research. Here’s a guide on what to include in a thesis:

1. Title Page

  • Title: Clear, concise, and descriptive.
  • Author’s Name
  • Institutional Affiliation
  • Date of Submission
  • Advisor’s Name

2. Abstract

  • Summary: Brief overview of the research.
  • Key Points: Main objectives, methods, results, and conclusions.
  • Word Limit: Typically 150-300 words.

3. Table of Contents

  • Sections and Subsections: With corresponding page numbers.

4. List of Figures and Tables

  • Figures/Tables: Numbered and titled with page numbers.

5. Introduction

  • Background: Context of the study.
  • Problem Statement: The issue being addressed.
  • Objectives: What the research aims to achieve.
  • Research Questions/Hypotheses: Specific questions or hypotheses the study will test.
  • Significance: Importance of the study.

6. Literature Review

  • Overview of Existing Research: Summarize previous studies.
  • Theoretical Framework: The theories guiding the research.
  • Gaps in Literature: Identify what has not been addressed.

7. Methodology

  • Research Design: Type of study (e.g., qualitative, quantitative).
  • Participants: Who was involved in the study.
  • Data Collection: How data was gathered (e.g., surveys, experiments).
  • Data Analysis: Methods used to analyze the data.
  • Ethical Considerations: How ethical issues were handled.
  • Findings: Present data and key results.
  • Visuals: Use tables, graphs, and charts for clarity.
  • Statistical Analysis: Include relevant statistical tests.

9. Discussion

  • Interpretation of Results: What the findings mean.
  • Comparison with Existing Literature: How results align or contrast with previous research.
  • Implications: Practical or theoretical implications.
  • Limitations: Discuss limitations of the study.
  • Future Research: Suggestions for future studies.

10. Conclusion

  • Summary of Findings: Recap main findings.
  • Restate Importance: Reiterate the study’s significance.
  • Final Thoughts: Concluding remarks.

11. References

  • Citations: Complete list of all sources cited in the thesis.
  • Formatting: Follow a specific citation style (e.g., APA, MLA).

12. Appendices

  • Supplementary Material: Additional data, questionnaires, or detailed descriptions.

Thesis vs. Dissertation

Demonstrates mastery of a subjectContributes new knowledge to the field
Typically for Master’s degreeTypically for Doctoral (PhD) degree
Generally shorter (50-100 pages)Generally longer (100-300+ pages)
Focuses on existing research and literatureInvolves original research and data
May involve original research or analysisPrimarily involves original research
Structured around existing knowledgeStructured around original findings
Show understanding and ability to analyzeShow ability to conduct independent research
Typically 1-2 yearsTypically 2-5 years
Usually reviewed by a smaller committeeReviewed by a larger committee and public defense
Demonstrates competency in the fieldAdvances knowledge in the field

How do I know if my Thesis is strong?

Clear and specific thesis statement.

  • Precision : Your thesis statement should be clear, specific, and concise. It should articulate the main argument or focus of your thesis.
  • Focus : Ensure it directly addresses the research question without being too broad or vague.

Well-Defined Research Question

  • Relevance : The research question should be significant to your field of study.
  • Feasibility : Make sure it is practical and manageable within the scope of your resources and time frame.

Comprehensive Literature Review

  • Depth : Your literature review should cover relevant research and show an understanding of key theories and findings.
  • Gaps Identification : Highlight gaps in the existing literature that your thesis aims to fill.

Solid Methodology

  • Appropriateness : The chosen methodology should be suitable for answering your research question.
  • Detail : Clearly describe your research design, data collection methods, and data analysis procedures.
  • Justification : Explain why these methods are the best fit for your study.

Strong Evidence and Analysis

  • Support : Provide ample evidence to support your thesis statement and arguments.
  • Critical Analysis : Critically analyze the data, showing how it supports or contradicts your hypothesis.
  • Consistency : Ensure that all evidence is consistently interpreted and integrated into your argument.

Coherent Structure

  • Organization : The thesis should be well-organized with a logical flow of ideas.
  • Clarity : Each section should clearly contribute to the overall argument.
  • Transitions : Use smooth transitions between sections to maintain coherence.

Original Contribution

  • Innovation : Your thesis should offer new insights or findings in your field.
  • Significance : Highlight the importance and impact of your research.

Proper Formatting and Style

  • Formatting : Follow the required formatting guidelines (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) consistently.
  • Grammar and Spelling : Proofread your work to ensure it is free from grammatical and spelling errors.
  • Citations : Properly cite all sources and provide a comprehensive reference list.

Feedback and Revision

  • Advisor Feedback : Regularly seek feedback from your advisor and incorporate their suggestions.
  • Peer Review : Get input from peers to identify areas for improvement.
  • Multiple Revisions : Be prepared to revise your thesis multiple times to enhance its quality.

Self-Assessment

  • Alignment : Ensure that all parts of the thesis align with the thesis statement.
  • Completeness : Check that all required sections are included and thoroughly addressed.
  • Confidence : Be confident in your arguments and the quality of your research.

How to Make a Thesis

Where do you often begin when you want to make a thesis? Many may say to begin by drafting, to begin by making an outline or to start at the introduction. A lot of these answers may even confuse you and may make you think that making a thesis is difficult or confusing. Stop right there, there are answers to every question, and to show you the  thesis statement writing tips .

Step 1: Make an Outline for the Thesis

Start out by making a  thesis outline . The outline will help you as it acts as the backbone of your entire thesis. Making outlines also help you by giving you a good view of what comes first, what should be added here and what should not be added. Outlining your thesis is often the best way to begin.

Step 2: Start with a Thesis Proposal for Your Thesis Paper

Once you have a blank outline for your thesis, which you will be filling out in order to know what goes first, the next thing to do is to pick a topic or pick a thesis proposal . This is an important part of making your thesis paper. Start with thinking about what kind of thesis proposal you want to talk about.

Step 3: Write Down the Introduction of Your Thesis

Thesis introduction has an important role to play. Its role in your thesis is to give a short summary of what can be expected in your thesis. The introduction of your thesis is all about the topic or the proposal of your thesis. When you write your thesis, make sure that the introduction should be clear and concise. After the introduction, the heart of your thesis will follow.

Step 4: Finalize Your Thesis Paper

Finalizing your thesis paper may take a lot of time and effort. But not to worry. It is always necessary and understandable that finalizing your thesis paper is important. As long as you are making sure that everything that is necessary, the introduction, the proposal, the thesis problem, solution and conclusion are present.

How do I choose a thesis topic?

Choose a topic that interests you, has ample research material, is specific enough to be manageable, and aligns with your academic goals.

How long should my thesis be?

Thesis length varies by discipline and degree level; Master’s theses are usually 50-100 pages, while PhD dissertations can be 100-300+ pages.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement is a concise summary of the main point or claim of your thesis, guiding your research and writing.

How do I structure my thesis?

A typical thesis structure includes a title page, abstract, table of contents, introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, conclusion, and references.

How important is the literature review?

The literature review is crucial as it contextualizes your research, highlights gaps, and demonstrates your understanding of existing scholarship.

What is the difference between a thesis and a dissertation?

A thesis is usually for a Master’s degree and demonstrates mastery of a topic, while a dissertation for a PhD contributes new knowledge to the field.

How do I manage my time effectively while writing my thesis?

Create a detailed timeline, break the process into manageable tasks, set deadlines, and regularly consult with your advisor.

How do I ensure my thesis is original?

Conduct thorough research, properly cite sources, use plagiarism detection tools, and contribute unique insights or findings to your field.

What should I do if I encounter writer’s block?

Take breaks, set small writing goals, change your environment, seek feedback, and stay connected with your advisor for guidance and support.

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  1. How to Write a Thesis Statement: Fill-in-the-Blank Formula

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  3. 45 Perfect Thesis Statement Templates (+ Examples) ᐅ TemplateLab

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  4. 🌱 How to start a thesis examples. How to Write a Thesis. 2022-10-15

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  5. HOW TO WRITE A THESIS: Steps by step guide

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  6. 25 Thesis Statement Examples (2024)

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  4. How to write a thesis?

  5. How to write thesis and synopsis

  6. Thesis in 3 Weeks: Day 15

COMMENTS

  1. What is a thesis

    A thesis is an in-depth research study that identifies a particular topic of inquiry and presents a clear argument or perspective about that topic using evidence and logic. Writing a thesis showcases your ability of critical thinking, gathering evidence, and making a compelling argument. Integral to these competencies is thorough research ...

  2. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Step 2: Write your initial answer. After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process. The internet has had more of a positive than a negative effect on education.

  3. How To Write A Dissertation Or Thesis

    Craft a convincing dissertation or thesis research proposal. Write a clear, compelling introduction chapter. Undertake a thorough review of the existing research and write up a literature review. Undertake your own research. Present and interpret your findings. Draw a conclusion and discuss the implications.

  4. Developing A Thesis

    A good thesis has two parts. It should tell what you plan to argue, and it should "telegraph" how you plan to argue—that is, what particular support for your claim is going where in your essay. Steps in Constructing a Thesis. First, analyze your primary sources. Look for tension, interest, ambiguity, controversy, and/or complication.

  5. What Is a Thesis?

    Revised on April 16, 2024. A thesis is a type of research paper based on your original research. It is usually submitted as the final step of a master's program or a capstone to a bachelor's degree. Writing a thesis can be a daunting experience. Other than a dissertation, it is one of the longest pieces of writing students typically complete.

  6. Thesis

    Thesis. Your thesis is the central claim in your essay—your main insight or idea about your source or topic. Your thesis should appear early in an academic essay, followed by a logically constructed argument that supports this central claim. A strong thesis is arguable, which means a thoughtful reader could disagree with it and therefore ...

  7. Developing a Thesis Statement

    A thesis statement . . . Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic. Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper. Is focused and specific enough to be "proven" within the boundaries of your paper. Is generally located near the end ...

  8. How to write a thesis statement + Examples

    It is a brief statement of your paper's main argument. Essentially, you are stating what you will be writing about. Organize your papers in one place. Try Paperpile. No credit card needed. Get 30 days free. You can see your thesis statement as an answer to a question. While it also contains the question, it should really give an answer to the ...

  9. How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement: 4 Steps + Examples

    Step 4: Revise and refine your thesis statement before you start writing. Read through your thesis statement several times before you begin to compose your full essay. You need to make sure the statement is ironclad, since it is the foundation of the entire paper. Edit it or have a peer review it for you to make sure everything makes sense and ...

  10. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    This is a strong thesis because it takes a stand, and because it's specific. 2. A strong thesis statement justifies discussion. Your thesis should indicate the point of the discussion. If your assignment is to write a paper on kinship systems, using your own family as an example, you might come up with either of these two thesis statements:

  11. How to Write a Thesis Statement in 4 Steps

    How to Write a Thesis Statement in 4 Steps. If you produce a solid thesis statement to kick off an argumentative essay or piece of academic writing, you instantly frame the objective for yourself as a writer and for your audience as readers. By learning how to write a thesis statement, you will rapidly advance your pedigree as an academic ...

  12. Thesis Statements

    Thesis Statements. A thesis is the main claim you are making in an argument, similar to the hypothesis in a scientific experiment. It is what you are trying to prove or persuade your audience to believe or do. It's helpful to develop a working thesis to guide your composition process. "Working" is the operative word here; your ideas are ...

  13. Creating a Thesis Statement, Thesis Statement Tips

    Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement. 1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing: An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.; An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.; An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies ...

  14. Home

    This guide features information and resources for each step of the research and writing process. You'll find material on how to: chose a topic. create an outline. craft a thesis statement. draft all the components of a typical thesis (introduction, literature review, analysis, conclusion, etc.) revise a thesis for better clarity, structure, and ...

  15. HOW TO WRITE A THESIS: Steps by step guide

    A strong thesis should be able to take a stand and not just taking a stand but should be able to justify the stand that is taken, so that the reader will be tempted to ask questions like how or why. The thesis should be arguable, contestable, focused, specific, and clear. Make your thesis clear, strong and easy to find.

  16. How to Write a STRONG Thesis Statement

    A good thesis statement sums up the main points of your paper, and keeps you on the right track during the whole writing process. This video will show you ho...

  17. How to Write a Thesis: A Guide for Master's Students

    Tip #2: Begin Work on the Thesis Statement and Break Up the Thesis into Manageable Sections. After selecting an appropriate topic and developing a central research question for the thesis statement, it is then necessary to apply the research and writing skills you have learned throughout your degree program.

  18. How to Write a Good Thesis: Tips, Suggestions, and Examples

    Look for common themes and connections that seem to pop up. Then, draft a working thesis based on the facts, themes, and evidence that you discover during your research. [4] Example: GMOs provide a high volume of delicious, long-lasting food, making them an essential service to society.

  19. How to Write a Thesis Statement (with Pictures)

    Doing so will refine your thesis, and also force you to consider arguments you have to refute in your paper. 5. Write down your thesis. Writing down a preliminary thesis will get you on the right track and force you to think about it, develop your ideas further, and clarify the content of the paper.

  20. How to Write a Thesis

    2. Write your abstract. An abstract should be about 400 words long in one to two paragraphs. The abstract should be clear, concise and quantitative. It should tell the reader what the thesis is about and give a summary of the most important results. When available, it should also provide specific numbers and data.

  21. How to Write a Dissertation: Step-by-Step Guide

    Writing a dissertation can feel overwhelming. Most graduate students have written seminar papers or a master's thesis. But a dissertation is essentially like writing a book. Looking at examples of dissertations can help you set realistic expectations and understand what your discipline wants in a successful dissertation.

  22. How to structure your PhD thesis

    The task of writing a PhD thesis is top of mind for many aspiring scholars. After all, completing one is no small task. And while these pieces of writing often share a standard format, this can differ slightly based on the requirements of your institution or subject. So what elements make up a PhD thesis? A doctoral thesis usually contains: A ...

  23. Thesis

    Thesis Statement: Implementing a universal basic income would help alleviate poverty, reduce income inequality, ... Stay positive and remember that writing a thesis is a marathon, not a sprint. Proofread Thoroughly. Conduct a final proofread to catch any remaining errors. Consider using grammar checking tools or hiring a professional proofreader.