Writing a thesis statement for a research paper: basics & hints

Writing a thesis statement for a research paper

Let’s begin with defining what a thesis statement is. When you write an essay, research paper or almost any type of written assignment, you should single out one main idea of it. It is the idea that will reflect all the arguments you provide in your paper. This is exactly what a thesis statement is.

It is usually a sentence or two long and shows your attitude to the main idea. You should try to make precise and try to put your theme in it. This sentence or two will tell your audience the main topic of your paper.

Research paper thesis: its role & significance

It would be hard to overestimate the importance of a paper thesis. It is normally presented in the introduction to your paper right after the hook sentence and the relevant background information. Is the thesis statement and thesis proposal not the same thing? Definitely not. You will find out about the thesis statement as a part of a written assignment that is used in analysis papers. And thesis proposal is designed in the form of a separate document used for Ph.D. papers.

However, these terms have some common features. For example, they both give the reader an idea of the topic to be covered in the paper. You would usually compose a thesis after you finish the entire paper. It is simpler that way. When you have all the material and arguments sorted and analyzed, you can easily define the main idea of your work.

Questions to ask when formulating your research paper thesis

Here are some questions that will help you with designing your thesis.

Where is your thesis statement should be placed?

You should locate your thesis at the beginning of your essay. The best position is the first paragraph or at least the second one. This helps to single out your opinion and gives your reader an idea of what is going to be further. Advise. When writing your thesis:

  • Make sure your thesis is located at the beginning of the first paragraph
  • Make it clear and precise
  • Present the main idea of your paper, but do not use structures like: “The main idea of my paper is»

Is your thesis statement identified as a specific?

You must keep your thesis narrow and specific. It is very normal if you want to polish your thesis in the process of writing or reviewing your paper. Working on your arguments will automatically lead you to polish your statement.

Advise. Look at your thesis:

  • Do you have to long sentences connected with coordinating conjunction?
  • Would they sound better if you connect the two long sentences in one with the help of subordinating conjunction?
  • Are the two long sentences not clear enough and do not sound like a well-polished thesis?
  • If you answer yes to at least one of these questions, you better focus on one of them and keep polishing it until you manage to turn the two into one well-thought-out thesis.

Is your thesis statement too general?

Normally, your thesis should be brief, clear and specific. You are probably given a certain number of pages for your paper. Try to narrow your topic so that you don’t speak about it at great length, but go to its core at once.

There is another type of thesis – a broad one. This one is more general and speaks about the topic in a generalized manner.

Compare the thesis statement examples below. The first one is a general one, and the other two are the more specific variants of the first one:

General one. A big part of the audience objects modern horror movies a lot.

Narrow ones:

  • Many people believe that modern American youth shows so much violence because of modern horror movies, which, due to the latest moviemaking technologies, have become full of unnecessary graphics.
  • It is believed that the bloodbath shown in modern horror movies makes men and women more violent.

Is your thesis statement clear?

As it was mentioned above, you should keep your thesis statement precise. What does it do? It gives your audience a clear idea of what you mean to say.

Advise. To make your paper precise:

  • Do not use technical language, unless you have a topic form the technical sphere. Using jargon is inappropriate.
  • Do not use a lot of adjectives that sound vague (e.g. complicated, interesting), or abstract nouns (e.g. society, socialism.)

This will be just meaningless words to your reader if given without explanation. If you think their meaning is clear, you may be very wrong. You will, most likely, need to give definitions, because the same word can mean different for you and your reader.

Does your thesis include a comment about your position on the issue at hand?

The purpose of a thesis statement to convey your position about the topic you cover in your work. That is, your thesis should not simply present bare facts, but present your attitude to the issue.

Some tips

  • Do not just present your topic, but present your attitude to this topic.
  • Do not try to make complex things sound simple
  • Always give the reasoning for the judgments you offer

Be patient. Your thesis will not be perfect until you finish your entire paper. Moreover, you will probably want to reward or reformat it when you review your paper. This is absolutely ok. It is even good. It means that you have a deep understanding of your topic and you are able to define your attitude to it.

Is your thesis statement original?

If you want to bore your reader to death the right way would be using template phrases and generalized arguments. Now, seriously, you should do that in no case. Even if you notice something like that when reviewing your paper, polish it until it totally you in those words.

Advise. There has to be signed in your point:

  • Composing your thesis statement answer the question: “And what? »
  • You need to have an explanation of why your point should be explained in the entire paper.

Compare the thesis statement examples below.

Original thesis. – Using statistics has its advantage and disadvantages.

Polished thesis.

  • Realization of the significance of the user statistics can help journalists make their reporting more accurate.
  • If the researcher knows how to manipulate information correctly, they may use statistics as a supporting argument for their claims.

How to write a thesis statement for a research paper: success formula of this assignment

Writing a thesis for the research paper begins with understanding the process of writing itself. The first thing you should start is singling out the main idea of your paper. And the whole is devoted to proving our main argument providing solid evidence from reliable sources.

Outline. We can never thank enough the person who invented the outline. It is like a guiding map in the procedure of composing your research paper. Some of the important aspects of your thesis are tone, style, and manner. Think well over those until you finalize your work.

Research paper thesis should not be longer than one or two sentences.

You have to make sure you know the difference between essay and research. These two assignments have different structures. If you know what kind of structure you should be using, you will be able to find the best answer to the problem you work on.

When you understand how you should compose your paper thesis, you make the first important step toward a perfect assignment. However, the work only begins here. You use a thesis statement in a research paper to emphasize the significance of the problem you’ve decided to touch upon. And you will strive to prove your point of view with fresh, credible evidence.

Informative or persuasive thesis statement?

Before you start writing, you should also know the thesis statement can be informative and persuasive.

In the informative thesis, you should present your intentions and finally bring your audience to the results you proposed.

If you write a persuasive thesis, you should be trying to persuade your audience your point of view is the correct one. This type of thesis is very popular for writing most academic works.

2 different styles of thesis statement

The style of your thesis will depend on where you study. If you are a high school student, you will be asked to compose a simple short essay where you will be covering 2 or even more main ideas.

College students are often assigned to compose papers where their thesis only covers one narrow point.

Thesis statement examples for research papers

If you need some illustrative thesis statement examples to have a clearer idea of how they should look, enjoy our free samples below.

College education

  • Job applicants with LinkedIn profiles are proved to be more desirable candidates for companies than those who don’t.
  • The daily routine of an average American student consists of the learning process, extra curriculum activities, a part-time job, and hanging out with friends.

Healthcare & medicine

  • The government of the US has to lead public campaigns on decreasing the consumption of fast food that leads to serious health problems both in children and adults.
  • Passive smokers are in the same danger as active ones. They are amenable to the same serious diseases like cancer and heart attacks.

Social services

  • There is still a chance to save our planet. Proper planning will let us relocate to another planer timely and rescue ourselves from famine, epidemics, wars, etc.
  • Homeless and unemployed living in big American cities must be granted free access to social services.


If you need to write a thesis statement for the first time, you might get panic. It obviously requires good writing skills, in-depth knowledge of the topic you work on, good analytical skills and time. But if you study the material on writing a thesis statement, look through successful examples, review your paper well after you finish, you will definitely succeed.

Need some help with your thesis statement?

However, if you believe you don’t have either or some of the aspects mentioned above, do not forget about the option to order your research essay with a winning thesis statement from a reliable online writing service. This is a perfect way to free yourself a bit of your daily routine and have your order done by a professional.