How to Properly Write a Thesis Statement for a Research Paper

Writing a thesis statement for a research paper can seem like a confusing task, but in reality it’s quite straightforward. The purpose of a thesis statement is to present the argument in the paper and give the reader an idea of which questions will be answered. A good thesis statement should be clear and concise yet thorough enough to provide a sound explanation of the paper’s topic.


1. Start out by thinking about the argument that you want to make in your paper and the facts that you’re going to examine in order to support that argument. The foundation of a good thesis is an assertion that can be clearly dissected and supported by facts.

2. Write a sentence that takes a position on something and follow it up with details about that position that will be explored in the paper. An example of a sample thesis could be “Trees in the United States are being harvested at an ever-increasing rate, causing problems with deforestation. This is primarily due to the increased demand for lumber, de-regulation of the logging industry, and the excess use of paper products.” While this is just an example thesis with made-up facts, you can see how “trees being harvested” is the topic, and the argument is the three reasons why this is the case.

3. Come up with different versions of you argument, and expand that into 3-4 sentences that add substantial detail to the thesis. A good thesis statement is about the length of a short paragraph, and should essentially be your introduction. With that said, you should have more than a one sentence introduction.

4. Check your thesis after the paper is written to see if the paper answers the question/argument that the thesis presents. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to modify your paper and your thesis until they form a cohesive argument that flows well from beginning to end.

5. Have someone else look at your thesis before and after your paper is written. It’s always a good idea to get a second set of eyes to look at things because they can help you refine your ideas and catch mistakes that you wouldn’t have otherwise seen.


Don’t rush the process and make sure that you leave yourself enough time. Don’t start writing a thesis statement that the day the paper is due; it takes a long time to develop a strong thesis, so make sure you plan adequately.

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