Creating a Thesis for Academic Research Paper

The thesis statement is arguably the most important part of your essay. Even though it the thesis is traditionally only one to two sentences long, is the declaration of your argument in relation to the topic at hand and the focus of your entire essay. The meat of your essay, the supporting paragraphs, support your thesis with claims backed up by sources. Lastly, the conclusion paragraph ties in your thesis statement with our sources to wrap it all up. Simply put, your entire essay is built around your thesis, so it is absolutely critical that for any successful essay you write a strong, developed thesis statement.

Finding the Thesis
  • You should be planning your argument out while researching the sources for your topic. Your argument should eventually come to fruition as you start to organize your sources and think about the topic more in-depth.
  • The thesis statement is traditionally located at the end of the introductory paragraph, though no rules are broken no matter where it is placed in the intro. When you begin your essay writing, it’s often nice to place your thesis at the end of the intro allowing you to open your essay with a question, a quote or another form of attention grabber to get the reader engaged with the essay. This also allows you to flow into your thesis as you write the intro, allowing it to come to you naturally instead of forcefully.

Essentials to Having a Well-Developed Thesis Statement
  • Your thesis statement is not a statement of truth. It is a statement of opinion, transmitting to the reader the argument you are going to make regarding the topic and the points you will bring up. In this sense, your thesis statement will serve as a gateway to the facts and support you will bring up in your supporting paragraphs. Your thesis should focused only on the specific topic at hand, be easy to understand, but it the position you are taking must also be gotten across very clearly.
  • For example: “Although they had the most well-trained and technologically-advanced military in World War II, what led to Nazi Germany’s ultimate defeat at the hands of the Allies was due to overextending their manpower and their resources on too many fronts.” This thesis statement argues that Germany lost the war due to overextending themselves, and will most likely lead into a supporting paragraph talking about Germany’s military superiority with support from facts and sources, before moving into a paragraph detailing overextending their manpower and another paragraph about overextending their resources using facts and sources. While the thesis statement does not convey fact, only opinion, it leads into paragraphs that will convey fact. It is also clearly focused only on the topic of why Nazi Germany lost World War II, is easy to understand, and the stance being argued is gotten across very clearly.