Research Paper Help: Formulating a Thesis


Formulating a thesis statement is one of the more challenging aspects of writing a research paper. The thesis statement is a single sentence that tells the reader what you believe and how you intend to prove it. Typically, it is found at the end of the first paragraph. In order to come up with a thesis, the author must first do their research and find evidence of what is considered their “working thesis”.

Things to Avoid In a Thesis

You want your thesis to be exact and to the point, no wandering or guessing on the readers’ part. Here are some things you want to avoid when writing your thesis:

  • It is not clear enough
  • It leaves the reader unsure of your position
  • Make sure the thesis is not too broad
  • Put it in the correct place in the essay

How to Know If You Have a Strong Thesis

There are a handful of ways to tell whether or not you have a strong enough thesis. Here are some ways to check:

  • Run it by your professor or someone at the writing center if you are not sure.
  • Does the body of the essay support the thesis?
  • Does the thesis leave the reader with questions?
  • Is it too vague?
  • When you are finished reading the thesis, do you say to yourself “so what”?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then there is a good chance your thesis is not strong or specific enough. If you find that your essay does not support your thesis or that it does not flow properly with your thesis, consider changing it. Writers often find themselves changing their thesis once they get deep into the writing process.

Avenues of Help Available For Formulating a Thesis

Students may find themselves unsure of where to go for help when it comes to formulating a thesis. Here are some avenues available to assist you with your thesis:

  • School writing center
  • Ask your professor directly
  • Hire a professional writing service
  • Hire a freelancer who specializes in academic writing

Professional writing services and freelancers are great sources to use if you have the time and money to find them. If not, take advantage of the student writing center; these students and professors have first- hand experience with formulating a thesis. Coming up with a thesis can be much easier if you take this advice and follow these steps.

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