One of the most important elements of most scientific articles, whether it is an essay or a research paper, is the thesis statement.
A thesis statement is a sentence that indicates what you want your article to demonstrate, what you want your readers to convince after they have read your thesis.
This is the basis of all the work and informs the reader exactly what you want to achieve with the article, that is, what you want to prove or disprove.
Unless you are documenting research or writing a purely descriptive essay, your work will be based on this thesis statement, so it should be well thought out and well described.
What is a thesis statement for?
If you’ve been tasked with analyzing, discussing, comparing and contrasting, establishing cause, or interpreting cause, chances are you’ll need to use a well-defined thesis statement as the basis.
This establishes your position and each part of the article will have to refer to this in some way.
The four steps to writing a good thesis statement
- Firmness: Your thesis statement should state exactly what you want to prove with the article.
- Uniqueness: The thesis statement, in most cases, should contain a single idea, to keep the article focused.
- Specificity: Your thesis statement should be as specific as possible, so it’s clear where you stand. One sentence is enough for shorter articles.
- Position: should be in the introduction, in most cases in the ending.
Tell the reader what you want to try
Knowing what you’re trying to achieve and getting it down in writing can often be the hardest part, and writing the actual statement can be one of the most daunting aspects of the essay. You’re trying to make sure that it tells the reader exactly what you’re proposing.
A thesis is not the topic of the article but an interpretation or point of view.
For example, you may be writing an article on the effects of adding omega-3 fatty acid supplements to your diet. This is the topic of the article.
The thesis will establish what you believe, for example, you can argue that you consider that Omega 3 fatty acid supplements are beneficial for health. Equally, you could argue that they have no effect or that they are harmful.
One article = one concept
In most articles, it’s best to discuss a concept and build on it. Otherwise, the article will quickly lose its direction, fail to answer any points, and totally confuse the reader.
For example, you can write an article about gambling addiction. Trying to write an article claiming that Pavlov’s and Skinner’s theories that conditioning influences behavior is difficult.
It is best to choose one of the two types and take it as the basis of your essay. You could argue that operant conditioning is the main factor behind addiction and set out to prove it. Pavlov will also appear in the article, but as part of the background.
put things together
Your thesis statement should tie together all the background information included in your introduction and make it into a single statement. It is not a repetition of the introduction, but a posture.
Where is the thesis statement located?
A thesis statement should be in the introduction of the document, taking up more or less one sentence. It is usually found in the first paragraph, although some authors prefer to discuss the background first and build the thesis at the end of the introduction.
This is generally perfectly acceptable, although you should check with your supervisor.