How to Write a Good Thesis for a Term Paper

Your term paper is an important part of your academic career. Its main purpose is to show your professor how well you understand the subject. You do this by integrating what you learned in class with your own understanding of the subject that you have to write about. It gives your professor an accurate understanding of how you understand the material.

The importance of your thesis statement must not be underestimated when you start out to write your paper. The success of your paper depends on it.

The Term Paper Thesis Statement
In your term paper, you must establish an argument which you will further affirm with examples, logical reasoning, and research. Your thesis statement is a guideline and unifying element of your paper.

Thesis Statement Writing
You should try to fit your thesis statement into one sentence:

  1. The main question. A simple way to help yourself write a thesis statement is answering the question: What point do I want to prove?
  2. Be specific. Narrow your thesis statement down to one aspect of your topic. For example, if your topic is international trade narrow it down to a smaller point such as” Trade between USA and China”.
  3. Be flexible. In case you find some stronger aspects while researching your topic, don’t be afraid to make changes to your thesis statement. In fact, the thesis statement can be changed whenever the research causes you to shift your perspective.
  4. Verify your thesis statement. Ask your instructor for approval of the thesis statement before continuing with research. Do not use the first person and be objective.

Essentials of a thesis statement
A strong thesis statement should answer two questions: How? Why?

  1. Know the type of paper you are writing: There are different kinds of papers you can write and your thesis statement must reflect the one you will use. For example, in an analytical paper you should break down an idea or issue into component parts. In an argumentative paper you make a claim about some topic and justify it through evidence. Some others such as a narrative paper do not really need one.
  2. Be specific. Your thesis statement should introduce only the point you are going to discuss in your paper, supported with facts. Keep it tight and precise.
  3. Where to place it. The first paragraph of the paper should be the one to include the thesis statement, usually at the end of the paragraph.
  4. It can change as you develop the topic. Revise you thesis statement to see if it needs any changes in correlation to you topic.

If you carefully follow these points, the result will be a powerful thesis statement.

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