What Is A Thesis?

Thesis Statement Guidance

  1. Thesis statement – what is it?
  2. Thesis vs dissertation
  3. Typical length of thesis
  4. Examples of thesis
  1. Thesis statement – what is it?

A thesis statement is a precise and declarative sentence that ties an essay’s argument or main idea and normally found in the first essay paragraph.  Thesis statements are included with different types of essays, articles and textbooks.

1.1. Criterion of good thesis

A good thesis is clear and precise that the readers understand what the writer or author needs to convey, and they guide the readers and writers as they are the heart of the essays.  A good essay also focuses on the subject reflecting the purpose in a clear and succinct way and must use grammatically correct language. Besides highlighting the subject, the context is mentioned since the thesis statement is explicit in mentioning the main arguments that are explored in the essay. A good thesis has a structure where the writer identifies the main points and supports them rather than merely stating questions. The writer identifies the research goals and answers them while connecting the discussion on this.

1.2. Criterions of bad thesis

A bad thesis is one that is vague and is neither structured or limed, engaging the writer fails to address the main points as stated in the thesis statement and topic sentence. Additionally, the aim of the thesis is unclear because it is vague and the main ideas are not fully discussed. This is especially when the writer fails to use relevant and current research as evidence to elaborate on points. A bad thesis also uses information that is not linked to the aim of the thesis, and when such information is used is unsystematic and not suitable to the topic. A thesis statement that is an assertion is bad as one cannot argue against statement of fact, while the thesis statement needs to be supported with evidence. Choosing a topic that highlights an opinion is not recommended and this is especially when one cannot find evidence that backs the information.

1.3. Thesis statement formula

The thesis statement formula focuses on examining a main idea and claims and then providing proof or examining the subject matter. For instance, ‘claim’ 1, ‘claim 2’ shows that – proves that _.

  1. Thesis vs dissertation

A thesis is synthesized research based on collected information and ends to be shorter than dissertation as it is mainly written in undergraduate and master’s degree, while the dissertation is a scholarly document mainly in doctoral programs.

2.1. Similarities between thesis and dissertation

Both the thesis and dissertation answer research questions as they begin from a researchable problem, and may even include theories to present answers. There is also systematic approach to writing thesis and dissertations as writers need to include an abstract or executive summary that highlights the content of the scholarly documents.  The title page of thesis and dissertations is straightforward, and the other contents follow the same format from acknowledgement, table of content, list of tables, figures, to abstract and the chapters. In both the thesis and dissertation the students use research evidence and research findings as the basis for discussions of the research topic.  The general presentation of a thesis or dissertation is clear, logical and structured where formal language is used that the documents are readable.

2.2. Difference between thesis and dissertation

Typically, the university refers to master’s requirement as being a thesis, while a dissertation is written at the doctoral level. However, the differences also depend on the field of study and institution. When writing a dissertation it is necessary to focus on more depth like a theoretical rationale.   Writing a thesis improves one’s skills to write better dissertations as one can contribute more in their area of specialization. At other times in the dissertation, it is necessary to develop a theory, but in a thesis an existing theory or concept is the basis for a framework.  Hence a dissertation is more complex and normally requires more time to collect information. It may also require more people in the research process when writing dissertation compared to a thesis including committee and a chairperson. For the thesis you may need to meet with the chairperson assigned faculty members and the dissertation student defends their proposals before proceeding and the dissertation work after completion.  As the thesis is mostly applied research, but a dissertation is broader and the research findings can be used in policy formulations.

  1. Typical length of thesis

Typically, a thesis statement is one sentence at the end of the first paragraph.

3.1. Can thesis be more than 1 sentence?

A just because a sentence is normally more one sentence long does not mean it cannot be longer than this.  This is especially when it is unlikely that one will include all the elements of the main argument into one sentence.  Regardless of whether the thesis statement is one sentence or longer, it should be not clear and not narrow or broad.

3.2. Can thesis be more than 2 sentences?

A thesis can be more than 2 sentences when it is not possible to write down all the main ideas and sub points in 2 sentences.  When writing long papers, thesis or dissertation a    thesis statement that is more than 2 sentences may be appropriate. When you make claims in the thesis statement, you may elaborate further in more than 2 sentences where a position is well stated.  One ought to start with an outline that helps to organize the essay information, and this helps to craft the thesis statement. A good thesis statement then can be longer than two sentences as it explains the subject matter more deeply.

  1. Examples of thesis

4.1 Example of thesis for a research paper

There have been various attempts to address homelessness by governments and aid agencies, and even after the economy has improved the problem still persists.

Thesis statement:

“Nonprofit charitable organizations are better placed to tackle homelessness, compared to government sponsored programs that do not meet the unique needs of the homeless.”

4.2 Example of thesis for an essay

There is no agreement whether local governments and city officials should be involved in providing services to the homeless.

Thesis statement:

“Providing access to mental healthcare services and permanent housing enhances stability and the well-being of homeless people.”

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