Are you looking for information on how to write a thesis statement? Writing the thesis statement should be effortless if you are equipped with a good knowledge of your research topic. If not, then read on. Here are three tips on how to write a thesis statement.
Before going to the steps on how to write your thesis statement, I see it necessary to define first what a thesis statement means. A thesis statement is your proposed answer or argument concerning a given problem situation or question that needs resolution. It is your explanation of how or why a phenomenon occurs based on the limited evidence that you have observed or gathered. You are advancing a thesis to convince others that your explanation is plausible or reasonable. Thus, you need to design a research to provide evidence to central argument of your research paper. That thesis may be uniquely yours, or somebody may have thought about the same explanation. Thus, you need to undertake the following steps to ensure that your thesis is an original one.
Three Tips on How to Write a Thesis Statement
Here are the steps to follow if you have difficulty in writing your thesis statement.
Step 1. Identify your research topic
If you do not have a clear research topic in mind then you have no basis in writing your thesis statement. You may freely select your topic but if you are under some kind of funding, the agency sponsoring your work may have specific recommended topics for you to do research on. You must also mind your university’s research agenda, as there are recommended topics based on current trends and known needs of society. The United Nation’s 17-point Sustainable Development Goals is a good starting point on what research areas to explore. Select a research area relevant to your field of specialization and narrow it down to manageable bits.
For example, we will use “community adaptation to climate change“ as our long-tail keyword. Long tail keywords are those three to four keyword phrases which are very specific to whatever you are interested in.
Step 2. Review the literature
Once you are ready with your research topic, you need to see if it is feasible enough to do research on. It is not easy to discern if indeed your topic is worth pursuing until you have done a good review of literature.
Contemporary researchers are fortunate because they can now access a vast source of scientific literature in the internet. The easy one most familiar to me is Google Scholar which I learned to use just a few months back. Before, I was using the Directory of Open Access Journal (DOAJ) but I had the impression that available literature in the site is limited compared to what I acquire from Google Scholar.
As a beginner, the literature available in Google Scholar serves the purpose. You can just type your keyword and in an instant, assuming a good internet connection, a list of articles is displayed just like when you surf the generic Google search box.
For our example, if we search in Google Scholar the word “community adaptation to climate change,” the search engine will return the following articles with their corresponding meta descriptions:
The top article matches the long-tail keyword thus is displayed first in the default ten articles for the page. This article is the most relevant among the articles shown but the second to fourth articles are also related. Now, the first four articles make up your first reference list. This is a good sign as this means that you will be able to see more relevant articles.
Take time to read the meta description, that brief description about the article related (or may not be related) to your chosen topic. It is here where you exercise your judgement whether to include or not include the article in your research proposal. If you find the article relevant, right click on the active link and open in a new tab.
Read the abstracts and see how the research proceeded. Reading about 30 of these articles will give you enough ideas to get your research going. See if there are gaps in knowledge in the articles you have read.
Step 3. Write your thesis statement
Once familiar with the variables that make up your research, it is time for you to write your thesis statement. In the example given above, I would advance the following thesis statement derived from reading the four abstracts on community level adaptation to climate change:
Proactive strategies devised by both the communities and government and non-government organizations can reduce the vulnerability of communities to typhoons.
Notice that I attempt to relate two variables in this statement namely, 1) proactive strategies, and 2) vulnerability of communities to typhoons.
At this point, you are now ready to build your conceptual framework. I need not expound on it here as I have previously written an article titled “How to Build Your Conceptual Framework: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make One.”
If you want to have the whole package of articles to develop your research proposal, my newly published book titled “How to Write a Thesis in Today’s Information Age” can help you out. I provide exercises at the end of each chapter to hone your skills and hyperlinked keywords in the index facilitates navigation.