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Coming Up with a Good Thesis for a Research Paper

Coming up with a good thesis for a research paper isn’t that difficult. You just need to follow three simple rules that have been employed by academic writers for centuries:

  1. Be clear and concise
  2. Don’t use first person
  3. Put your thesis statement as the last sentence in your opening paragraph

Let’s explore why these techniques are so powerful when coming up with a good thesis for a research paper.

Be Clear and Concise

The last thing you want when writing a good thesis is to muddle your words. You need to make it crystal clear what you’re going to present in your paper. This means you should say exactly what you propose: nothing more, nothing less.

For instance, if you’re coming up with a good thesis for a research paper on computer programming you should avoid a long winded statement like:

“Computer programming might be one of the most difficult professions to break into because international competition from countries like India, Pakistan, China and others are making it hard for workers to find work at the rates they expect.”

That’s all over the place. It should be presented like this:

“Computer programming has become a difficult field to enter due to increased competition from an international marketplace willing to work at competitive rates.”

That’s much better. You can elaborate on the other details as you work your way through the essay.

Don’t Use First Person

A bad thesis reads: “I think that…”

A good thesis avoids the use of first person. Take another look at the example provided above. Your thesis statement should read like that.

Put the Thesis as the Last Sentence of Your Introductory Paragraph

You use the introductory paragraph to introduce some of the ideas you will elaborate on in your paper. The last sentence is reserved for the thesis statement – a one sentence summary of what you are about to illustrate with your writing.

It’s important that you put the thesis statement here whether you’re writing a 2,000 page paper or a one page essay. This is where your professor (and readers) are going to be looking for it. If you put it anywhere else you might simply confuse your readers. This is going to lead to a bad paper, and it’s all because you put the thesis in the wrong place.

Follow these tips and you’ll be coming up with a good thesis for your research paper in no time.