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The Main Point

Most people are familiar with the concept of a thesis; simply stated, a thesis statement expresses the main idea of a document. However, as ideas and research become more complex, scholars tend to forget the simplicity yet power of the thesis statement.

A thesis can be known by numerous names, depending on one’s discipline. It can be called a premise, a central claim, a hypothesis, an author’s position or an author’s argument. Regardless of what you call it, you need to know the elements of a working thesis before beginning to write because without the thesis, you do not know what sub-points to make or what research is needed to support your point.

Remember, a thesis...

  • Makes a strong claim/takes a clear position on a topic that must be supported, with valid research

  • Is specific, relevant to your colleagues/audience and grounded in disciplinary research

  • Can be framed as the answer to a specific question (or set of questions)

One of the most important aspects to remember about a thesis is…

  • While the argument is complex and multi-layered, the thesis is a statement expressed in one sentence.

In short, a thesis is a statement that can be accepted as true, but must be proven and supported. It is not a fact; it is not a belief; it is not a feeling. It is a statement that requires support! The thesis may require 10 pages of support or 150 pages of support to be proven; however, strive to express your main idea in one sentence!

Writing a thesis that is not too broad or too narrow for your research is a craft, but as long as you are aware of the importance of a thesis to any document you're writing, you will work to write a strong one!

Until next week, happy writing!!! Dr. V

Writing Coach-Editor-Speaker-Author

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