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College Research

Learn the methods and tools for conducting college level research.

Why Write a Thesis Statement?

A thesis statement is the answer to your research question. It is also an argument and an outline of how you are going to prove something with the evidence you gathered. A thesis statement should only be written after some research has been done on the topic.

This short video explains the benefits to you - the writer - of writing a thesis statement.

How to Write a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement contains the following parts.

  1. Your topic
  2. Your claim or argument about the topic
  3. Examples, causes or characteristics that you will discuss in the body of your paper.

The body of the paper will discuss each of the examples, causes, or characteristics that are listed in the thesis statement with the evidence you found.


Example 1:

Topic: The Black Consciousness Movement

Claim: It became an important part of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa

Examples, Causes, etc: Occurred after the larger African liberation groups were banned; Advocated for Black pride; Contributed to the Soweto student uprising in 1976;

Thesis Statement:

After the banning of the larger African liberation organizations, the Black Consciousness Movement became an important part of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. It advocated for Black pride and contributed to the Soweto student uprising in 1976.


Example 2:

Topic: Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur

Claim: It subverted traditional characteristics of leadership

Examples, Causes, etc: Portrayal of Arthur’s fierceness in battle; Arthur’s egalitarian relationship with his knights.

Thesis Statement:

Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur subverts traditional characteristics of leadership through the portrayal of Arthur’s fierceness in battle and Arthur’s egalitarian relationship with his knights.


Example 3:

Topic: Game of Thrones television show

Claim: Show-runners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss disappointed fans with their conclusion to the series

Examples, Causes, etc: Dropped character arcs; Exposition at the expense of plot; Used dialog to justify odd character decisions;

Thesis Statement:

David Benioff and D. B. Weiss were careless with their conclusion to the Game of Thrones television series. In the final season of the show they abandoned  important character arcs and relied on long stretches of dialog at the expense of plot development to justify odd character decisions.