A recent study revealed that the majority of college students feel that they don’t need further writing instructions–even those who haven’t done much academic writing.
The truth is, many students haven’t done much academic writing. An estimated 61% of high school students graduate without writing anything longer than 5 pages.
That’s why we’re here to give students of all ages and areas of study the help they need to put together the perfect academic paper!
Let’s start with crafting a 3 part thesis statement. A thesis statement is the foundation for your paper and writing a strong thesis statement will set you up for success!
Unlike creative writing, you’re not looking to create suspense in an academic paper. While the body of your paper can reveal proof of your overarching point in surprising or exciting ways, the point should be clear from the beginning. A thesis, typically appearing in the first paragraph, should plainly state the purpose of your paper.
In other words, a reader should be able to read the first paragraph of your academic paper and know exactly what the paper is about. They should be able to discern not just the subject of your paper but also the argument you are making about the subject.
Let’s take a look at the 3 parts of a thesis statement and how to determine whether or not you’ve achieved them.
The format of a thesis statement may vary by assignment. For example, some papers may call for a one-sentence thesis statement while others may consider your thesis your entire opening paragraph. Make sure that you understand the parameters of your assignment before you begin.
No matter the length, however, a thesis statement can be broken into 3 parts.
Your limited subject is the topic you’ve narrowed in on. We say “limited” because a successful paper can’t have a broad focus. When your subject is too wide, it’s sort of like biting off more than you can chew.
Let’s say that your professor asks you to write a paper about a novel you read in class. That means that your subject will come from a specific aspect of the novel, not that it will be the novel, itself. You might decide to write about a recurring image in the novel or a theme or a particular character.
What is the question you’re seeking to answer about your subject? Every academic goes into their research with a question and the goal is to find an answer.
How do you determine what that question is? By looking at the existing scholarship surrounding your subject, you can discover what questions have already been asked and answered. Your job is to find a worthwhile avenue that hasn’t been explored yet.
Once you have your question, you don’t want to leave it open-ended. Instead, you’ll use the body of the paper to piece together evidence that supports your answer in a compelling way. That answer then becomes your thesis statement.
It may seem confusing to start with an answer and work your way backward. The truth is that your thesis is bound to change a few times as you uncover more evidence. Later on, we’ll discuss how this works and what you can do about it.
As we’ve mentioned a few times, the evidence to back up your thesis will appear in the body of your paper. In the thesis, you’ll want to find a concise way to sum up that evidence. In doing so, you’re giving your reader a hint of what is to come and lending credibility to your argument.
Let’s go back to the example of writing a paper about a novel. Let’s say that you’re focusing on the women in the novel and arguing that the author is demonstrating the importance of women’s agency.
In what ways does the author do so? Perhaps the focal points of your argument are the ways that women are depicted outside of the home, the way they are described, and the imagery that recurs when they appear. While you’re not stating how these things function yet, you should state that they are present and central to your argument.
It’s not uncommon for a thesis statement to be due before your rough draft or final paper. That means that your first step is to start doing the research. Compile the sources you’re going to rely on and become familiar with them.
As you learn more about your resources, you’ll start to get an idea of both your question and the answer to it. You may want to begin pulling quotes from your resources and making note of the evidence that supports your argument.
However, don’t get too attached to your first thesis statement. Remember that as you dig deeper, you may uncover evidence that contradicts your original idea. Alternatively, you may find information that leads you to a more compelling question with a more viable answer.
Ultimately, your thesis statement is subject to change a few times over the course of writing and that’s okay. If you find yourself struggling to nail it down, talk to your professor for more guidance!
We may feel strong in our writing skills by the time we get to high school or college, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room to learn more. Mastering a 3 part thesis isn’t necessarily a natural skill and it’s expected that you’ll have to practice before you get better!
Feeling really stuck? That’s what My Homework Writers is here for. Fill out our order form and we’ll get started helping you craft the perfect paper right away.
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