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Research Paper: A Step-by-Step Guide

Thesis Statements

What is a thesis statement?

The thesis is usually a single sentence somewhere in your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body, gathers and organizes evidence that will try to persuade the reader to the logic of your interpretation of the topic.  The thesis:

  • Tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper
  • Directly answers the question asked of you. It's an interpretation of a subject, not the subject itself.
  • Makes a claim others might dispute

Defining a Thesis Statement