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successful writing tips for researchers


How to compose good thesis statements for research papers

Thesis statements are the one part of the writing process that continues to vex even the best writers. If you do not consider yourself a strong writer, then the thesis statement will continue to be a challenge for you. Good research papers need to have strong thesis statements, otherwise the readers will not know what you are trying to prove. Without a thesis statement, your research paper will be unfocused and difficult to write. This means that the thesis statement is the most important sentence in your research paper. So, here are a few tips to make sure your thesis is the best one that you can write:

  • Compose a yes-or-no question. If you are at the point of crafting a thesis statement, you have most likely chosen a topic. In order to write a good thesis, you should begin by creating a yes-or-no question about your topic. This will help you guide the purpose of your paper. For example, if you are writing about recess in school, you could create a question like: Do children benefit from regular outdoor recess?
  • Answer the yes-or-no question. What you are trying to prove will be the answer to the question. If you are writing about recess in school and you answered “yes” to the question about recess. Then you will answer the question in the positive: Children benefit from regular outdoor recess. If you were to answer negatively, you could write: Children do not benefit from regular outdoor recess.
  • Narrow the answer: Most students begin with a thesis statement that is too broad. “Children benefit from regular outdoor recess” is too broad for a typical research paper. People write books about this topic, so if is important to edit the answer to the yes-or-no question so you can write a research paper rather than a book. For example, you could narrow it by saying, “When children get regular outdoor recess, they perform better in math and language arts classes.” Then, all you need to do is prove that recess helps in classes where students have to sit for longer periods of time.
  • Test the thesis: Your thesis should fit with the research that you have found. If you cannot find research to support your thesis, then you should fit the thesis to match your research. So, even if you do not believe in the answer to the question, you can still write a research paper about a topic that can be supported with quality research.

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