what is a thesis


Are you struggling with writing a thesis? Perhaps you’re about to start the writing process, and have sat down and asked yourself, “What is a thesis, anyway?” Indeed, crafting a thesis can seem overwhelming, but with proper guidance, it can become a more manageable process. The first step in writing a thesis is to create a clear and concise thesis statement. A thesis statement is the central idea or argument that outlines the purpose and main argument of the paper. It is a crucial element of a thesis, as it guides the reader and keeps the author focused on the topic. In this blog article, we will provide you with essential tips on how to write a thesis, starting with tips on how to craft a strong thesis statement.

Types of thesis

There are several types of thesis statement, each of which serves a specific purpose and applies to different types of writing. While all types of essays have a thesis statement, the content and purpose of the thesis statement vary depending on the type of essay.

Analytical Thesis Statement: presents an analysis of a topic, breaking it down into its component parts and explaining how those parts relate to one another.

Expository: presents a topic and its main points, with the aim of providing information or explanation to the reader.

Argumentative: presents an argument or a claim that the writer will defend throughout the essay, using evidence and reasoning to persuade the reader.

Narrative: presents the main point or lesson of a story, often providing insight or reflection on a personal experience or observation.

Persuasive: presents a strong opinion and an action that the writer wants the reader to take, often related to social, political, or ethical issues.

These types of thesis statements are not mutually exclusive and can overlap in some cases, depending on the topic and the purpose of the writing. Note that the thesis statement is different in expository and argumentative essays:

Expository essays inform readers about a topic, and the thesis presents the main idea and points that will be discussed. The thesis is a neutral statement that doesn’t argue a position.

Argumentative essays aim to persuade readers to accept the writer’s argument. The thesis statement takes a clear stance on the topic and presents a strong, debatable claim. It is supported by evidence and counterarguments.

RELATED READ: Academic Writing for Dissertations and Thesis 

Thesis vs. Thesis Statement

A thesis presents an original research project or argument in support of a particular academic degree. It typically includes an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion.

A thesis statement, on the other hand, is a brief statement that summarizes the main point or argument of an essay or research paper. It is usually placed at the end of the introduction and guides the reader as to what to expect in the rest of the paper.

While a thesis statement is a key component of a thesis, the thesis statement alone does not constitute a complete thesis. Instead, it serves as a concise summary of the main argument or point of the thesis, which is then supported and developed in greater detail throughout the thesis itself.

How to start writing it

  • Research and identify your thesis topic: Start by selecting a research topic that is of interest to you and aligns with the scope of the project. You can gather information from a variety of sources, such as academic journals, books, and online databases.
  • Work on a strong opening statement: Start with a strong opening statement that grabs the reader’s attention and sets the tone for the rest of the thesis. It should clearly state the research problem, the purpose of the study, and the significance of the topic.
  • Organize research and supporting information: Organize your research and supporting information to ensure that all the data is relevant to your research topic. Use software tools, such as Zotero or Mendeley, to manage references and citations.
  • Outline ideas: Create an outline of your ideas and arrange them in a logical order. This will help you to organize your thoughts and ideas, and identify any gaps in your research.
  • Keeping tabs on in-text citations included: Keep track of your in-text citations and ensure that you follow the citation style recommended by your institution. This will help you to avoid plagiarism and demonstrate academic integrity.

RELATED READ: Academic Editing Guidelines Tips From a Professional Editor


The structure of a thesis can vary depending on the specific requirements of the institution or field of study, but a basic outline typically includes the following components:

Abstract: A brief summary of the thesis, usually between 150­–300 words, providing an overview of the research problem, methods, results, and conclusions.

Table of Contents: A list of chapters, sections, and subsections that provides a roadmap to the thesis.

Introduction: A statement of the research problem, background information, objectives, and the significance of the research.

Literature Review: An overview of the relevant research and scholarship on the topic.

Methodology: A description of the research methods and procedures used to collect and analyze data.

Results: A presentation of the findings from the data analysis.

Discussion: An interpretation and analysis of the results, and how they relate to the research problem.

Conclusion: A summary of the research and key findings, and their implications.

References: A list of sources cited in the thesis.

Appendices: Any supplementary materials, such as charts, graphs, or interview transcripts, that support the research.

What Are the Main Components of a Final Thesis or Dissertation?

In addition to the structure and main components mentioned previously, other important components of a thesis include:

Title Page
This includes the title of the thesis, the author’s name, the degree program, and the date.

Research questions or hypotheses
These are the questions or statements that guide the research and are typically presented in the introduction or methodology section.

Theoretical framework: A description of the theories and concepts that inform the research and are used to analyze the data.

Data analysis: A detailed description of the methods used to analyze the data, including statistical tests or other procedures used.

Limitations: A discussion of the limitations of the research and any factors that may have impacted the results.

Significance and contributions: A discussion of the significance of the research and its contributions to the field of study.

Ethics: A discussion of any ethical considerations related to the research, such as informed consent or confidentiality.

Glossary: A list of terms or concepts used in the thesis that may not be familiar to all readers.

List of figures and tables: A list of all tables and figures included in the thesis.

Appendices: Any additional materials that support the research but are not included in the main text, such as survey instruments or raw data.

These components can vary depending on the requirements of the institution or field of study, but they are important to consider when planning and writing a thesis.


In summary, writing a thesis can seem like a daunting task, but it can be manageable with the right guidance. The first step is to create a clear and concise thesis statement that outlines the purpose and main argument of the paper. By following the tips and guidelines provided in this blog article, you can structure and write a compelling thesis that meets academic standards and supports your arguments with credible evidence.

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