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Difference Between a Thesis and a Thesis Statement

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    Thesis Paper Definition

    • A thesis paper serves as an avenue for students to demonstrate their knowledge in their fields. Students must identify an issue and then establish an argument that will carry the paper forward, while avoiding simply reporting facts. One of the most common mistakes made by students is to write a paper that merely reports facts that have already been compiled by someone else instead of using those facts as supporting evidence for their own conclusions throughout their own argument. Required lengths of thesis papers can vary depending on academic field, department and school. Some thesis papers can be as short as 10 double-spaced pages while others can be as long as 200.

    Common Thesis Requirements

    • Thesis requirements can vary depending on the field or school, but there are some standards that are necessary no matter the subject matter. The main parts of a thesis paper are the introduction, the body, the conclusion and the bibliography. The introduction serves as a hook for your readers; it should set the context and frame what the paper is going to be about while avoiding heavy summary. The thesis statement often comes at the end of the introduction.

      The body is where the writer carries out his argument. He will go through the main points that support his thesis, develop his argument and include supporting evidence through research in the form of cited quotes and paraphrase. The citation style for in-text citations (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.) will depend on departmental requirements and will also need to match the citation style of the bibliography.

      In the conclusion, the writer wraps up his argument, summarizing his main points and establishing closure that relates back to the thesis statement. After the conclusion comes the bibliography, which alphabetizes the citations for all sources.

      Other requirements, such as those regarding formatting or a literature review, may be department-specific and may not be necessary for all thesis papers.

    Thesis Statement Definition

    • The thesis statement is a sentence or two clearly and specifically stating the argument of the paper. The purpose of a thesis statement is to guide readers as they begin to read the paper so that they can clearly see the argument and the main examples/main points that will be used to construct the argument. The thesis statement is also a roadmap for the writer because it helps her keep track of her organizational scheme. The body sections of the paper should be organized in the same order as the main points in the thesis statement.

    Thesis Statement Requirements

    • A strong thesis statement will be analytical, argumentative, specific and able to be well-supported. When constructing a thesis statement, consider that it needs to be controversial, which means that hypothetically it should be something that another person should be able to argue against. If it is something that everyone would generally agree upon (such as "the grass is green"), it is too obvious to be a thesis statement.

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