Creating a Successful Research Topic Statement (PSY)

In this tutorial, we will identify what makes for a successful research topic.

Most research topics start out as a general and often vague idea that a researcher has an interest in investigating.

Inexperienced researchers, including most doctoral learners, frequently think of topics that are quite interesting, but not narrowly enough focused for a dissertation.

This tutorial will guide you through a set of steps designed to help you come up with a topic, first of all, and secondly to focus it more tightly so that you can begin a meaningful and successful search of the existing literature to discover whether your topic is actually researchable.

This tutorial's primary objective is to prepare you to create a successful research topic that may become the topic of your dissertation. To do that, we'll work through the following issues:

  • First, what are the characteristics of a well-formed research topic?
  • Second, how are research topics evaluated?
  • Third, how can the key concepts and the population be narrowed and focused so that they are researchable?
  • Fourth, how can the relationship among concepts be named so that the appropriate methodological literature can be accessed in the literature review?

Obviously, in Track 1 you are at the beginning of your studies toward the doctorate, and perhaps your dissertation is far from your thoughts. We are starting the process now, however, because our experience has been that when learners wait to start searching for their topics, it often creates a serious problem for them when they actually start the dissertation. That problem can take many forms, but the most common one is that they have not had sufficient time (and training) in exhaustively searching the relevant literature to discover whether the topic they are interested in is even viable—and without a good topic statement, a good literature search is impossible. So let's begin.

What Is a Research Topic?

A research topic is an area of interest to a researcher that is first of all, researchable. It is focused narrowly enough that its key concepts are quite plain and well integrated. It is a topic or subject that can be found in the existing literature of the researcher's field, which shows that it is of some interest or importance to that field, and has some important characteristics.

Characteristics of a Well-formed Research Topic

The first mark of a well-formed topic is that it clearly states the key concepts to be investigated. Sometimes, only one concept is named—those studies often turn out to be qualitative, but not always. More often, two or more key concepts are named. Next, it identifies the relationship or relationships among those concepts that the researcher intends to explore. Obviously, if only one concept was named, there won't be a relationship, but in that case a word like "describes" or "experiences" will give a clue to the kind of information desired. Third, a research topic specifies the population of interest to be investigated. Finally, a research topic is just a phrase. That is, it is not a full sentence with a verb. However, the well-formed topic statement will embed the actual topic in a complete sentence. Let's look at some examples.

Some Examples of Topic Statements

Here are a few topic statements that eventually lead to successful dissertations:

  • Elementary age students' needs for family-based counseling services.
  • Indigenous people's responses to encounters with law enforcement.
  • Impact of mother's death on daughters in poor, middle class, and wealthy families.
  • The relationship between assignment strategies to prevent burnout used by managers of first responders and the occurrence of burnout.
  • Employees' productivity as a function of their managers' management styles.
  • Strategies used by mainstream classroom teachers to manage children with behavior problems who do not receive special education.

You can see immediately that all six examples, taken from the four schools in Capella University, are phrases, not complete sentences. So far, so good. The first mark of a successful topic statement is that it identifies the key concepts to be investigated, right? Let's see how the examples do that.

Evaluating the Form of the Examples: Key Concepts

In the first example, we seem to have two key concepts: "needs" and "family-based counseling services." Are they stated clearly? Probably not clearly enough: what is meant by "needs" and "family-based counseling services" is not immediately transparent. This topic will need some work, but most topics start out this way.

Let's try another: Indigenous people’s responses to encounters with law enforcement. Here, there seem to be two key concepts: "responses" and "encounters with law enforcement." These concepts are quite broad and will have to be narrowed considerably to support a researchable topic, but they provide a good start.

Let's do one more: Employees' productivity as a function of their managers' management styles.

Here, there are two key concepts, right? Productivity and management styles.

Evaluating the Form of Topics: Relationship(s) among the Key Concepts

The second mark of a successful topic is that it identifies any relationship to be investigated between or among the key concepts. Let's look at the third example to see about this.

This topic meets our criterion of being a phrase. It seems to state at least two concepts (but with multiple levels): "death" and "socio-economic status of daughters." What about the relationship? Well, it is captured in that word "impact."

An "impact" in research jargon means the effect that one concept—death—has on another concept, in this case, the daughters. One can, in fact, replace the word impact with the word effect without changing the meaning at all. So the topic is proposing a cause-and-effect kind of relationship.

Let's look at another example: The relationship between assignment strategies to prevent burnout used by managers of first responders and the occurrence of burnout

This seems complicated, but it really isn't. First, let's check the key concepts: "Assignment strategies to prevent burnout" would seem to be one key concept, and "occurrence of burnout" would be the other. These are reasonably clear, or probably would be to someone in the human resources or management worlds. No doubt they will be further clarified as the researcher works on the topic's wording. But what about the relationship? It is in the word "relationship," obviously. And in research jargon, a "relationship" between A and B is a particular kind of relationship, called a correlation.

Now, play with the other topics to see if you can identify the relationship—if any.

Evaluating the Form of Topics: Target Population

The third sign of a successful topic is that it names the target population, the group of people or organizations or groups that the researcher is interested in. Let's evaluate some of our examples on this point.

  • Elementary age students' needs for family-based counseling services : The population here is stated: Students of elementary school age.
  • Indigenous people's responses to encounters with law enforcement: Here as well, the population is indigenous people.
  • Impact of mother's death on daughters in poor, middle class, and wealthy families: The population is daughters in three socio-economic groups.
  • The relationship between assignment strategies to prevent burnout used by managers of first responders and the occurrence of burnout: You determine who the population is in this one.

Is It Managers or Is It First Responders?

The population is managers of first responders. Or is it? The awkward wording of the topic makes this a bit hard to digest. The burnout occurs in the first responders, so maybe they are the population. But the first responders' managers are the ones using the management strategies, so are they the population?

Well, the two key concepts are management strategies (used by managers) and rate of burnout (in first responders), so the researcher will have to get information from both groups of people, so both are the target population: first responders and their managers.

Take a minute and try to figure out the rest of our examples.

Summing Up the Characteristics of a Successful Topic

We've seen in action the three chief marks of a successful research topic.

  • The topic states the key concepts to be investigated.
  • It states what relationship between or among the concepts will be explored. Remember, if there is only one concept (which often is the case in qualitative studies), there won't be a relationship. But if there are two or more key concepts, look for the relationship between or among them.
  • The successful topic names the population of interest for the study.

A well-formed research topic will have these characteristics, but simply having them is not sufficient. The elements also need to be well-focused and narrowed down to a point where the research becomes feasible. Let's take a look at a simple method for doing this.

Narrowing the Focus

Take a look at this grid. You'll see that one of our topics has been broken out into the first column. The population is first—indigenous people—followed by two concepts: responses and law enforcement. Now look at the central column, labeled "Narrower term." Notice how the very broad population has been narrowed. Similarly, "law enforcement" has been narrowed to police (there are many other types of law enforcement, such as FBI, Homeland Security, TSA, Customs and Immigration, sheriff's departments, and so on). Similarly, there are many kinds of behaviors and experiences that could be considered "responses," but the researcher is most interested in emotional responses. Now move to the third column. Can you see how each term is being narrowed yet again?

If we restated the topic now, after having narrowed it down a bit, it would look like this: Cherokee Indians' tolerance for stress when meeting traffic officers.

Let's work through another example, this time using the topic "Employees' productivity as a function of their managers' management styles."

You can see the key terms lined up in the first column. The other two columns are blank.

What would you ask yourself, if this were your topic, in order to narrow this down?

Questions to Ask for Narrowing a Topic

There are many questions you can ask yourself when you are narrowing your topic. A good opener is "So what do I really want to know about the concept?"

Another quite good question is to ask about your real interest or passion is about the concept or the population.

You can also find helpful terms by performing controlled vocabulary searches in library databases. You can find a nice tutorial on that method of searching in the Capella library at but whatever you ask yourself, keep your focus on what you truly most want to know and care about regarding the concept.

Now, let's get back to our example.

When the researcher asked herself what sort of employees and managers she was actually interested in, she realized it was service employees and managers. The more she pondered, and was helped by a quick check of the literature in her specialization, she realized that she was most interested in call center personnel. Then she tackled productivity . From her courses in management measurement, she knew that one way to think about productivity was days at work. But that seemed too dependent on factors outside the manager-employee relationship. She wanted a more fine-grained way to look at productivity, so she narrowed it to a specific measure, calls completed times minutes per call.

Then she took on management styl e. Knowing that there are many types, her first attempt at focusing this term was authoritarian style. That didn't satisfy her, and when she looked again at her topic, she realized that that word "function" was important. It implied to her that she was really interested in knowing how different management styles related to different degrees of productivity. At first, she put together a list of known management styles, but that felt intimidating. She decided to narrow it down to just two: authoritarian vs. flexible management style.

After all this, her topic now looked like this: Productivity as measured by calls completed times minutes per call in call center employees supervised by authoritarian managers compared to productivity in call center employees supervised by flexible managers.

She knew the wording was clunky and would need to be crafted better, but she had a much more focused topic. So far, we've been looking at two things about good research topics: what they should contain (concepts, relationships, and population), and how to narrow each element. In these narrowing exercises, we've focused on the concepts and the population. Now, let's turn our attention to the relationship . This is a very important element, because it offers an important clue about the nature of the study that might ensue.

Evaluating the Relationship Named in the Topic

Research asks all kinds of questions, and the relationship named in the research topic clues us into what kind of question the ensuing study will likely ask. Here are some questions you might ask in order to choose the right word to describe the relationship you're looking for.

What do you envision really doing?

  • Looking at comparisons between variables or groups of people?
  • Looking at relationships between two or more concepts?
  • Looking at effects of one or more concept on another concept or group?
  • Looking at outcomes of some process or treatment or condition?
  • Looking at experiences?
  • Developing a theory to explain some phenomenon?

For each of these (and there are other sorts of questions you can ask yourself), specific words can specify the relationship. Let's look at them.

If your topic compares two or more things compared with or some similar phrase indicates the relationship you want to know about. For instance, student retention rates in large urban school districts compared with small rural districts.

If your interest is about relationships between two or more concepts, try using words like relationship, in relation to, or other similar constructions. Here's an example: the frequency of church attendance in relation to socioeconomic status.

Suppose your interest is to see if one thing has an effect on something else. In that case, you can use that word, effect, or other words such as influence, impact, cause, predict, and the like. For example, the influence of tax policy on employment patterns in Midwestern communities.

An outcome is another version of a cause-and-effect relationship, specifically when you are interested in the final condition after some kind of process. For instance, the outcome of a training program. That word is excellent to use for the relationship, as in the outcome of training program A as measured by employee comprehension of corporate policies.

Are you interested in describing a certain experience, such as falling in love or being laid off work or having a baby or starting a new company? Having experiences is a very subjective thing, and the actual experience is a single thing—not one of a few variables. So there is no relationship to specify in such a topic, but the only way to learn about people's experiences is to ask them to describe them. So, words like descriptions of, accounts of, reports of, and the like can be very helpful. For instance, men's descriptions of their spiritual transformations when recovering from alcoholism.

Okay, we've covered the basics of how to craft a well-formed research topic. We've seen the marks of a good topic. They are:

  • The key concepts are clearly stated and well-focused so that they can be profitably found in the literature.
  • Second, the relationship, if any, between or among them is clearly stated. Even if there is no relationship, what you're really looking for (descriptions? accounts? reports?) can be seen in the wording.
  • Third, the people you want to study, your population, is clearly stated and narrowed down to a workable point. You have all these points covered in a single phrase, and if after narrowing it down that phrase is awkward, you will work on crafting it into a more graceful form.

In a minute, you'll get to work crafting your own research topic, but first I want to show you why we emphasize the importance of narrowing and focusing the key concepts, relationships, and populations.

What Do You Do With the Research Topic?

The research topic is step 1 in the sequential process of research design. Once you have your topic in hand, step 2 is to take it to the library and begin searching for existing research and theory on the topic. Here's where your key concepts need to be well-defined and narrowly focused. You will be looking for all the existing research on those key concepts when you start.

At first, you'll investigate each of your key concepts individually, to find out what the existing literature has to say about them in and of themselves. Later, after you have developed a good working knowledge of the background concepts, you'll dig deeper into research linking the key concepts together.

At the third level, you'll follow the "breadcrumbs" all the way back to the earliest studies on your topic so that you will, ultimately, master that literature fully.

So your topic statement is the foundation. It organizes your various literature reviews. Searching on the key concepts (translated into various key words) will help you organize the content of your study.

Searching on the existing methodological literature about the relationship named in your topic will prepare you for your methodological decisions in later steps of research design.

There is an old Chinese proverb found in the I Ching and many other places: “Patience in the beginning brings success.” If you are careful and attentive, and work patiently to write your research topic, then rewrite it, then rewrite it again and again, you will have a solid foundation on which to start building your literature review. The topic is your beginning.

Remain patient and steady, and you will succeed.

Doc. reference: phd_t1_u04s1_mpsuccess.html

Grad Coach

1000+ FREE Research Topics & Ideas

If you’re at the start of your research journey and are trying to figure out which research topic you want to focus on, you’ve come to the right place. Select your area of interest below to view a comprehensive collection of potential research ideas.

Research topic idea mega list

Research Topic FAQs

What (exactly) is a research topic.

A research topic is the subject of a research project or study – for example, a dissertation or thesis. A research topic typically takes the form of a problem to be solved, or a question to be answered.

A good research topic should be specific enough to allow for focused research and analysis. For example, if you are interested in studying the effects of climate change on agriculture, your research topic could focus on how rising temperatures have impacted crop yields in certain regions over time.

To learn more about the basics of developing a research topic, consider our free research topic ideation webinar.

What constitutes a good research topic?

A strong research topic comprises three important qualities : originality, value and feasibility.

  • Originality – a good topic explores an original area or takes a novel angle on an existing area of study.
  • Value – a strong research topic provides value and makes a contribution, either academically or practically.
  • Feasibility – a good research topic needs to be practical and manageable, given the resource constraints you face.

To learn more about what makes for a high-quality research topic, check out this post .

What's the difference between a research topic and research problem?

A research topic and a research problem are two distinct concepts that are often confused. A research topic is a broader label that indicates the focus of the study , while a research problem is an issue or gap in knowledge within the broader field that needs to be addressed.

To illustrate this distinction, consider a student who has chosen “teenage pregnancy in the United Kingdom” as their research topic. This research topic could encompass any number of issues related to teenage pregnancy such as causes, prevention strategies, health outcomes for mothers and babies, etc.

Within this broad category (the research topic) lies potential areas of inquiry that can be explored further – these become the research problems . For example:

  • What factors contribute to higher rates of teenage pregnancy in certain communities?
  • How do different types of parenting styles affect teen pregnancy rates?
  • What interventions have been successful in reducing teenage pregnancies?

Simply put, a key difference between a research topic and a research problem is scope ; the research topic provides an umbrella under which multiple questions can be asked, while the research problem focuses on one specific question or set of questions within that larger context.

How can I find potential research topics for my project?

There are many steps involved in the process of finding and choosing a high-quality research topic for a dissertation or thesis. We cover these steps in detail in this video (also accessible below).

How can I find quality sources for my research topic?

Finding quality sources is an essential step in the topic ideation process. To do this, you should start by researching scholarly journals, books, and other academic publications related to your topic. These sources can provide reliable information on a wide range of topics. Additionally, they may contain data or statistics that can help support your argument or conclusions.

Identifying Relevant Sources

When searching for relevant sources, it’s important to look beyond just published material; try using online databases such as Google Scholar or JSTOR to find articles from reputable journals that have been peer-reviewed by experts in the field.

You can also use search engines like Google or Bing to locate websites with useful information about your topic. However, be sure to evaluate any website before citing it as a source—look for evidence of authorship (such as an “About Us” page) and make sure the content is up-to-date and accurate before relying on it.

Evaluating Sources

Once you’ve identified potential sources for your research project, take some time to evaluate them thoroughly before deciding which ones will best serve your purpose. Consider factors such as author credibility (are they an expert in their field?), publication date (is the source current?), objectivity (does the author present both sides of an issue?) and relevance (how closely does this source relate to my specific topic?).

By researching the current literature on your topic, you can identify potential sources that will help to provide quality information. Once you’ve identified these sources, it’s time to look for a gap in the research and determine what new knowledge could be gained from further study.

How can I find a good research gap?

Finding a strong gap in the literature is an essential step when looking for potential research topics. We explain what research gaps are and how to find them in this post.

How should I evaluate potential research topics/ideas?

When evaluating potential research topics, it is important to consider the factors that make for a strong topic (we discussed these earlier). Specifically:

  • Originality
  • Feasibility

So, when you have a list of potential topics or ideas, assess each of them in terms of these three criteria. A good topic should take a unique angle, provide value (either to academia or practitioners), and be practical enough for you to pull off, given your limited resources.

Finally, you should also assess whether this project could lead to potential career opportunities such as internships or job offers down the line. Make sure that you are researching something that is relevant enough so that it can benefit your professional development in some way. Additionally, consider how each research topic aligns with your career goals and interests; researching something that you are passionate about can help keep motivation high throughout the process.

How can I assess the feasibility of a research topic?

When evaluating the feasibility and practicality of a research topic, it is important to consider several factors.

First, you should assess whether or not the research topic is within your area of competence. Of course, when you start out, you are not expected to be the world’s leading expert, but do should at least have some foundational knowledge.

Time commitment

When considering a research topic, you should think about how much time will be required for completion. Depending on your field of study, some topics may require more time than others due to their complexity or scope.

Additionally, if you plan on collaborating with other researchers or institutions in order to complete your project, additional considerations must be taken into account such as coordinating schedules and ensuring that all parties involved have adequate resources available.

Resources needed

It’s also critically important to consider what type of resources are necessary in order to conduct the research successfully. This includes physical materials such as lab equipment and chemicals but can also include intangible items like access to certain databases or software programs which may be necessary depending on the nature of your work. Additionally, if there are costs associated with obtaining these materials then this must also be factored into your evaluation process.

Potential risks

It’s important to consider the inherent potential risks for each potential research topic. These can include ethical risks (challenges getting ethical approval), data risks (not being able to access the data you’ll need), technical risks relating to the equipment you’ll use and funding risks (not securing the necessary financial back to undertake the research).

If you’re looking for more information about how to find, evaluate and select research topics for your dissertation or thesis, check out our free webinar here . Alternatively, if you’d like 1:1 help with the topic ideation process, consider our private coaching services .

research paper topic statement example

Psst… there’s more (for free)

This post is part of our dissertation mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project. 

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Graduate School Applications: Writing a Research Statement

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The research statement is a common component of a potential candidate’s application for post-undergraduate study. This may include applications for graduate programs, post-doctoral fellowships, or faculty positions. The research statement is often the primary way that a committee determines if a candidate’s interests and past experience make them a good fit for their program/institution.

What is a Research Statement?

A research statement is a short document that provides a brief history of your past research experience, the current state of your research, and the future work you intend to complete.

What Should It Look Like?

Research statements are generally one to two single-spaced pages. You should be sure to thoroughly read and follow the length and content requirements for each individual application.

Your research statement should situate your work within the larger context of your field and show how your works contributes to, complicates, or counters other work being done. It should be written for an audience of other professionals in your field.

What Should It Include?

Your statement should start by articulating the broader field that you are working within and the larger question or questions that you are interested in answering. It should then move to articulate your specific interest.

The body of your statement should include a brief history of your past research . What questions did you initially set out to answer in your research project? What did you find? How did it contribute to your field? (i.e. did it lead to academic publications, conferences, or collaborations?). How did your past research propel you forward?

It should also address your present research . What questions are you actively trying to solve? What have you found so far? How are you connecting your research to the larger academic conversation? (i.e. do you have any publications under review, upcoming conferences, or other professional engagements?) What are the larger implications of your work?

Finally, it should describe the future trajectory on which you intend to take your research. What further questions do you want to solve? How do you intend to find answers to these questions? How can the institution to which you are applying help you in that process? What are the broader implications of your potential results?

Note: Make sure that the research project that you propose can be completed at the institution to which you are applying.

Other Considerations:

  • What is the primary question that you have tried to address over the course of your academic career? Why is this question important to the field? How has each stage of your work related to that question?
  • Include a few specific examples that show your success. What tangible solutions have you found to the question that you were trying to answer? How have your solutions impacted the larger field? Examples can include references to published findings, conference presentations, or other professional involvement.
  • Be confident about your skills and abilities. The research statement is your opportunity to sell yourself to an institution. Show that you are self-motivated and passionate about your project.

research paper topic statement example

  • Developing a Research Question

by acburton | Mar 22, 2024 | Resources for Students , Writing Resources

Selecting your research question and creating a clear goal and structure for your writing can be challenging – whether you are doing it for the first time or if you’ve done it many times before. It can be especially difficult when your research question starts to look and feel a little different somewhere between your first and final draft. Don’t panic! It’s normal for your research question to change a little (or even quite a bit) as you move through and engage with the writing process. Anticipating this can remind you to stay on track while you work and that it’ll be okay even if the literature takes you in a different direction.

What Makes an Effective Research Question?

The most effective research question will usually be a critical thinking question and should use “how” or “why” to ensure it can move beyond a yes/no or one-word type of answer. Consider how your research question can aim to reveal something new, fill in a gap, even if small, and contribute to the field in a meaningful way; How might the proposed project move knowledge forward about a particular place or process? This should be specific and achievable!

The CEWC’s Grad Writing Consultant Tariq says, “I definitely concentrated on those aspects of what I saw in the field where I believed there was an opportunity to move the discipline forward.”

General Tips

Do your research.

Utilize the librarians at your university and take the time to research your topic first. Try looking at very general sources to get an idea of what could be interesting to you before you move to more academic articles that support your rough idea of the topic. It is important that research is grounded in what you see or experience regarding the topic you have chosen and what is already known in the literature. Spend time researching articles, books, etc. that supports your thesis. Once you have a number of sources that you know support what you want to write about, formulate a research question that serves as the interrogative form of your thesis statement.

Grad Writing Consultant Deni advises, “Delineate your intervention in the literature (i.e., be strategic about the literature you discuss and clear about your contributions to it).”

Start Broadly…. then Narrow Your Topic Down to Something Manageable

When brainstorming your research question, let your mind veer toward connections or associations that you might have already considered or that seem to make sense and consider if new research terms, language or concepts come to mind that may be interesting or exciting for you as a researcher. Sometimes testing out a research question while doing some preliminary researching is also useful to see if the language you are using or the direction you are heading toward is fruitful when trying to search strategically in academic databases. Be prepared to focus on a specific area of a broad topic.

Writing Consultant Jessie recommends outlining: “I think some rough outlining with a research question in mind can be helpful for me. I’ll have a research question and maybe a working thesis that I feel may be my claim to the research question based on some preliminary materials, brainstorming, etc.” — Jessie, CEWC Writing Consultant

Try an Exercise

In the earliest phase of brainstorming, try an exercise suggested by CEWC Writing Specialist, Percival! While it is normally used in classroom or workshop settings, this exercise can easily be modified for someone working alone. The flow of the activity, if done within a group setting, is 1) someone starts with an idea, 2) three other people share their idea, and 3) the starting person picks two of these new ideas they like best and combines their original idea with those. The activity then begins again with the idea that was not chosen. The solo version of this exercise substitutes a ‘word bank,’ created using words, topics, or ideas similar to your broad, overarching theme. Pick two words or phrases from your word bank, combine it with your original idea or topic, and ‘start again’ with two different words. This serves as a replacement for different people’s suggestions. Ideas for your ‘word bank’ can range from vague prompts about mapping or webbing (e.g., where your topic falls within the discipline and others like it), to more specific concepts that come from tracing the history of an idea (its past, present, future) or mapping the idea’s related ideas, influences, etc. Care for a physics analogy? There is a particle (your topic) that you can describe, a wave that the particle traces, and a field that the particle is mapped on.

Get Feedback and Affirm Your Confidence!

Creating a few different versions of your research question (they may be the same topic/issue/theme or differ slightly) can be useful during this process. Sharing these with trusted friends, colleagues, mentors, (or tutors!) and having conversations about your questions and ideas with other people can help you decide which version you may feel most confident or interested in. Ask colleagues and mentors to share their research questions with you to get a lot of examples. Once you have done the work of developing an effective research question, do not forget to affirm your confidence! Based on your working thesis, think about how you might organize your chapters or paragraphs and what resources you have for supporting this structure and organization. This can help boost your confidence that the research question you have created is effective and fruitful.

Be Open to Change

Remember, your research question may change from your first to final draft. For questions along the way, make an appointment with the Writing Center. We are here to help you develop an effective and engaging research question and build the foundation for a solid research paper!

Example 1: In my field developing a research question involves navigating the relationship between 1) what one sees/experiences at their field site and 2) what is already known in the literature. During my preliminary research, I found that the financial value of land was often a matter of precisely these cultural factors. So, my research question ended up being: How do the social and material qualities of land entangle with processes of financialization in the city of Lahore. Regarding point #1, this question was absolutely informed by what I saw in the field. But regarding point #2, the question was also heavily shaped by the literature. – Tariq

Example 2: A research question should not be a yes/no question like “Is pollution bad?”; but an open-ended question where the answer has to be supported with reasons and explanation. The question also has to be narrowed down to a specific topic—using the same example as before—”Is pollution bad?” can be revised to “How does pollution affect people?” I would encourage students to be more specific then; e.g., what area of pollution do you want to talk about: water, air, plastic, climate change… what type of people or demographic can we focus on? …how does this affect marginalized communities, minorities, or specific areas in California? After researching and deciding on a focus, your question might sound something like: How does government policy affect water pollution and how does it affect the marginalized communities in the state of California? -Janella

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25 Thesis Statement Examples That Will Make Writing a Breeze


Understanding what makes a good thesis statement is one of the major keys to writing a great research paper or argumentative essay. The thesis statement is where you make a claim that will guide you through your entire paper. If you find yourself struggling to make sense of your paper or your topic, then it's likely due to a weak thesis statement.

Let's take a minute to first understand what makes a solid thesis statement, and what key components you need to write one of your own.

Perfecting Your Thesis Statement

A thesis statement always goes at the beginning of the paper. It will typically be in the first couple of paragraphs of the paper so that it can introduce the body paragraphs, which are the supporting evidence for your thesis statement.

Your thesis statement should clearly identify an argument. You need to have a statement that is not only easy to understand, but one that is debatable. What that means is that you can't just put any statement of fact and have it be your thesis. For example, everyone knows that puppies are cute . An ineffective thesis statement would be, "Puppies are adorable and everyone knows it." This isn't really something that's a debatable topic.

Something that would be more debatable would be, "A puppy's cuteness is derived from its floppy ears, small body, and playfulness." These are three things that can be debated on. Some people might think that the cutest thing about puppies is the fact that they follow you around or that they're really soft and fuzzy.

All cuteness aside, you want to make sure that your thesis statement is not only debatable, but that it also actually thoroughly answers the research question that was posed. You always want to make sure that your evidence is supporting a claim that you made (and not the other way around). This is why it's crucial to read and research about a topic first and come to a conclusion later. If you try to get your research to fit your thesis statement, then it may not work out as neatly as you think. As you learn more, you discover more (and the outcome may not be what you originally thought).

Additionally, your thesis statement shouldn't be too big or too grand. It'll be hard to cover everything in a thesis statement like, "The federal government should act now on climate change." The topic is just too large to actually say something new and meaningful. Instead, a more effective thesis statement might be, "Local governments can combat climate change by providing citizens with larger recycling bins and offering local classes about composting and conservation." This is easier to work with because it's a smaller idea, but you can also discuss the overall topic that you might be interested in, which is climate change.

So, now that we know what makes a good, solid thesis statement, you can start to write your own. If you find that you're getting stuck or you are the type of person who needs to look at examples before you start something, then check out our list of thesis statement examples below.

Thesis statement examples

A quick note that these thesis statements have not been fully researched. These are merely examples to show you what a thesis statement might look like and how you can implement your own ideas into one that you think of independently. As such, you should not use these thesis statements for your own research paper purposes. They are meant to be used as examples only.

  • Vaccinations Because many children are unable to vaccinate due to illness, we must require that all healthy and able children be vaccinated in order to have herd immunity.
  • Educational Resources for Low-Income Students Schools should provide educational resources for low-income students during the summers so that they don't forget what they've learned throughout the school year.
  • School Uniforms School uniforms may be an upfront cost for families, but they eradicate the visual differences in income between students and provide a more egalitarian atmosphere at school.
  • Populism The rise in populism on the 2016 political stage was in reaction to increasing globalization, the decline of manufacturing jobs, and the Syrian refugee crisis.
  • Public Libraries Libraries are essential resources for communities and should be funded more heavily by local municipalities.
  • Cyber Bullying With more and more teens using smartphones and social media, cyber bullying is on the rise. Cyber bullying puts a lot of stress on many teens, and can cause depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts. Parents should limit the usage of smart phones, monitor their children's online activity, and report any cyber bullying to school officials in order to combat this problem.
  • Medical Marijuana for Veterans Studies have shown that the use of medicinal marijuana has been helpful to veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Medicinal marijuana prescriptions should be legal in all states and provided to these veterans. Additional medical or therapy services should also be researched and implemented in order to help them re-integrate back into civilian life.
  • Work-Life Balance Corporations should provide more work from home opportunities and six-hour workdays so that office workers have a better work-life balance and are more likely to be productive when they are in the office.
  • Teaching Youths about Consensual Sex Although sex education that includes a discussion of consensual sex would likely lead to less sexual assault, parents need to teach their children the meaning of consent from a young age with age appropriate lessons.
  • Whether or Not to Attend University A degree from a university provides invaluable lessons on life and a future career, but not every high school student should be encouraged to attend a university directly after graduation. Some students may benefit from a trade school or a "gap year" where they can think more intensely about what it is they want to do for a career and how they can accomplish this.
  • Studying Abroad Studying abroad is one of the most culturally valuable experiences you can have in college. It is the only way to get completely immersed in another language and learn how other cultures and countries are different from your own.
  • Women's Body Image Magazines have done a lot in the last five years to include a more diverse group of models, but there is still a long way to go to promote a healthy woman's body image collectively as a culture.
  • Cigarette Tax Heavily taxing and increasing the price of cigarettes is essentially a tax on the poorest Americans, and it doesn't deter them from purchasing. Instead, the state and federal governments should target those economically disenfranchised with early education about the dangers of smoking.
  • Veganism A vegan diet, while a healthy and ethical way to consume food, indicates a position of privilege. It also limits you to other cultural food experiences if you travel around the world.
  • University Athletes Should be Compensated University athletes should be compensated for their service to the university, as it is difficult for these students to procure and hold a job with busy academic and athletic schedules. Many student athletes on scholarship also come from low-income neighborhoods and it is a struggle to make ends meet when they are participating in athletics.
  • Women in the Workforce Sheryl Sandberg makes a lot of interesting points in her best-selling book, Lean In , but she only addressed the very privileged working woman and failed to speak to those in lower-skilled, lower-wage jobs.
  • Assisted Suicide Assisted suicide should be legal and doctors should have the ability to make sure their patients have the end-of-life care that they want to receive.
  • Celebrity and Political Activism Although Taylor Swift's lyrics are indicative of a feminist perspective, she should be more politically active and vocal to use her position of power for the betterment of society.
  • The Civil War The insistence from many Southerners that the South seceded from the Union for states' rights versus the fact that they seceded for the purposes of continuing slavery is a harmful myth that still affects race relations today.
  • Blue Collar Workers Coal miners and other blue-collar workers whose jobs are slowly disappearing from the workforce should be re-trained in jobs in the technology sector or in renewable energy. A program to re-train these workers would not only improve local economies where jobs have been displaced, but would also lead to lower unemployment nationally.
  • Diversity in the Workforce Having a diverse group of people in an office setting leads to richer ideas, more cooperation, and more empathy between people with different skin colors or backgrounds.
  • Re-Imagining the Nuclear Family The nuclear family was traditionally defined as one mother, one father, and 2.5 children. This outdated depiction of family life doesn't quite fit with modern society. The definition of normal family life shouldn't be limited to two-parent households.
  • Digital Literacy Skills With more information readily available than ever before, it's crucial that students are prepared to examine the material they're reading and determine whether or not it's a good source or if it has misleading information. Teaching students digital literacy and helping them to understand the difference between opinion or propaganda from legitimate, real information is integral.
  • Beauty Pageants Beauty pageants are presented with the angle that they empower women. However, putting women in a swimsuit on a stage while simultaneously judging them on how well they answer an impossible question in a short period of time is cruel and purely for the amusement of men. Therefore, we should stop televising beauty pageants.
  • Supporting More Women to Run for a Political Position In order to get more women into political positions, more women must run for office. There must be a grassroots effort to educate women on how to run for office, who among them should run, and support for a future candidate for getting started on a political career.

Still stuck? Need some help with your thesis statement?

If you are still uncertain about how to write a thesis statement or what a good thesis statement is, be sure to consult with your teacher or professor to make sure you're on the right track. It's always a good idea to check in and make sure that your thesis statement is making a solid argument and that it can be supported by your research.

After you're done writing, it's important to have someone take a second look at your paper so that you can ensure there are no mistakes or errors. It's difficult to spot your own mistakes, which is why it's always recommended to have someone help you with the revision process, whether that's a teacher, the writing center at school, or a professional editor such as one from ServiceScape .

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Research Paper Guide

Research Paper Thesis

John K.

Writing a Thesis For a Research Paper - A Comprehensive Guide

11 min read

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Writing a research paper can be tough, and the hardest part for many is creating a strong thesis statement. 

This small section is a big deal because it guides your whole paper. But figuring out how to write it can leave you feeling stuck and frustrated.

Don't worry! 

In this guide, we're going to help you understand how to write a great thesis statement for your research paper. 

It doesn't matter if you're new to this or have done it before. You will get a step-by-step guide to writing a thesis statement that truly reflects your research and transforms your paper into something remarkable.

So, let’s get started.

Arrow Down

  • 1. What is a Thesis Statement?
  • 2. Types of Thesis Statements
  • 3. How to Write a Thesis Statement?
  • 4. Examples of Good and Bad Thesis Statements
  • 5. Things to Avoid While Writing a Thesis Statement

What is a Thesis Statement?

In simple terms, a thesis statement is like the main idea of your research paper. It's a short and strong sentence that tells your readers what your paper is all about. Imagine it as a roadmap that shows where your paper is going. 

This sentence is usually at the beginning of your paper, giving people a hint about what you're going to talk about and what you believe. 

Characteristics of a Good Thesis Statement for a Research Paper

Here are the key characteristics that make a thesis statement stand out:

  • Clearly and concisely previews the main point of the paper.
  • Addresses a particular aspect of the research topic.
  • Tightly focused on the main theme of the research paper.
  • Directly relates to the research question or problem.
  • Lays the groundwork for the evidence presented in the paper.
  • Backed by relevant research or data discussed later.
  • Aligns with the chosen approach (analytical, argumentative, explanatory).
  • Guides readers through the main points and arguments.

Types of Thesis Statements

A thesis statement isn't a one-size-fits-all concept; it comes in different forms based on the goal of your research. Here are three common types:


An argumentative thesis statement takes a clear stance on an issue. It not only states the main point of your paper but also presents an argument or a perspective that you'll support with evidence. 


An analytical thesis statement breaks down a topic into parts and evaluates them. It doesn't make a personal argument but instead analyzes the components of an issue. 


An expository thesis statement aims to inform or explain rather than persuade. It provides a clear and straightforward explanation of the topic without expressing a personal opinion. 

Thesis Statement vs. Research Hypothesis vs. Research Question

It's important to know the differences between a thesis statement, research hypothesis, and research question for successful research paper writing. Here's a simple breakdown:

How to Write a Thesis Statement?

Follow these guidelines to ensure your thesis statement is strong and effective:

Step 1: Understand Your Topic

Before you start creating your thesis statement, make sure you really know what your research topic is all about. Take a moment to figure out the main ideas, the scope of your paper, and why you're writing it. 

This clear understanding will help you create a strong thesis statement that fits well with what you want to explore in your research.

Identify the Research Question

Find the main question or issue that your research paper is all about. Ask yourself, "What am I trying to understand or solve?" Your thesis statement needs to give a clear answer to this important question. 

It's like the heart of your paper, responding directly to the big question you're exploring.

Express a Clear Position

Think about your own opinion on the question you're exploring. Do you want to argue for a particular side, look closely at the topic, or provide a general view? 

Your thesis statement should show your chosen approach, whether you're taking a stand, analyzing, or giving an overall picture. It's like deciding where you stand on the topic before you start explaining it.

Brainstorm Key Points

Take a moment to write down the most important things you want to say in your research paper. These are like the big ideas or facts that support what you're talking about. 

They will be the building blocks of your thesis statement, helping you explain your main point clearly.

Be Clear and Concise

Create a short and clear sentence that says the main idea of your paper. Don't use too many complicated words or make it confusing. 

Keep it simple and direct. It's like telling your main point in a way that everyone can understand easily.

Ensure Debatable Elements

Make sure your thesis statement is something people can talk about. It should show a clear opinion that others might agree or disagree with. Your goal is to start a conversation and let readers have their own thoughts. 

Once you’re done writing, take a moment to look over your thesis statement. Check if it fits well with what you want to achieve in your research paper. 

Make sure it helps your readers understand where your paper is going. If needed, make changes to make it clearer and more precise.

Examples of Good and Bad Thesis Statements

Understanding the qualities that distinguish a good thesis statement from a less effective one is crucial. Here is an example of good thesis statement:

Now, take a look at an example of a bad thesis statement:

Things to Avoid While Writing a Thesis Statement

Crafting an effective thesis statement involves not only knowing what to include but also what to steer clear of. Here are key things to avoid:

In conclusion, writing a strong thesis is like creating a roadmap for your research paper. By avoiding common mistakes such as unclear statements or personal opinions without proof, you ensure your thesis is powerful and convincing.

Your thesis should be clear, engaging, and open to discussion. Remember, it's okay to refine it as you discover new insights during your research.

However, if you ever need assistance with your research paper, is here for you. 

Our team of expert writers is ready to help you with your research paper and make your academic work shine.

Don’t wait! Hire our legit essay writing service today!

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John K.

John K. is a professional writer and author with many publications to his name. He has a Ph.D. in the field of management sciences, making him an expert on the subject matter. John is highly sought after for his insights and knowledge, and he regularly delivers keynote speeches and conducts workshops on various topics related to writing and publishing. He is also a regular contributor to various online publications.

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Home » Thesis Statement – Examples, Writing Guide

Thesis Statement – Examples, Writing Guide

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Thesis Statement

Thesis Statement


Thesis statement is a concise statement that summarizes the main point or argument of an essay, research paper, or any other written work.

It is usually located at the end of the introductory paragraph and provides a roadmap for the reader, indicating what the paper will be about and what the author’s position or argument is. The thesis statement should be clear, specific, and debatable, so that the reader knows what to expect and can evaluate the validity of the argument.

Structure of Thesis Statement

The structure of a thesis statement typically consists of two main parts: the topic and the argument or claim.

  • Topic : The topic is the subject or issue that the paper will be addressing. It should be clear and specific, and should provide a context for the argument or claim that follows.
  • Argument or claim: The argument or claim is the main point or position that the writer is taking on the topic. It should be clear and concise, and should be debatable or arguable, meaning that it can be supported with evidence and analysis.

For example, a thesis statement for an essay on the impact of social media on mental health could be:

“The excessive use of social media has a negative impact on individuals’ mental health as it leads to increased feelings of anxiety and depression, a distorted self-image, and a decline in face-to-face communication skills.”

In this example, the topic is the impact of social media on mental health, and the argument is that excessive social media use has negative effects on mental health, which will be supported by evidence throughout the essay.

How to Write Thesis Statement

Here are the steps to follow when writing a thesis statement:

  • Identify your topic: Your thesis statement should be based on a clear understanding of your topic. Identify the key concepts, issues, and questions related to your topic.
  • Research : Conduct research to gather information and evidence that supports your argument. Use reputable sources, such as academic journals, books, and websites.
  • Brainstorm : Use brainstorming techniques to generate ideas and develop your argument. Consider different perspectives and opinions on your topic.
  • Create a working thesis : Write a working thesis statement that expresses your argument or position on the topic. This statement should be concise and clear, and it should provide a roadmap for your paper.
  • Refine your thesis : Revise your working thesis as you continue to research and develop your argument. Make sure your thesis is specific, debatable, and well-supported by evidence.
  • Check for coherence : Ensure that your thesis statement is coherent with the rest of your paper. Make sure that your supporting arguments and evidence align with your thesis.
  • Revisit your thesis statement : After completing your paper, revisit your thesis statement to ensure that it accurately reflects the content and scope of your work.

How to Start a Thesis Statement

Here are some steps you can follow to start a thesis statement:

  • Choose your topic: Start by selecting a topic that you are interested in and that is relevant to your assignment or research question.
  • Narrow your focus : Once you have your topic, narrow it down to a specific aspect or angle that you will be exploring in your paper.
  • Conduct research : Conduct some research on your topic to gather information and form an understanding of the existing knowledge on the subject.
  • I dentify your main argument : Based on your research, identify the main argument or point you want to make in your paper.
  • Write a draft thesis statement : Using the main argument you identified, draft a preliminary thesis statement that clearly expresses your point of view.
  • Refine your thesis statement : Revise and refine your thesis statement to make sure it is clear, specific, and strong. Make sure that your thesis statement is supported by evidence and relevant to your topic.

Where is the Thesis Statement Located

In academic writing, the thesis statement is usually located in the introduction paragraph of an essay or research paper. It serves as a concise summary of the main point or argument that the writer will be making in the rest of the paper. The thesis statement is typically located towards the end of the introduction and may consist of one or two sentences.

How Long Should A Thesis Statement Be

Thesis Statement Should be between 1-2 sentences and no more than 25-30 words. It should be clear, concise, and focused on the main point or argument of the paper. A good thesis statement should not be too broad or too narrow but should strike a balance between these two extremes. It should also be supported by evidence and analysis throughout the paper.

For example, if you are writing a five-paragraph essay, your thesis statement should be one sentence that summarizes the main point of the essay. If you are writing a research paper, your thesis statement may be two or three sentences long, as it may require more explanation and support.

Thesis Statement Examples

Here are a few examples of thesis statements:

  • For an argumentative essay: “The use of smartphones in classrooms should be banned, as it distracts students from learning and hinders their academic performance.”
  • For a literary analysis essay: “In George Orwell’s 1984, the use of propaganda and censorship is a powerful tool used by the government to maintain control over the citizens.”
  • For a research paper: “The impact of social media on mental health is a growing concern, and this study aims to explore the relationship between social media use and depression in young adults.”
  • For a compare and contrast essay : “Although both American and British English are forms of the English language, they differ in pronunciation, vocabulary, and spelling.”
  • For an expository essay: “The importance of regular exercise for overall health and well-being cannot be overstated, as it reduces the risk of chronic diseases, improves mood and cognitive function, and enhances physical fitness.”
  • For a persuasive essay: “The government should invest in renewable energy sources like solar and wind power, as they are more sustainable and environmentally friendly than fossil fuels.”
  • For a history research paper: “The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s was a pivotal moment in American history that paved the way for greater racial equality and social justice.”
  • For a literary comparison essay: “In The Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman, the theme of the American Dream is portrayed differently, with one exposing its emptiness and the other showing its destructive power.”
  • For a science experiment report: “The hypothesis that increasing the amount of sunlight a plant receives will result in greater growth is supported by the results of this experiment.”
  • For an analysis of a social issue : “The gender pay gap in the United States is a pervasive problem that is perpetuated by systemic discrimination and unequal access to education and opportunities.”

Good Thesis Statements Examples

Some Good Thesis Statements Examples are as follows:

  • “The legalization of marijuana for medical use has proven to be a beneficial alternative to traditional pain management techniques, with numerous studies demonstrating its efficacy and safety.”

This thesis statement presents a clear argument and provides specific information about the benefits of medical marijuana and the evidence supporting its use.

  • “The rise of social media has fundamentally changed the way we communicate and interact with each other, with both positive and negative effects on our relationships and mental health.”

This thesis statement provides a clear argument and focus for the essay, exploring the impact of social media on communication and mental health.

  • “The portrayal of women in advertising perpetuates harmful stereotypes and reinforces gender inequality, contributing to a larger societal issue of sexism and misogyny.”

This thesis statement presents a clear argument and focus for the essay, analyzing the negative effects of advertising on women and the larger societal issue of gender inequality.

  • “The implementation of renewable energy sources is crucial for mitigating the impacts of climate change and transitioning to a more sustainable future.”

This thesis statement presents a clear argument and focus for the essay, emphasizing the importance of renewable energy sources in addressing climate change and promoting sustainability.

  • “The American Dream is an illusion that perpetuates social and economic inequality, as it is based on the false notion of equal opportunity for all.”

This thesis statement presents a clear argument and focus for the essay, critiquing the concept of the American Dream and its perpetuation of inequality.

Bad Thesis Statements Examples

Some Bad Thesis Statements Examples are as follows:

  • “In this essay, I will talk about my favorite hobby.”

This thesis statement is too vague and does not give any specific information about the writer’s favorite hobby or what the essay will be about.

  • “This paper will explore the benefits and drawbacks of social media.”

This thesis statement is too general and does not provide a clear argument or focus for the essay.

  • “The world is a beautiful place.”

This thesis statement is an opinion and does not provide any specific information or argument that can be discussed or analyzed in an essay.

  • “The impact of climate change is bad.”

This thesis statement is too broad and does not provide any specific information about the impacts of climate change or the focus of the essay.

  • “I am going to write about the history of the United States.”

This thesis statement is too general and does not provide a specific focus or argument for the essay.

Applications of Thesis Statement

A thesis statement has several important applications in academic writing, including:

  • Guides the reader: A thesis statement serves as a roadmap for the reader, telling them what to expect from the rest of the paper and helping them to understand the main argument or focus of the essay or research paper.
  • Focuses the writer: Writing a thesis statement requires the writer to identify and clarify their main argument or claim, which can help them to stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked by irrelevant information.
  • Organizes the paper: A thesis statement provides a framework for organizing the paper, helping the writer to develop a logical and coherent argument that supports their main claim.
  • Evaluates sources: A clear thesis statement helps the writer to evaluate sources and information, determining which information is relevant and which is not.
  • Helps with revision: A strong thesis statement can help the writer to revise their paper, as they can use it as a reference point to ensure that every paragraph and piece of evidence supports their main argument or claim.

Purpose of Thesis Statement

The purpose of a thesis statement is to:

  • Identify the main focus or argument of the essay or research paper: A thesis statement is typically a one or two-sentence statement that identifies the main argument or claim of the paper. It should be clear, specific, and debatable, and should guide the reader on what to expect from the rest of the paper.
  • Provide direction and guidance to the reader: A thesis statement helps the reader to understand the main focus of the paper and what the writer is trying to convey. It also provides a roadmap for the reader to follow, making it easier for them to understand the structure and organization of the paper.
  • Focus the writer and help with organization: Writing a thesis statement requires the writer to identify and clarify their main argument or claim, which can help them to stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked by irrelevant information. Additionally, a clear thesis statement provides a framework for organizing the paper, helping the writer to develop a logical and coherent argument that supports their main claim.
  • Provide a basis for evaluation and analysis: A clear thesis statement helps the writer to evaluate sources and information, determining which information is relevant and which is not. It also provides a basis for analyzing and evaluating the evidence presented in the paper, helping the writer to determine whether or not it supports their main argument or claim.

When to Write Thesis Statement

A thesis statement should be written early in the writing process, ideally before any significant research or drafting has taken place. This is because the thesis statement serves as the foundation for the rest of the paper, providing a clear and concise summary of the paper’s main argument or claim. By identifying the main argument or claim early in the writing process, the writer can stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked by irrelevant information.

However, it is important to note that the thesis statement is not necessarily set in stone and may need to be revised as the paper is developed. As the writer conducts research and develops their argument, they may find that their original thesis statement needs to be modified or refined. Therefore, it is important to revisit and revise the thesis statement throughout the writing process to ensure that it accurately reflects the main argument or claim of the paper.

Characteristics of Thesis Statement

Some of the key characteristics of a strong thesis statement include:

  • Clarity : A thesis statement should be clear and easy to understand, clearly conveying the main argument or claim of the paper.
  • Specificity : A thesis statement should be specific and focused, addressing a single idea or topic rather than being overly broad or general.
  • Debatable : A thesis statement should be debatable, meaning that there should be room for disagreement or debate. It should not be a statement of fact or a summary of the paper, but rather a statement that can be supported with evidence and analysis.
  • Coherent : A thesis statement should be coherent, meaning that it should be logical and consistent with the rest of the paper. It should not contradict other parts of the paper or be confusing or ambiguous.
  • Relevant : A thesis statement should be relevant to the topic of the paper and should address the main question or problem being investigated.
  • Arguable : A thesis statement should present an argument that can be supported with evidence and analysis, rather than simply stating an opinion or belief.

Advantages of Thesis Statement

There are several advantages of having a strong thesis statement in academic writing, including:

  • Focuses the writer : Writing a thesis statement requires the writer to identify and clarify their main argument or claim, which can help them to stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked by irrelevant information.
  • Establishes credibility: A strong thesis statement establishes the writer’s credibility and expertise on the topic, as it demonstrates their understanding of the issue and their ability to make a persuasive argument.
  • Engages the reader: A well-crafted thesis statement can engage the reader and encourage them to continue reading the paper, as it presents a clear and interesting argument that is worth exploring.

Limitations of Thesis Statement

While a strong thesis statement is an essential component of academic writing, there are also some limitations to consider, including:

  • Can be restrictive: A thesis statement can be restrictive if it is too narrow or specific, limiting the writer’s ability to explore related topics or ideas. It is important to strike a balance between a focused thesis statement and one that allows for some flexibility and exploration.
  • Can oversimplify complex topics: A thesis statement can oversimplify complex topics, presenting them as black and white issues rather than acknowledging their complexity and nuance. It is important to be aware of the limitations of a thesis statement and to acknowledge the complexities of the topic being addressed.
  • Can limit creativity: A thesis statement can limit creativity and experimentation in writing, as the writer may feel constrained by the need to support their main argument or claim. It is important to balance the need for a clear and focused thesis statement with the desire for creativity and exploration in the writing process.
  • May require revision: A thesis statement may require revision as the writer conducts research and develops their argument, which can be time-consuming and frustrating. It is important to be flexible and open to revising the thesis statement as needed to ensure that it accurately reflects the main argument or claim of the paper.

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25 Thesis Statement Examples

thesis statement examples and definition, explained below

A thesis statement is needed in an essay or dissertation . There are multiple types of thesis statements – but generally we can divide them into expository and argumentative. An expository statement is a statement of fact (common in expository essays and process essays) while an argumentative statement is a statement of opinion (common in argumentative essays and dissertations). Below are examples of each.

Strong Thesis Statement Examples

school uniforms and dress codes, explained below

1. School Uniforms

“Mandatory school uniforms should be implemented in educational institutions as they promote a sense of equality, reduce distractions, and foster a focused and professional learning environment.”

Best For: Argumentative Essay or Debate

Read More: School Uniforms Pros and Cons

nature vs nurture examples and definition

2. Nature vs Nurture

“This essay will explore how both genetic inheritance and environmental factors equally contribute to shaping human behavior and personality.”

Best For: Compare and Contrast Essay

Read More: Nature vs Nurture Debate

American Dream Examples Definition

3. American Dream

“The American Dream, a symbol of opportunity and success, is increasingly elusive in today’s socio-economic landscape, revealing deeper inequalities in society.”

Best For: Persuasive Essay

Read More: What is the American Dream?

social media pros and cons

4. Social Media

“Social media has revolutionized communication and societal interactions, but it also presents significant challenges related to privacy, mental health, and misinformation.”

Best For: Expository Essay

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Social Media

types of globalization, explained below

5. Globalization

“Globalization has created a world more interconnected than ever before, yet it also amplifies economic disparities and cultural homogenization.”

Read More: Globalization Pros and Cons

urbanization example and definition

6. Urbanization

“Urbanization drives economic growth and social development, but it also poses unique challenges in sustainability and quality of life.”

Read More: Learn about Urbanization

immigration pros and cons, explained below

7. Immigration

“Immigration enriches receiving countries culturally and economically, outweighing any perceived social or economic burdens.”

Read More: Immigration Pros and Cons

cultural identity examples and definition, explained below

8. Cultural Identity

“In a globalized world, maintaining distinct cultural identities is crucial for preserving cultural diversity and fostering global understanding, despite the challenges of assimilation and homogenization.”

Best For: Argumentative Essay

Read More: Learn about Cultural Identity

technology examples and definition explained below

9. Technology

“Medical technologies in care institutions in Toronto has increased subjcetive outcomes for patients with chronic pain.”

Best For: Research Paper

capitalism examples and definition

10. Capitalism vs Socialism

“The debate between capitalism and socialism centers on balancing economic freedom and inequality, each presenting distinct approaches to resource distribution and social welfare.”

cultural heritage examples and definition

11. Cultural Heritage

“The preservation of cultural heritage is essential, not only for cultural identity but also for educating future generations, outweighing the arguments for modernization and commercialization.”

pseudoscience examples and definition, explained below

12. Pseudoscience

“Pseudoscience, characterized by a lack of empirical support, continues to influence public perception and decision-making, often at the expense of scientific credibility.”

Read More: Examples of Pseudoscience

free will examples and definition, explained below

13. Free Will

“The concept of free will is largely an illusion, with human behavior and decisions predominantly determined by biological and environmental factors.”

Read More: Do we have Free Will?

gender roles examples and definition, explained below

14. Gender Roles

“Traditional gender roles are outdated and harmful, restricting individual freedoms and perpetuating gender inequalities in modern society.”

Read More: What are Traditional Gender Roles?

work-life balance examples and definition, explained below

15. Work-Life Ballance

“The trend to online and distance work in the 2020s led to improved subjective feelings of work-life balance but simultaneously increased self-reported loneliness.”

Read More: Work-Life Balance Examples

universal healthcare pros and cons

16. Universal Healthcare

“Universal healthcare is a fundamental human right and the most effective system for ensuring health equity and societal well-being, outweighing concerns about government involvement and costs.”

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Universal Healthcare

raising minimum wage pros and cons

17. Minimum Wage

“The implementation of a fair minimum wage is vital for reducing economic inequality, yet it is often contentious due to its potential impact on businesses and employment rates.”

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Raising the Minimum Wage

homework pros and cons

18. Homework

“The homework provided throughout this semester has enabled me to achieve greater self-reflection, identify gaps in my knowledge, and reinforce those gaps through spaced repetition.”

Best For: Reflective Essay

Read More: Reasons Homework Should be Banned

charter schools vs public schools, explained below

19. Charter Schools

“Charter schools offer alternatives to traditional public education, promising innovation and choice but also raising questions about accountability and educational equity.”

Read More: The Pros and Cons of Charter Schools

internet pros and cons

20. Effects of the Internet

“The Internet has drastically reshaped human communication, access to information, and societal dynamics, generally with a net positive effect on society.”

Read More: The Pros and Cons of the Internet

affirmative action example and definition, explained below

21. Affirmative Action

“Affirmative action is essential for rectifying historical injustices and achieving true meritocracy in education and employment, contrary to claims of reverse discrimination.”

Best For: Essay

Read More: Affirmative Action Pros and Cons

soft skills examples and definition, explained below

22. Soft Skills

“Soft skills, such as communication and empathy, are increasingly recognized as essential for success in the modern workforce, and therefore should be a strong focus at school and university level.”

Read More: Soft Skills Examples

moral panic definition examples

23. Moral Panic

“Moral panic, often fueled by media and cultural anxieties, can lead to exaggerated societal responses that sometimes overlook rational analysis and evidence.”

Read More: Moral Panic Examples

freedom of the press example and definition, explained below

24. Freedom of the Press

“Freedom of the press is critical for democracy and informed citizenship, yet it faces challenges from censorship, media bias, and the proliferation of misinformation.”

Read More: Freedom of the Press Examples

mass media examples definition

25. Mass Media

“Mass media shapes public opinion and cultural norms, but its concentration of ownership and commercial interests raise concerns about bias and the quality of information.”

Best For: Critical Analysis

Read More: Mass Media Examples

Checklist: How to use your Thesis Statement

✅ Position: If your statement is for an argumentative or persuasive essay, or a dissertation, ensure it takes a clear stance on the topic. ✅ Specificity: It addresses a specific aspect of the topic, providing focus for the essay. ✅ Conciseness: Typically, a thesis statement is one to two sentences long. It should be concise, clear, and easily identifiable. ✅ Direction: The thesis statement guides the direction of the essay, providing a roadmap for the argument, narrative, or explanation. ✅ Evidence-based: While the thesis statement itself doesn’t include evidence, it sets up an argument that can be supported with evidence in the body of the essay. ✅ Placement: Generally, the thesis statement is placed at the end of the introduction of an essay.

Try These AI Prompts – Thesis Statement Generator!

One way to brainstorm thesis statements is to get AI to brainstorm some for you! Try this AI prompt:

💡 AI PROMPT FOR EXPOSITORY THESIS STATEMENT I am writing an essay on [TOPIC] and these are the instructions my teacher gave me: [INSTUCTIONS]. I want you to create an expository thesis statement that doesn’t argue a position, but demonstrates depth of knowledge about the topic.

💡 AI PROMPT FOR ARGUMENTATIVE THESIS STATEMENT I am writing an essay on [TOPIC] and these are the instructions my teacher gave me: [INSTRUCTIONS]. I want you to create an argumentative thesis statement that clearly takes a position on this issue.

💡 AI PROMPT FOR COMPARE AND CONTRAST THESIS STATEMENT I am writing a compare and contrast essay that compares [Concept 1] and [Concept2]. Give me 5 potential single-sentence thesis statements that remain objective.


Chris Drew (PhD)

Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

  • Chris Drew (PhD) 5 Top Tips for Succeeding at University
  • Chris Drew (PhD) 50 Durable Goods Examples
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