How To Write A Good Research Paper Thesis: The Complete Instruction

Don’t be intimidated by your research paper! And despite what many people will try to tell you, it’s relatively easy to write a good thesis, if you just take it step by step. We’ll show you how to do just that below. But first, it’s important to understand the purpose of a thesis statement for research papers. Simply put, it makes a claim that your research paper will set about to prove (or disprove). Which brings us neatly to your starting point.

  • Mind the gaps
  • Given the years of study you’ve worked hard at to get to this point, of course you’re already familiar with your subject. And you should already have a sense of where the gaps are in your subject: Questions not yet answered, theories commonly held but not proven, or contradictions between different areas of the field. These are your fertile ground for generating theses… So, let yourself freewheel through jotting down a list of them, without worrying at all about whether or not you could resolve them.

  • Pick them apart
  • Once you’ve generated a good list, spend some time reflecting on each one. Try to break it up into its constituent parts… That will help you find parts of the problem that will lend themselves to creating theses. It’s a little like your gap is “getting man to Mars”, but you break that down into smaller pieces like “recycling water on the long space journey”.

  • Don’t be shy: Make some claims
  • Once you’ve found some great gaps and promising parts, generate your own ideas about them. To start, do this just in plain, simple language… There’s no need to get overly complicated for now.

  • Formalise the best ones
  • For the claims you’ve made that excite and interest you, and seem to have you popping out all sorts of ideas to solve, spend some time rewriting them in very precise, specific language. What problem will you address? Why is it worth addressing? How will you address it? What are your parameters for success?

  • Get feedback
  • Having finally generated your thesis, ask for feedback from people in your subject, who have the experience to comment wisely on your thesis. This is invaluable to stimulating further thought and refinement, and will set you well on your way to performing research that interests and excites you, and is a relevant and valuable contribution to your field.


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