The Best Thesis Statement Definition

Upon receiving their first thesis writing assignment many freshmen, respond bewildered. “What is a Thesis anyways?” they ask, because many of them have never been required to write one before.

To keep it plain and simple the best way to define a “Thesis” is to examine the elements that a thesis must contain:

  • One or two sentences, formally worded
  • A clearly stated subject
  • A well-defined stance on a subject

For example;

After thoroughly researching William Shakespeare’s Hamlet we can confirm that one of the main themes being explored is the relationship between parents and their children, I believe that Shakespeare was attempting to make a social commentary regarding the different ways that parents influence their children and how this can ultimately have negative consequences.

Defining A Thesis

Another way that we define a thesis is as a clear statement about a concept or idea that can be defended with evidence. Using the example above we can see how William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is the topic, the theme is parents influencing their children, and the hypothesis is that to much parental influence can have negative consequences. Inserting these three elements is what makes this thesis statement coherent and complete. If the thesis were missing one of these important remarks then it would not be a complete thesis statement for this paper.

The reason that a thesis needs to be written in this fashion is because, it is suppose to tell the reader what information they can anticipate to get from reading the paper. Whether or not they initially agree with the author’s thesis, they are being prepared to read persuasive content that will defend the author’s findings.

One misconception is that a thesis report needs to persuade the reader to agree with the author. Although a persuasive or argumentative paper should essentially introduce new concepts, there is no right or wrong answer for the conclusions that are being made. A thesis is meant to clarify what the paper is being written on not force a reader to concede with them.

A Clear Definition of a Thesis

Now that we have re-examined the purpose of a thesis statement we can better define a thesis all together

“A Thesis is a clear formal statement about the subject of a research paper and the evidence that has been presented to support this conclusion”