how do you start a thesis
Compare the following:
Tip: The point you make in the paper should matter:
Length: A thesis statement can be short or long, depending on how many points it mentions. Typically, however, it is only one concise sentence. It does contain at least two clauses, usually an independent clause (the opinion) and a dependent clause (the reasons). You probably should aim for a single sentence that is at least two lines, or about 30 to 40 words long.
Most other types of essays, whether compare/contrast, argumentative, or narrative, have thesis statements that take a position and argue it. In other words, unless your purpose is simply to inform, your thesis is considered persuasive. A persuasive thesis usually contains an opinion and the reason why your opinion is true.
First, analyze your primary sources. Look for tension, interest, ambiguity, controversy, and/or complication. Does the author contradict himself or herself? Is a point made and later reversed? What are the deeper implications of the author’s argument? Figuring out the why to one or more of these questions, or to related questions, will put you on the path to developing a working thesis. (Without the why, you probably have only come up with an observation—that there are, for instance, many different metaphors in such-and-such a poem—which is not a thesis.)
An effective thesis cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” A thesis is not a topic; nor is it a fact; nor is it an opinion. “Reasons for the fall of communism” is a topic. “Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe” is a fact known by educated people. “The fall of communism is the best thing that ever happened in Europe” is an opinion. (Superlatives like “the best” almost always lead to trouble. It’s impossible to weigh every “thing” that ever happened in Europe. And what about the fall of Hitler? Couldn’t that be “the best thing”?)
Statements should make people think. Use topics that bring value. Think of discussing current issues. If your thesis forces readers to think, analyze & give feedback, you succeeded. Do not create too short or too long statements. Place the main idea in one, maximum two lines. A detailed description of your idea should be in the body part of your paper.
Show your main idea early in the essay. Place a thesis in the introductory paragraph of the article to set up your position. It will help readers to understand the subject. Don’t bury a great idea in the middle of a paragraph or at the end of your article. Avoid vague words & phrases such as “My point is”, “In my opinion”.
- Briefly describe the motivation for your research (if you haven’t already in the first sentence)
- Describe the topic and scope of your research
- Explain the practical relevance of your research
- Explain the scientific situation related to your topic – you can include the most important scientific articles and briefly explain them and how they are related to your research
A good introduction draws readers in while providing the setup for the entire paper. There is no single way to write an introduction that will always work for every topic, but the points below can act as a guide. These points can help you write a good thesis introduction: