what is the purpose of a college thesis
The following example combines a purpose statement and a thesis statement (bold).
A thesis statement is focused and specific enough to be proven within the boundaries of the paper. Key words (nouns and verbs) should be specific, accurate, and indicative of the range of research, thrust of the argument or analysis, and the organization of supporting information.
Although your thesis or purpose statement is included in the introduction, it’s often advised to write your introduction last. That way, you’ve presented your research to its conclusion. Then, you’ll have a clear idea of your introduction.
After you select your topic, you’ll need to determine the point of your paper. Are you trying to persuade your reader towards a certain conclusion? Are you comparing and contrasting other people’s arguments?
Because the thesis is what youre trying to prove, it must be possible to express it in the form of a statement or assertion (e.g., the sky is blue). It is not a question (what color is the sky?) or a topic (the color of the sky). Notice that The sky is blue is a complete declarative sentence, while the topic (the color of the sky) is notit does not say anything about the skys color.
Thesis (plural: theses, pronounced THEES-eez): The point that an essay is trying to prove. Also known as the claim or argument. Everything in a persuasive essay relates to the thesis, either as evidence, explanation, elaboration or rebuttal of alternative claims. Think of the thesis as the spine of your paper. Just as all the parts of your body are connected to the spine, and without the spine your body could not stand, so too in your essay all parts must be connected to the thesis, and without the thesis the essay cannot stand. Parts that are not connected must be revised so that they do connect, or else eliminated. A thesis, in other words, is not the same as the thesis statement, which is a sentence or two in your introduction that tells the reader what the thesis is. The thesis is not limited to one spot in your essay; it runs through the whole thing, from start to finish.
A senior thesis is a large, independent research project that students take on during their senior year of high school or college to fulfill their graduation requirement. It is the culminating work of their studies at a particular institution, and it represents their ability to conduct research and write effectively. For some students, a senior thesis is a requirement for graduating with honors.
Students typically work closely with an advisor and choose a question or topic to explore before carrying out an extensive research plan.
If you are curious about the possibility of life on Mars, for example, you might choose to research the topic. What will you do, though, when your research is complete? You will need a way to put your thoughts together in a logical, coherent manner. You may want to use the facts you have learned to create a narrative or to support an argument. And you may want to show the results of your research to your friends, your teachers, or even the editors of magazines and journals. Writing a research paper is an ideal way to organize thoughts, craft narratives or make arguments based on research, and share your newfound knowledge with the world.
During this step of the process, it is also a good idea to plan the resources and organizational tools you will use to keep yourself on track throughout the project. Flowcharts, calendars, and checklists can all help you stick to your schedule. See Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?”, Section 11.2 “Steps in Developing a Research Proposal” for an example of a research schedule.