There are two basic things essential for an essay. Topic and thesis statement. And if the first one can be given by a tutor or chosen from the list proposed by topic generator service, then the second one requires a good understanding and a skill. This guide is dedicated to the thesis statement, the ways to write it, its forms, length, and examples. Let’s go!
To define the perfect length of the thesis statement we’d better start with a thesis definition.
What is the definition of a thesis statement?
The thesis statement is the main idea of your paper or essay, which reflects your attitude or opinion about the topic or issue. It may also play a role of a short summary of the whole text placed at the very beginning of it. Thus, it reveals what your essay would be about. It should contain both, the topic itself and the main standpoint you have about this topic.
Your thesis statement can be written in direct or indirect form. The direct form would reveal the reasons or arguments you are about to elaborate on in your essay. Let’s get a simple example of this.
Imagine, the topic of your essay is Totalitarianism in George Orwell’s novel 1984. The direct form of thesis statement for this topic would be:
‘1984 by George Orwell exposes totalitarianism trough full control over person’s work, family business and personal thoughts.’
These three points are to be developed in three paragraphs of your essay. You disclose them at the very beginning, and clearly show your reader what to expect from your essay.
On the other hand, if you go for an indirect form of your thesis statement, you would be more of intriguing your reader. The same topic would result in a statement like
‘In his novel 1984, George Orwell exposes totalitarianism by showing authority’s full control over three main aspects of a person’s life.’
So, we see the same idea presented in two different ways. Both forms are great, so you just need to pick the one you like most.
Apart from the basic form, remember it has to be showing your full understanding of a subject and show your decent background and research.
Let’s assume, again, that you write an essay on Orwell’s novel 1984. What would be a really good thesis statement for it?
I’d say something like this if you prefer a direct form of a thesis statement
‘The main theme of manipulation runs through all other subsidiary themes in the novel 1984, like repression, loyalty, rebellion, psychological manipulation, memory, and the past.’
A statement like that would:
- be a good trigger
- hook up reader’s attention, and
- make people at least look through your essay to see the proof of each word you included in the statement.
So now, how long is a thesis statement in an essay? It is something like one vast sentence or two short sentences.
Also, it is better to bear in mind, that thesis statement is not about the length. It is more about explaining your position, but shortly. You’ll elaborate on the idea in the body of your essay. So there is no need for a detailed explanation in the very first sentence.
What is a perfect thesis statement?
It would follow several basic requirements, namely, it would be
- showing your attitude
- grabbing reader’s attention
Apart from that, your thesis statement should be a guiding line through all the text you are about to write. So in fact, it would be something you rely on in each paragraph. Each of your arguments would support it and thus bring your reader to a full understanding of both your position towards the issue and how you came to it.
How does it work in practice? Before you write your essay, you perform research on the topic and come up with a particular attitude to it.
In the essay, you start with that attitude displayed in your thesis statement, and then uncover all your research step by step, in a form of arguments and supporting explanations.
How long can a thesis statement be?
We again return to the question of how long is a thesis statement. Sorry to say, but there is no precise requirement. It is impossible to say something like ‘It has to be at least 20 words long’ or something alike.
Surely, the main idea of your essay cannot take half of the essay itself. Moreover, it might take approximately half of your first (opening) paragraph only.
What is the best place for a thesis statement in the essay?
The only recipe here can be told shortly. The sooner, the better.
Writing an essay is all about expressing your point of view on the issue or topic. The sooner you tell your reader what you think, the better.
It is important for your thesis statement to never duplicate the topic. Here’s why. A topic is something you write about, the road you take. The thesis statement is how you write about it, the direction you choose on the road.
How many sentences is a thesis statement?
That’s an easy one. One big sentence, or two, but short. Also, again, it is not about the number of words you write. And not about the number of sentences. Tell people your attitude in as many words as you have. Check out the length afterward. If your statement takes less than a half of the opening paragraph, you’re good to go.
More important is to make it clear and obvious. Your reader has to be aware of what you are about to say but intrigued in how you are about to do it.
Play it close. Do not reveal everything in the first paragraph. It should be a bit intriguing. People have to wonder. Once they get to see your first sentence, they have to ask themselves
‘Well, I see what you mean, but how on earth can you prove that?’
If it happens, your thesis statement is definitely good.
Let’s try looking through several thesis statement examples to see how things work in practice.
Let’s assume, you want to write about Abortion controversy.
Here’s an example you may go for
‘Abortion can take place in two broad ways namely, spontaneously or induced.’
What can I say? If you are about to write compare and contrast essay that might work. Still, there is no hook, except you write it for people who are willing to know the difference between those two types.
And here’s another way to start the same essay
‘Women used to feel wifehood and motherhood were the most important events in their career. History shows that women are a creative source of human life, women are always treated as inferior to men, since olden days.’
Does it hook up the attention? Oh yes. Does it uncover further paragraphs of your essay? Yeah, but a bit. That’s close to what you’d want to have in your essay.
How would thesis statement examples for research papers look like?
For example, you are about to write a paper on Animal Rights, that would be approximately 8 pages long. Cool, here’s how you can start
‘There is always a group of scholars and common people who are dead against the animal test. On the other hand, considerate people opine that animals can prevent hundreds of diseases and allergic reactions, which cause 40% of death issues and injuries of people yearly.’
As you can see, thesis statement examples for essays differ not only by their length. Make it clear, precise and interesting. That’s the only secret to success.