In a student’s quest to achieve a Masters’ or PhD certification, He will soon discover that he is required to produce a thesis paper, as his final academic course assessment exercise. The word thesis is a contraction of the word hypothesis and, as this implies, the thesis paper is designed to allow a student to devise, describe and defend his own original theory. This type of project is reflective of a student’s progress in his academic career, in that it demands a greater sense and practice of personal academic responsibility than at any other level. Though some guidance will necessarily be sought and given by his tutor, the entire project, from beginning to end, is designed and structured by the student, with no one exerting any pressure on him to perform whatsoever. Undisciplined students who embark on writing a thesis paper will be severely challenged, and many often do not complete it, resulting in failure.
The thesis paper is challenging from the very beginning, as one of its most important features is that it begins with an interview. Even before a student is able to begin the very basics of gathering any research material, he must first pitch his hypothesis to his professor, in such a manner as to secure an approval.
The Thesis Statement is therefore one of the most important components of the thesis paper, and requires extensive research in itself to formulate. It is essentially a specific and comprehensive assertion of what the student believes to be true, and will seek to prove in his thesis paper. After it has been approved, the thesis statement will form the preface for the rest of the paper, and as such, must not only be concise, but also interesting and insightful, whatever its length. Due to its nature, it also required to be an extremely concentrated document, as a good hypothesis cannot contain any generalizations. While a statement that begins with: “Bailouts have caused havoc in the world economy, and should be banned…” is quite useless, one that begins with: “Bailouts should not be considered a solution for Euro banking markets, but will lead to more harm…” certainly has valuable potential. The more specific the statement, the more valuable the hypothesis, and more likely it will become a resounding success. It is therefore vital to study your particular area of interest carefully, and invest as much time and effort as is necessary in order to extricate a gem of a hypothesis.
Two tips for the formulation of an excellent thesis statement are the following:
- 1. Don’t Be Shy: A student couldn’t ask for a better academic opportunity to distinguish themselves, as with a thesis paper. There are no avenues closed to his formulating his hypothesis, nor are any fields closed to him. While thousands of thesis papers are submitted every year, the ones that stand out are unconditionally those that are the boldest, the most challenging, the most creative, and the most well supported by solid research. Students should not be shy to explore their most passionately held views, nor to approach traditional views through an entirely different, fresh perspective.
- 2. Master Specificity: As mentioned, the more specific a hypothesis the more potential it has to succeed. Above anything else, the thesis statement must convey to the reader that the student knows what he is talking about, and is confident in what he is advancing to the reader.