Your Thesis Statement – Developing a Sound One
Your thesis statement is not the same thing as your research question. This you must understand clearly. Your research question is what you begin your thesis with – it is the purpose for your thesis. On the other hand your thesis statement is what you develop AFTER the research is completed and analyzed, and your conclusions have been reached. While your research question is posed at the beginning of your introduction section, your thesis statement comes at the end of that introduction, after you have covered the literature review and summarized the scope and limitations of your research. Your thesis statement relates directly to the results of your research.
Examples of Research Questions vs. Thesis Statements
The following examples should provide a clearer understanding of the different between research question which are proposed at the beginning of your thesis project and the thesis statement that will be made as a result of your research.
- Research Question: Is there a correlation between diet of elementary school children and academic performance?
Thesis Statement: Elementary school children whose diets reflected the correct balance of food groups performed better in school, as evidenced by their grades, attendance, and test scores.
- Research Question: Is there a relationship between socio-economic status and incarceration rates for the same offenses?
Thesis Statement: Individuals from lower socio-economic demographics are incarcerated at a greater rate than those of middle and upper socio-economic demographics for the same criminal infractions.
- Research Question: Is there a genetic pre-disposition toward obesity?
Thesis Statement: While obesity tends to run in families, it appears as though environment and lifestyle choices play a more significant role in familial obesity.
- Research Question: Do cognitive behavioral interventions positively impact adolescent behaviors?
Thesis Statement: Long-term cognitive behavioral therapy programs result in improved behaviors of delinquent adolescents.
- Research Question: Is there a correlation between consumption of alcohol and breast cancer?
Thesis Statement: Women who consume greater amounts of alcohol are at greater risk for breast cancer.
- Research Question: Is de-salinization a viable solution for future water shortages?
Thesis Statement: Two current methodologies for de-salinization show promise as economically-feasible solutions for water shortages.
The Questions You Need to Ask
Obviously, the thesis statement must be formed after your research has been conducted and your conclusions reached. In order to form an academically-sound thesis statement, you should ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the answer to the research question I have addressed, based upon my findings?
- What is the conclusion that I want to submit to fellow researchers in my field?
When you Struggle
All parts of thesis production present new challenges, from the selection of a general topic area and identifying and refining a research question, to developing methodology and instruments, to analyzing your research and coming to conclusions that allow you to create a thesis statement. It is common to come up against “roadblocks” that impede progress and threaten a deadline. If you experience difficulties with any part of your thesis project, it would be smart to locate a thesis writing service – one that has academic authorities in your field and in research who can provide you with consultation and guidance, as you maneuver around the “curves” toward completion.
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