Purpose of a Thesis

Writing a thesis statement is notoriously hard. The attempt to summarize a paper in a single sentence (or two) probably causes more student frustration than anything else in writing. I have often been tempted to give up and make do with a mediocre thesis, hoping that a good argument later will make up for it. Sadly, since the thesis serves as a guide to the argument, this rarely works. If I keep a few guidelines in mind, however, writing a thesis becomes much easier — especially if I'm willing to persist through a few false starts.

What is the Purpose of a Thesis?

A thesis performs three main functions in a paper:

  • It begins to put forth your ideas.
  • It foreshadows your arguments.
  • It attracts a reader's attention.

A thesis can perform these functions in any number of ways, depending on the topic, the writer's style, and the requirements of the audience. But the following pointers will help you write a thesis for every kind of paper.

The Thesis

Go back to Table of Contents