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How to Create an Effective Thesis Statement in 5 Easy Steps
Creating a thesis statement can be a daunting task. It’s one of the most important sentences in your paper, and it needs to be done right. But don’t worry — with these five easy steps, you’ll be able to create an effective thesis statement in no time.
Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas
The first step is to brainstorm ideas for your paper. Think about what you want to say and write down any ideas that come to mind. This will help you narrow down your focus and make it easier to create your thesis statement.
Step 2: Research Your Topic
Once you have some ideas, it’s time to do some research on your topic. Look for sources that support your ideas and provide evidence for the points you want to make. This will help you refine your argument and make it more convincing.
Step 3: Formulate Your Argument
Now that you have done some research, it’s time to formulate your argument. Take the points you want to make and put them into one or two sentences that clearly state what your paper is about. This will be the basis of your thesis statement.
Step 4: Refine Your Thesis Statement
Once you have formulated your argument, it’s time to refine your thesis statement. Make sure that it is clear, concise, and specific. It should also be arguable so that readers can disagree with it if they choose.
Step 5: Test Your Thesis Statement
The last step is to test your thesis statement. Does it accurately reflect the points you want to make? Is it clear and concise? Does it make an arguable point? If not, go back and refine it until it meets all of these criteria.
Creating an effective thesis statement doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these five easy steps, you can create a strong thesis statement in no time at all.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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a proposition stated or put forward for consideration, especially one to be discussed and proved or to be maintained against objections: He vigorously defended his thesis on the causes of war.
a subject for a composition or essay.
a dissertation on a particular subject in which one has done original research, as one presented by a candidate for a diploma or degree.
Music . the downward stroke in conducting; downbeat. : Compare arsis (def. 1) .
a part of a metrical foot that does not bear the ictus or stress.
(less commonly) the part of a metrical foot that bears the ictus. : Compare arsis (def. 2) .
Philosophy . See under Hegelian dialectic .
Origin of thesis
Word story for thesis, other words for thesis, words that may be confused with thesis.
- 1. antithesis , synthesis , thesis
- 2. dissertation , thesis
Words Nearby thesis
- shit will hit the fan, the
- shoe is on the other foot, the
- short end of the stick, the
- The show must go on
- thesis play
- thesis statement
- Sketch Book, The
- Skin of Our Teeth, The
- sky's the limit, the
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use thesis in a sentence
“The Saudis have been proving the thesis of the film — they do in fact have an army,” said Thor Halvorssen, founder and chief executive of the nonprofit Human Rights Foundation, which funded the movie.
It’s a hypothesis that Bush pursued in her master’s thesis , and last year she began attending virtual Goth parties in a final round of field work before defending her doctoral thesis later this year.
While this partnership was planned prior to the coronavirus outbreak, co-founder Jordana Kier said the pandemic instantly proved out the expansion thesis .
They’ve had to defend that thesis for a very, very long time in front of a variety of different customers and different people.
Over the past decade, In-Q-Tel has been one of the most active investors in the commercial space sector, with a broad investment thesis that touches many aspects of the sector.
In “Back Home,” Gil also revisits the nostalgia for the South explored in his Johns Hopkins thesis , “Circle of Stone.”
At least father and son were in alignment on this central thesis : acting “gay”—bad; being thought of as gay—bad.
Her doctoral thesis , says Ramin Takloo at the University of Illinois, was simply outstanding.
Marshall McLuhan long ago argued the now accepted thesis that different mediums have different influences on thinking.
He wrote his Master's thesis on the underrepresentation of young people in Congress.
And indeed for most young men a college thesis is but an exercise for sharpening the wits, rarely dangerous in its later effects.
It will be for the reader to determine whether the main thesis of the book has gained or lost by the new evidence.
But the word thesis , when applied to Systems, does not mean the 'position' of single notes, but of groups of notes.
This conclusion, it need hardly be said, is in entire agreement with the main thesis of the preceding pages.
Sundry outlying Indians, with ammunition to waste, took belly and knee rests and strengthened the thesis to the contrary.
British Dictionary definitions for thesis
/ ( ˈθiːsɪs ) /
a dissertation resulting from original research, esp when submitted by a candidate for a degree or diploma
a doctrine maintained or promoted in argument
a subject for a discussion or essay
an unproved statement, esp one put forward as a premise in an argument
music the downbeat of a bar, as indicated in conducting
(in classical prosody) the syllable or part of a metrical foot not receiving the ictus : Compare arsis
philosophy the first stage in the Hegelian dialectic, that is challenged by the antithesis
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cultural definitions for thesis
The central idea in a piece of writing, sometimes contained in a topic sentence .
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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The Thesis Title – What It Takes to Create a Good One
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- 1 Definition: Thesis Title
- 3 Thesis Title: Main Components
- 4 Examples of Thesis Titles
- 5 Tips for your Title
- 6 In a Nutshell
Definition: Thesis Title
A thesis title is a statement that frames the argument you are presenting in an academic paper. It is a short phrase that tells the audience what the content is about. Readers should be able to get a glimpse of the study from the thesis title. It is why you have to invest time in coming up with an excellent one. Think of the title as the packaging to your thesis.
It has to be pretty enough to attract the right audience. The thesis title should comply with certain requirements. Different disciplines have varying formats for academic writing . MLA, APA and PPA are three of the common styles. These formats determine elements like capitalisation, abbreviations and quotations.
The title of a thesis is the first real contact that readers will have with a piece of academic writing , and therefore, it has to be compelling enough. A thesis title sets the pace for the content. It can entice the audience to proceed with the rest of the material or pass it over. This article explores some elementals of a good thesis title.
What is the best title for a thesis?
An exceptional title for a thesis must accomplish several things. It has to reflect the content in the paper. Readers should know at first glance, what your thesis topic is. For this reason, a thesis title should be concise, precise and relevant. The best titles are brief. Too many words can discourage some readers. In the same breath, it shouldn’t be too short. Thesis titles thrive on specificity, and that requires using more than four words.
Can a thesis title be a question?
Yes. You can structure the title of your academic paper as a question. Questions are catchy and go a long way in capturing attention. They incite curiosity and get the reader to want to know more. For a question to work as a thesis title, it must reflect the tone of the paper and predict the content. It should also be closely linked with your thesis statement . Readers should not left wondering what the piece is about after they’ve read the title.
How long can a thesis title be?
The length of a thesis title is not definite because it’s an element that depends on many factors. A thesis advisor might have a specific range for students. For example, a professor might ask a paper to have 15 to 25 words in the title. 10 to 15 is a great number to work with for a thesis title. Never have a title that is less than 5 words.
Tip: If you’re having trouble getting the words from your brain onto the paper, you may be struggling with writer’s block . Head over to our blog post to read about how you can escape from the clutches of writer’s block.
What is a research title?
The research title shows the main idea of your study. The reader should have an idea of the thesis formatting after reading the thesis title. If the title states ‘case study’ for example, then the reader will expect an abstract. It is possible that you are using the fewest possible words needed to describe the purpose of your research paper. It is important that the research title predicts content, reflects tone, includes important keywords and is interesting.
What are important steps for creating a thesis title?
During the beginning of the writing phase, you should have a ‘working title’. This doesn’t have to be the final title and it will probably be altered as you develop your thesis statement , but the working title can help to keep you on the right track. You can also include a subtitle to explain additional content.
Thesis Title: Main Components
Thesis titles are as distinct as the research they describe. However, several fundamental factors exist in every thesis title. Whether its social sciences, economics or political science, these elements always apply. They are the drivers that help writers create titles that are worth reading.
Area of Interest
The objectives of the study are a huge part of a thesis title. What you are looking to accomplish with your research sets the tone for everything that happens. A good title should be a reflection of that. The area of interest provides the broad scope of the paper, but you also have to factor in the specifics. For example, a study on the effects of social media marketing on the buying process offers a wide range to work with. However, your study might be on specific networks such as Twitter and Instagram. The title should, therefore, mention the exact social media sites. Use the area of interest as a rough guide to what the thesis title should be about.
An effective title should not just be precise and attractive; it must remain consistent internally. Any decent title should reflect the study as accurately as possible. When readers see the thesis title, they have a clue of what the paper contains. If the thesis title says ‘a case study approach,’ the readers will expect to have an abstract , introduction , methodology, and so on. A lack of consistency can generate a disconnect that will push the audience away. Be cautious about the language and style of writing to avoid losing or misleading the reader along the way.
Never submit a thesis without checking that the title adheres to the required formatting standards. Not every academic paper needs formatting. Styles vary depending on disciplines and institutions. The formatting requirements matter because they determine how to write quotations and citations. A writing style also dictates the organisation of the piece. Writers might have specific instructions about the tone of the thesis. Consider all these elements carefully when crafting a thesis title. Don’t forget about the rules of capitalisation of a title.
Examples of Thesis Titles
Here are two examples of thesis titles:
‘Estimation of the Effects of Climate Change: The Case of the Deforestation of the Amazon’
As you read earlier above one of the main components of a thesis title is the area of interest . The first part of the thesis title ‘Estimation of the Effects of Climate Chance’ isn´t enough because the range is to wide.
Therefore it is important to add the second part of the thesis title ‘The Case of the Deforestation of the Amazon’. This gives the reader the exact information what your academic paper is about.
Here are a few other examples of thesis titles:
‘How Mobile Money is Banking the Unbankable in Third World Economies’
‘The Correlation Between Social Inequalities and Poor Voting Habits’
‘How the Mobile Phone Disrupts Sleep Patterns’
‘Jumping on the Cryptocurrency Bandwagon: A Study in the Evolution of Digital Currency’
In this example you can see that there is internal consistency because it shows the reader what the paper comprises.
The formatting of the thesis title depends on institutions. So there are more possibilities of how your layout could look like. Furthermore the thesis title in this example is still brief enough which is very important. The length of 10 to 15 words is a good number of words.
Tips for your Title
A missed punctuation mark, too many words or too much jargon are some aspects that can easily ruin a thesis title and consequently, the entire paper. You can avoid common mistakes like these by focusing on these simple tenets:
- Purpose of the study
- Scope of the study
- Techniques used for the study
- Tone of the study
Before crafting the final title for your academic paper, have a working thesis title. A working title is a loose topic that you need to help direct your study. It’s easy to lose track of your research when you don’t have a concrete anchor.
Bear in mind that the final thesis title comes after the completion of the research. You should know how much ground the content covers to develop a proper thesis title.
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In a Nutshell
What to take away about writing a captivating thesis title:
- Be clear about the subject of the research and its scope while ensuring that the title reflects the study accurately.
- The thesis title should be concise, engaging, descriptive and explanatory without being informal or cute.
- Avoid too much jargon, abbreviations, initials, acronyms and redundant words unless the requirements specify it.
- Capitalise all the necessary words, including all nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs.
Discover more useful articles:
The cover page for your thesis & how to make it compelling:
Table of contents and the 10 most important components:
Find out how to write the perfect conclusion for your thesis:
Information about an acknowledgement for thesis:
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Thesis - Name Meaning — Is Your Name Helping You?
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- What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples
What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples
Published on September 14, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on November 21, 2023.
A thesis is a type of research paper based on your original research. It is usually submitted as the final step of a master’s program or a capstone to a bachelor’s degree.
Writing a thesis can be a daunting experience. Other than a dissertation , it is one of the longest pieces of writing students typically complete. It relies on your ability to conduct research from start to finish: choosing a relevant topic , crafting a proposal , designing your research , collecting data , developing a robust analysis, drawing strong conclusions , and writing concisely .
You can also download our full thesis template in the format of your choice below. Our template includes a ready-made table of contents , as well as guidance for what each chapter should include. It’s easy to make it your own, and can help you get started.
Download Word template Download Google Docs template
Table of contents
Thesis vs. thesis statement, how to structure a thesis, acknowledgements or preface, list of figures and tables, list of abbreviations, introduction, literature review, methodology, reference list, proofreading and editing, defending your thesis, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about theses.
You may have heard the word thesis as a standalone term or as a component of academic writing called a thesis statement . Keep in mind that these are two very different things.
- A thesis statement is a very common component of an essay, particularly in the humanities. It usually comprises 1 or 2 sentences in the introduction of your essay , and should clearly and concisely summarize the central points of your academic essay .
- A thesis is a long-form piece of academic writing, often taking more than a full semester to complete. It is generally a degree requirement for Master’s programs, and is also sometimes required to complete a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts colleges.
- In the US, a dissertation is generally written as a final step toward obtaining a PhD.
- In other countries (particularly the UK), a dissertation is generally written at the bachelor’s or master’s level.
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The final structure of your thesis depends on a variety of components, such as:
- Your discipline
- Your theoretical approach
Humanities theses are often structured more like a longer-form essay . Just like in an essay, you build an argument to support a central thesis.
In both hard and social sciences, theses typically include an introduction , literature review , methodology section , results section , discussion section , and conclusion section . These are each presented in their own dedicated section or chapter. In some cases, you might want to add an appendix .
We’ve compiled a short list of thesis examples to help you get started.
- Example thesis #1: “Abolition, Africans, and Abstraction: the Influence of the ‘Noble Savage’ on British and French Antislavery Thought, 1787-1807” by Suchait Kahlon.
- Example thesis #2: “’A Starving Man Helping Another Starving Man’: UNRRA, India, and the Genesis of Global Relief, 1943-1947″ by Julian Saint Reiman.
The very first page of your thesis contains all necessary identifying information, including:
- Your full title
- Your full name
- Your department
- Your institution and degree program
- Your submission date.
Sometimes the title page also includes your student ID, the name of your supervisor, or the university’s logo. Check out your university’s guidelines if you’re not sure.
Read more about title pages
The acknowledgements section is usually optional. Its main point is to allow you to thank everyone who helped you in your thesis journey, such as supervisors, friends, or family. You can also choose to write a preface , but it’s typically one or the other, not both.
Read more about acknowledgements Read more about prefaces
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An abstract is a short summary of your thesis. Usually a maximum of 300 words long, it’s should include brief descriptions of your research objectives , methods, results, and conclusions. Though it may seem short, it introduces your work to your audience, serving as a first impression of your thesis.
Read more about abstracts
A table of contents lists all of your sections, plus their corresponding page numbers and subheadings if you have them. This helps your reader seamlessly navigate your document.
Your table of contents should include all the major parts of your thesis. In particular, don’t forget the the appendices. If you used heading styles, it’s easy to generate an automatic table Microsoft Word.
Read more about tables of contents
While not mandatory, if you used a lot of tables and/or figures, it’s nice to include a list of them to help guide your reader. It’s also easy to generate one of these in Word: just use the “Insert Caption” feature.
Read more about lists of figures and tables
If you have used a lot of industry- or field-specific abbreviations in your thesis, you should include them in an alphabetized list of abbreviations . This way, your readers can easily look up any meanings they aren’t familiar with.
Read more about lists of abbreviations
Relatedly, if you find yourself using a lot of very specialized or field-specific terms that may not be familiar to your reader, consider including a glossary . Alphabetize the terms you want to include with a brief definition.
Read more about glossaries
An introduction sets up the topic, purpose, and relevance of your thesis, as well as expectations for your reader. This should:
- Ground your research topic , sharing any background information your reader may need
- Define the scope of your work
- Introduce any existing research on your topic, situating your work within a broader problem or debate
- State your research question(s)
- Outline (briefly) how the remainder of your work will proceed
In other words, your introduction should clearly and concisely show your reader the “what, why, and how” of your research.
Read more about introductions
A literature review helps you gain a robust understanding of any extant academic work on your topic, encompassing:
- Selecting relevant sources
- Determining the credibility of your sources
- Critically evaluating each of your sources
- Drawing connections between sources, including any themes, patterns, conflicts, or gaps
A literature review is not merely a summary of existing work. Rather, your literature review should ultimately lead to a clear justification for your own research, perhaps via:
- Addressing a gap in the literature
- Building on existing knowledge to draw new conclusions
- Exploring a new theoretical or methodological approach
- Introducing a new solution to an unresolved problem
- Definitively advocating for one side of a theoretical debate
Read more about literature reviews
Your literature review can often form the basis for your theoretical framework, but these are not the same thing. A theoretical framework defines and analyzes the concepts and theories that your research hinges on.
Read more about theoretical frameworks
Your methodology chapter shows your reader how you conducted your research. It should be written clearly and methodically, easily allowing your reader to critically assess the credibility of your argument. Furthermore, your methods section should convince your reader that your method was the best way to answer your research question.
A methodology section should generally include:
- Your overall approach ( quantitative vs. qualitative )
- Your research methods (e.g., a longitudinal study )
- Your data collection methods (e.g., interviews or a controlled experiment
- Any tools or materials you used (e.g., computer software)
- The data analysis methods you chose (e.g., statistical analysis , discourse analysis )
- A strong, but not defensive justification of your methods
Read more about methodology sections
Your results section should highlight what your methodology discovered. These two sections work in tandem, but shouldn’t repeat each other. While your results section can include hypotheses or themes, don’t include any speculation or new arguments here.
Your results section should:
- State each (relevant) result with any (relevant) descriptive statistics (e.g., mean , standard deviation ) and inferential statistics (e.g., test statistics , p values )
- Explain how each result relates to the research question
- Determine whether the hypothesis was supported
Additional data (like raw numbers or interview transcripts ) can be included as an appendix . You can include tables and figures, but only if they help the reader better understand your results.
Read more about results sections
Your discussion section is where you can interpret your results in detail. Did they meet your expectations? How well do they fit within the framework that you built? You can refer back to any relevant source material to situate your results within your field, but leave most of that analysis in your literature review.
For any unexpected results, offer explanations or alternative interpretations of your data.
Read more about discussion sections
Your thesis conclusion should concisely answer your main research question. It should leave your reader with an ultra-clear understanding of your central argument, and emphasize what your research specifically has contributed to your field.
Why does your research matter? What recommendations for future research do you have? Lastly, wrap up your work with any concluding remarks.
Read more about conclusions
In order to avoid plagiarism , don’t forget to include a full reference list at the end of your thesis, citing the sources that you used. Choose one citation style and follow it consistently throughout your thesis, taking note of the formatting requirements of each style.
Which style you choose is often set by your department or your field, but common styles include MLA , Chicago , and APA.
Create APA citations Create MLA citations
In order to stay clear and concise, your thesis should include the most essential information needed to answer your research question. However, chances are you have many contributing documents, like interview transcripts or survey questions . These can be added as appendices , to save space in the main body.
Read more about appendices
Once you’re done writing, the next part of your editing process begins. Leave plenty of time for proofreading and editing prior to submission. Nothing looks worse than grammar mistakes or sloppy spelling errors!
Consider using a professional thesis editing service or grammar checker to make sure your final project is perfect.
Once you’ve submitted your final product, it’s common practice to have a thesis defense, an oral component of your finished work. This is scheduled by your advisor or committee, and usually entails a presentation and Q&A session.
After your defense , your committee will meet to determine if you deserve any departmental honors or accolades. However, keep in mind that defenses are usually just a formality. If there are any serious issues with your work, these should be resolved with your advisor way before a defense.
If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!
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The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation shouldn’t take up more than 5–7% of your overall word count.
If you only used a few abbreviations in your thesis or dissertation , you don’t necessarily need to include a list of abbreviations .
If your abbreviations are numerous, or if you think they won’t be known to your audience, it’s never a bad idea to add one. They can also improve readability, minimizing confusion about abbreviations unfamiliar to your reader.
When you mention different chapters within your text, it’s considered best to use Roman numerals for most citation styles. However, the most important thing here is to remain consistent whenever using numbers in your dissertation .
A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical first steps in your writing process. It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.
Generally, an outline contains information on the different sections included in your thesis or dissertation , such as:
- Your anticipated title
- Your abstract
- Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review , research methods , avenues for future research, etc.)
A thesis is typically written by students finishing up a bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Some educational institutions, particularly in the liberal arts, have mandatory theses, but they are often not mandatory to graduate from bachelor’s degrees. It is more common for a thesis to be a graduation requirement from a Master’s degree.
Even if not mandatory, you may want to consider writing a thesis if you:
- Plan to attend graduate school soon
- Have a particular topic you’d like to study more in-depth
- Are considering a career in research
- Would like a capstone experience to tie up your academic experience
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Thesis: Definition and Examples in Composition
Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms
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A thesis ( THEE-ses ) is the main (or controlling) idea of an essay , report , speech , or research paper , sometimes written as a single declarative sentence known as a thesis statement . A thesis may be implied rather than stated directly. Plural: theses . It's also known as a thesis statement, thesis sentence, controlling idea.
In the classical rhetorical exercises known as the progymnasmata , the thesis is an exercise that requires a student to argue a case for one side or the other.
Etymology From the Greek, "to put"
Examples and Observations (Definition #1)
- "My thesis is simple: in the next century mankind must harness the nuclear genie if our energy needs are to be met and our security preserved." (John B. Ritch, "Nuclear Green," Prospect Magazine , March 1999)
- "We watch baseball: it's what we have always imagined life should be like. We play softball. It's sloppy--the way life really is." (from the introduction to Watching Baseball, Playing Softball)
- "Through Mansfield's skillful handling of point of view, characterization, and plot development, Miss Brill comes across as a convincing character who evokes our sympathy." (thesis statement in Miss Brill's Fragile Fantasy )
- "Suppose there were no critics to tell us how to react to a picture, a play, or a new composition of music. Suppose we wandered innocent as the dawn into an art exhibition of unsigned paintings. By what standards, by what values would we decide whether they were good or bad, talented or untalented, success or failures? How can we ever know that what we think is right?" (Marya Mannes, "How Do You Know It's Good?")
- "I think people are disturbed by the discovery that no longer is a small town autonomous--it is a creature of the state and of the Federal Government. We have accepted money for our schools, our libraries, our hospitals, our winter roads. Now we face the inevitable consequence: the benefactor wants to call the turns." (E.B. White, "Letter from the East")
- "It is possible to stop most drug addiction in the United States within a very short time. Simply make all drugs available and sell them at cost." (Gore Vidal, "Drugs")
- The Two Parts of an Effective Thesis "An effective thesis is generally composed of two parts: a topic and the writer's attitude or opinion about or reaction to that topic." (William J. Kelly, Strategy and Structure . Allyn and Bacon, 1996)
- Drafting and Revising a Thesis "It's a good idea to formulate a thesis early in the writing process , perhaps by jotting it on scratch paper, by putting it at the head of a rough outline , or by attempting to write an introductory paragraph that includes the thesis. Your tentative thesis will probably be less graceful than the thesis you include in the final version of your essay. Here, for example, is one student's early effort: Although they both play percussion instruments, drummers and percussionists are very different. The thesis that appeared in the final draft of the student's paper was more polished: Two types of musicians play percussion instruments--drummers and percussionists--and they are as different as Quiet Riot and the New York Philharmonic. Don't worry too soon about the exact wording of your thesis, however, because your main point may change as you refine your ideas." (Diana Hacker, The Bedford Handbook , 6th ed. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2002)
- A Good Thesis - "A good thesis tells the audience exactly what you want them to know, understand, and remember when your speech is done. Write it as a simple, declarative sentence (or two) that restates the speech purpose and states the main points that support the purpose. Although you may formulate a thesis statement early in the speech development process, you may revise and reword it as you research your topic.' (Sherwyn P. Morreale, Brian H. Spitzberg, and J. Kevin Barge, Human Communication: Motivation, Knowledge, and Skills , 2nd ed. Thomson Higher Education, 2007) - "An effective thesis statement singles out some aspect of a subject for attention and clearly defines your approach to it." (David Blakesley and Jeffrey L. Hoogeveen, Writing: A Manual for the Digital Age . Wadsworth, 2011)
Examples and Observations (Definition #2)
" Thesis . This advanced exercise [one of the progymnasmata] asks the student to write an answer to a 'general question' ( quaestio infina )--that is, a question not involving individuals. . . . Quintilian . . . notes that a general question can be made into a persuasive subject if names are added (II.4.25). That is, a Thesis would pose a general question such as 'Should a man marry?' or 'Should one fortify a city?' (A Special Question on the other hand would be 'Should Marcus marry Livia?' or 'Should Athens spend money to build a defensive wall?')" (James J. Murphy, A Short History of Writing Instruction: From Ancient Greece to Modern America , 2nd ed. Lawrence Erlbaum, 2001)
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- 1.1 Etymology
- 1.2 Pronunciation
- 1.3.1 Derived terms
- 1.3.2 Related terms
- 1.3.3 Translations
- 1.4 References
- 1.5 Further reading
- 1.6 Anagrams
- 2.1 Etymology
- 2.2 Pronunciation
- 3.1 Etymology
- 3.2 Pronunciation
- 3.3.1 Declension
- 3.3.2 Descendants
- 3.4 References
English [ edit ]
Etymology [ edit ].
From Late Middle English thesis ( “ lowering of the voice ” )  and also borrowed directly from its etymon Latin thesis ( “ proposition, thesis; lowering of the voice ” ) , from Ancient Greek θέσῐς ( thésis , “ arrangement, placement, setting; conclusion, position, thesis; lowering of the voice ” ) , from τῐ́θημῐ ( títhēmi , “ to place, put, set; to put down in writing; to consider as, regard ” )   (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeh₁- ( “ to do; to place, put ” ) ) + -σῐς ( -sis , suffix forming abstract nouns or nouns of action, process, or result ) . The English word is a doublet of deed .
Sense 1.1 (“proposition or statement supported by arguments”) is adopted from antithesis .  Sense 1.4 (“initial stage of reasoning”) was first used by the German philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762–1814), and later applied to the dialectical method of his countryman, the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831).
The plural form theses is borrowed from Latin thesēs , from Ancient Greek θέσεις ( théseis ) .
Pronunciation [ edit ]
- ( Received Pronunciation ) IPA ( key ) : /ˈθiːsɪs/ , ( archaic ) /ˈθɛsɪs/
- ( General American ) IPA ( key ) : /ˈθisɪs/
- Rhymes: -iːsɪs
- Hyphenation: the‧sis
- ( Received Pronunciation ) IPA ( key ) : /ˈθiːsiːz/
- ( General American ) IPA ( key ) : /ˈθisiz/
- Rhymes: -iːsiːz
- Hyphenation: the‧ses
Noun [ edit ]
thesis ( plural theses )
- ( rhetoric ) A proposition or statement supported by arguments .
- 1766 , [ Oliver Goldsmith ], “The Conclusion”, in The Vicar of Wakefield: [ … ] , volume II, Salisbury, Wiltshire: [ … ] B. Collins, for F [ rancis ] Newbery , [ … ] , →OCLC ; reprinted London: Elliot Stock , 1885 , →OCLC , pages 218–219 : I told them of the grave, becoming, and ſublime deportment they ſhould aſſume upon this myſtical occaſion, and read them two homilies and a theſis of my own compoſing, in order to prepare them.
- ( mathematics , computer science ) A conjecture , especially one too vague to be formally stated or verified but useful as a working convention.
- ( logic ) An affirmation , or distinction from a supposition or hypothesis .
- ( philosophy ) In the dialectical method of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel : the initial stage of reasoning where a formal statement of a point is developed ; this is followed by antithesis and synthesis .
- ( music , prosody , originally ) The action of lowering the hand or bringing down the foot when indicating a rhythm ; hence, an accented part of a measure of music or verse indicated by this action; an ictus , a stress . Antonym: arsis
- ( music , prosody , with a reversal of meaning ) A depression of the voice when pronouncing a syllables of a word ; hence, the unstressed part of the metrical foot of a verse upon which such a depression falls , or an unaccented musical note .
Derived terms [ edit ]
- all but thesis
- bachelor's thesis
- Church-Turing thesis
- conflict thesis
- doctoral thesis
- graduate thesis
- master's thesis
- Merton thesis
- private language thesis
- thesis defense
- thesis film
- thesis statement
Related terms [ edit ]
Translations [ edit ], references [ edit ].
- ^ “ thē̆sis, n. ”, in MED Online , Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan , 2007.
- ^ “ thesis, n. ”, in Lexico , Dictionary.com ; Oxford University Press , 2019–2022.
Further reading [ edit ]
- “ thesis ”, in The Century Dictionary [ … ] , New York, N.Y.: The Century Co. , 1911, →OCLC .
- “ thesis ”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary , Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam , 1913, →OCLC .
Anagrams [ edit ]
- Heists , Sethis , heists , shiest , shites , sithes , thises
Dutch [ edit ]
From Latin thesis , from Ancient Greek θέσις ( thésis , “ a proposition, a statement, a thing laid down, thesis in rhetoric, thesis in prosody ” ) .
thesis f ( plural theses or thesissen , diminutive thesisje n )
- Dated form of these . Synonyms: dissertatie , proefschrift , scriptie
Latin [ edit ]
From Ancient Greek θέσις ( thésis , “ a proposition, a statement, a thing laid down, thesis in rhetoric, thesis in prosody ” ) .
- ( Classical ) IPA ( key ) : /ˈtʰe.sis/ , [ˈt̪ʰɛs̠ɪs̠]
- ( modern Italianate Ecclesiastical ) IPA ( key ) : /ˈte.sis/ , [ˈt̪ɛːs̬is]
thesis f ( genitive thesis ) ; third declension
Declension [ edit ]
Descendants [ edit ].
- → Dutch: thesis
- → Armenian: թեզ ( tʿez )
- → Dutch: these
- → Persian: تز ( tez )
- → Romanian: teză
- → Turkish: tez
- Galician: tese
- Italian: tesi
- English: thesis
- Portuguese: tese
- Spanish: tesis
- “ thesis ”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary , Oxford: Clarendon Press
- thesis in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français , Hachette
- English terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
- English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *dʰeh₁-
- English terms inherited from Middle English
- English terms derived from Middle English
- English terms borrowed from Latin
- English terms derived from Latin
- English terms derived from Ancient Greek
- English doublets
- English 2-syllable words
- English terms with IPA pronunciation
- English terms with audio links
- Rhymes:English/iːsɪs/2 syllables
- English lemmas
- English nouns
- English countable nouns
- English nouns with irregular plurals
- English terms with quotations
- en:Computer science
- English contranyms
- Dutch terms derived from Latin
- Dutch terms derived from Ancient Greek
- Dutch terms with audio links
- Dutch lemmas
- Dutch nouns
- Dutch nouns with Latin plurals
- Dutch nouns with plural in -en
- Dutch feminine nouns
- Dutch dated forms
- Latin terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
- Latin terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *dʰeh₁-
- Latin terms borrowed from Ancient Greek
- Latin terms derived from Ancient Greek
- Latin 2-syllable words
- Latin terms with IPA pronunciation
- Latin lemmas
- Latin nouns
- Latin third declension nouns
- Latin feminine nouns in the third declension
- Latin feminine nouns
- Word of the day archive
- English entries with language name categories using raw markup
- Terms with redundant transliterations
- Terms with redundant transliterations/cmn
- Terms with manual transliterations different from the automated ones
- Terms with manual transliterations different from the automated ones/ru