If you’re working on a research paper, one of the most critical components to watch for is your thesis statement.

Your thesis statement is the foundation (or pillar) of your entire paper. Why? Because it provides a clear and concise summary of your research topic and argument.

In this article, we’ll guide you through writing a thesis statement for a research paper.

What is a research thesis?

Before we dive into the specifics of research paper purpose statements, let’s define what one is. A research thesis statement is a research paper’s main idea or argument. It’s the central point you’re trying to make or prove in your paper. It presents your general idea or argument.

It is usually located in the introduction of the paper and guides the reader to understand the purpose and scope of the research.

A strong thesis statement should:

  • Clearly state the main focus or argument of the paper.
  • Be specific and directed to a particular aspect of the topic.
  • Be held accountable by evidence and research.
  • Be debatable so that it can be challenged or defended by different perspectives.

How long is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement has no set length but should be brief and specific. Typically, a thesis statement should be one or two sentences long. It should provide a clear and easy-to-read summary of your research topic and argument while guiding your writing and keeping you focused on your research goals.

What is a research paper purpose statement?

The purpose of a thesis statement is to present the main idea or argument of your research paper. It should be clear, concise, and specific. Understanding the thesis statement purpose will help you focus on your research topic and guide your writing.

What are the parts of a thesis statement?

A thesis statement typically consists of the topic and the argument. The topic is the subject of your research paper. The argument is the position or stance that you take on the topic.

For example, a thesis statement for a research paper on the effects of social media on mental health might look like this:

Topic: the negative impact of social media on students’ mental health

Argument: social media use has a negative impact on mental health, including increased anxiety, depression, and decreased self-esteem.

Types of thesis statement

Thesis statements are divided into three major types including analytical, expository, and argumentative.

Analytical thesis statements analyse an issue or idea and break it into parts. They do not make a claim or argument. On the other hand, expository thesis statements explain or describe a topic. They do not make a claim or argument. The argumentative thesis statements make a claim or argument about a topic. They are often used in persuasive or argumentative essays.

Tested and trusted for writing a research paper thesis statement

When writing a thesis for a research paper, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • First, your thesis statement should be specific and clear. Avoid vague or general statements that could apply to any topic.
  • Second, your thesis statement should be arguable. It should present a position or argument that can be debated or challenged.
  • Finally, your thesis statement should be supported by evidence. Your research paper should provide evidence to support your thesis statement.

Can a thesis statement be a question?

While a thesis statement is typically a statement of fact or argument, it is possible to frame it as a question. However, the question should be framed to suggest a clear position or argument.

For example, instead of asking, “What are the drawbacks (or setbacks) of social media relating to mental health?” You could frame it as a statement: “Social media use negatively impacts mental health, including increased anxiety, depression, and decreased self-esteem.”


Writing a strong thesis statement for a research paper is crucial to the success of your paper. Remember to make it specific, clear, and arguable, and support it with evidence throughout your paper. By following these guidelines and understanding the purpose and parts of a thesis statement, you’ll be well on your way to writing a successful research paper.

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