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Definition of thesis

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In high school, college, or graduate school, students often have to write a thesis on a topic in their major field of study. In many fields, a final thesis is the biggest challenge involved in getting a master's degree, and the same is true for students studying for a Ph.D. (a Ph.D. thesis is often called a dissertation ). But a thesis may also be an idea; so in the course of the paper the student may put forth several theses (notice the plural form) and attempt to prove them.

Example Sentences

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thesis.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback .

Word History

in sense 3, Middle English, lowering of the voice, from Late Latin & Greek; Late Latin, from Greek, downbeat, more important part of a foot, literally, act of laying down; in other senses, Latin, from Greek, literally, act of laying down, from tithenai to put, lay down — more at do

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a(1)

Dictionary Entries Near thesis

the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children

thesis novel

Cite this Entry

“Thesis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thesis. Accessed 12 Mar. 2023.

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Cambridge Dictionary

Meaning of thesis in English

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thesis | American Dictionary

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How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on September 14, 2022 by Eoghan Ryan.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . It usually comes near the end of your introduction .

Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.

You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:

Table of contents

What is a thesis statement, placement of the thesis statement, step 1: start with a question, step 2: write your initial answer, step 3: develop your answer, step 4: refine your thesis statement, types of thesis statements, frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.

The best thesis statements are:

The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction .

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.

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You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis , early in the writing process . As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic , you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.

You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?

For example, you might ask:

After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process .

Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.

In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.

The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.

In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.

The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.

A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:

The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.

These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.

Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :

The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .

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thesis statement

Words nearby thesis statement

More about thesis statement, what is a thesis statement .

In academic writing, a thesis statement is generally a sentence or two that summarizes the main point that an essay, research paper, or speech is making. It is typically located at the end of the introductory paragraph(s).

Thesis statements are kind of like roadmaps, laying out for the reader/listener where the writer/speaker is headed (argument) and how they are going to get there (evidence).

The thesis statement is widely taught in the humanities, especially in English classes in high school and college, to teach students how to make persuasive arguments that cite and analyze evidence and examples researched from literary, historical, or other texts.

Why is a thesis statement important in an essay?

Thesis comes from a Greek word that literally means “a setting down.” In the 300s BC, Aristotle defined thesis as when a philosopher puts forth a new idea that conflicts with general opinion.

Fast forward to today, when we use thesis to mean a “proposition” or “argument” one formally presents and defends. In academic settings, a thesis can be short for a thesis statement (our focus here) in an essay or shorter research paper. It can also be used for those much, much longer dissertations graduate students research, write, and defend for their degree (e.g., master’s thesis or doctoral thesis ).

Let’s look at statement real quick. It is a declaration or assertion. Sound redundant? The idea is that a thesis statement is the point in a paper or presentation that explicitly states the thesis. Usually in a sentence or two, the thesis statement summarizes the argument that’s going to be developed in the evidence and examples to come.

So, a thesis statement is just a sentence that gets the main point across. But, learning how to write these ain’t easy. That’s why educators, especially in English classes in high school and college, spend a lot of time teaching students how to craft effective thesis statements.

Why? Because in school, work, and life, we have to persuade people of our ideas and our point of view. These ideas might concern an analysis of literature or history, like a play by Shakespeare or a moment in the Civil Rights Movement. Or, these ideas might be a call to action, such as eating a certain diet or pursuing a business strategy.

How to write a thesis statement

There are many ways to make an effective thesis statement , but here are some general tips to follow.

So, let’s say you read a text, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night , or researched a topic, the health benefits of kale. Then you formed an opinion about it—a claim you want to make about it and why others should care. You found evidence—quotes, examples, facts, statistics—in your resources that you think back up your argument. Your thesis statement brings all these together: point of view , evidence , and significance . It lays out where the entire paper or presentation is going, which is why educators often liken it to a roadmap .

Here’s an example:

Kale is good for you because it is nutrient-dense, cancer-fighting, and loaded with antioxidants.

The argument here—which a first-year high-schooler might make in a persuasive essay—is that “kale is good for you” (despite how some think it tastes). The claims it’s using to back up this assertion are that it’s 1) “nutrient-dense”; 2) “cancer-fighting”; and 3) “loaded with antioxidants.” The reader can expect that the rest of the essay will develop these claims, that is, cite and analyze evidence for them.

Here’s a thesis statement for a literary analysis of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. This resembles more of a college-level example:

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night suggests that, when women do not reciprocate a man’s love, they are unjustly made out to be sexually deviant. This is illustrated in how the character Olivia is condemned as asexual because of her rejection of Duke Orsino.

Note how this thesis statement makes its claim in two sentences. Its argument centers on how women characters are vilified when they reject a man, and its evidence will be interactions between characters in Shakespeare’s play.

What are real-life examples of thesis statement ?

The term thesis statement is generally used by teachers and students in junior high, high school, and college, especially in English, Social Studies, and other classes in the humanities.

Okay so I rewrote my thesis statement! It’s a wee bit more vague but still a good direction a think. It’s more open so I can talk about more things and add more evidence. Wrote out an in-depth plan and then my brain crapped out. So I’m going to bed! Tomorrow is the day! — 🎃Unpaid Bills🎃 //Chaela (@Cierafire) August 14, 2019
Writing an explanatory essay in phases: thesis statement, body paragraph, concluding statement. Peer conversations to identify text evidence to support our thesis. pic.twitter.com/b6fdgx8rkD — Cheyenne England (@MsEnglandReads) August 7, 2019

The thesis statement is taught in what’s called the five-paragraph essay (or theme). This essay has an introduction which “funnels into” the thesis statement, including three reasons backing up the main argument. The next three paragraphs develop each of these claims, respectively, citing evidence and examples, such as literary texts, historical documents, or scientific reports. The final paragraph, the conclusion, restates the thesis statement and summarizes the paper and its broader significance.

thesis the mean


Even after we are no longer in the classroom, people continue to reference thesis statements. While “real-life” thesis statements may not be as formal as the ones seen in five-paragraph essays, having a thesis statement —a point, a position, or a theory of the case—is considered informative, persuasive, and valuable in work, in the community, and in our personal lives.

The thesis statement is so widely taught and familiar that sometimes people joke about them. On social media, for instance, people may humorously end a post with “In this essay, I will …” when expressing a deeply felt but ultimately low-stakes opinion on some popular topic. The phrase In this essay, I will alludes to the signposting language some people use in their thesis statements.

pumpkin spice has nothing to do with pumpkins but with covering up pumpkin taste, it's a way to disassociate from the world rather than experience it, which mirrors late capitalism; in this essay I will — rachel syme (@rachsyme) August 15, 2019

How to use thesis statement in a sentence

“I love my job and I love my city and I am committed to the work here,” he said in a statement.

The best answer Sutton offers is a statement by the preacher John Roach Stratton back in 1918.

For now, the Egyptian government has issued a statement saying that Clooney is free to enter Egypt “whenever she wants.”

Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement deploring the state GOP for its failure to censure Duke.

It might be the most powerful affirmation, and perhaps even a feminist or political statement, from any public person this year.

There was a great comparing of papers, and turning over of leaves, by Fogg and Perker, after this statement of profit and loss.

But, after all, perhaps it might be easier and more expedient if he were to appear to accept the Seneschal's statement.

He had repeated till he was thrice weary the statement that "the Cat lay on the Mat and the Rat came in."

How can we rely upon such evidence after nineteen hundred years, and upon a statement of facts so important and so marvellous?

That is a strange statement to make, but it is an example of the shifts to which apologists are frequently reduced.

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Tips for Online Students , Tips for Students

Dissertation vs Thesis: The Differences that Matter


As a graduate student, you will have many different types of challenging coursework and assignments. However, the biggest project that you’ll work on when earning your master’s or doctoral degree will be your thesis or dissertation . The differences between a dissertation vs thesis are plenty. That’s because each of these pieces of writing happen at different times in one’s educational journey.

Let’s break down what a dissertation and thesis are so that you have a strong handle on what’s expected. For both a thesis and a dissertation, there is an obvious fluency and understanding of the subject one studies.

Let’s take a look at their similarities and differences.

Photo by  Glenn Carstens-Peters  on  Unsplash

What is a dissertation.

When you enter a doctoral program to earn a PhD, you will learn a lot about how to conduct your own research. At the culmination of your degree program, you’ll produce a dissertation.

A dissertation is a lengthy piece of written work that includes original research or expanded research on a new or existing topic. As the doctoral student, you get to choose what you want to explore and write about within your field of study.

What is a Thesis?

A thesis is also a scholarly piece of writing, but it is for those who are graduating from a master’s program. A thesis allows students to showcase their knowledge and expertise within the subject matter they have been studying.

Main Differences Between a Thesis vs. Dissertation

The biggest difference between a thesis and a dissertation is that a thesis is based on existing research.

On the other hand, a dissertation will more than likely require the doctoral student to conduct their own research and then perform analysis. The other big difference is that a thesis is for master’s students and the dissertation is for PhD students.

Structural Differences Between a Thesis and a Dissertation

Structurally, the two pieces of written analysis have many differences.

Research Content and Oral Presentation

Once completed, some programs require students to orally present their thesis and dissertation to a panel of faculty members.

Typically, a dissertation oral presentation can take several hours. On the other hand, a thesis only takes about an hour to present and answer questions.

Let’s look at how the two scholarly works are similar and different:



The Differences in Context: Location Matters

The united states.

In the US, everything that was previously listed is how schools differentiate between a thesis and a dissertation. A thesis is performed by master’s students, and a dissertation is written by PhD candidates.

In Europe, the distinction between a thesis and dissertation becomes a little more cloudy. That’s because PhD programs may require a doctoral thesis to graduate. Then, as a part of a broader post-graduate research project, students may complete a dissertation.

Photo by  Russ Ward  on  Unsplash

The purpose behind written research.

Each piece of writing is an opportunity for a student to demonstrate his or her ability to think critically, express their opinions in writing, and present their findings in front of their department.

Graduate degrees take a lot of time, energy, and hard work to complete. When it comes to writing such lengthy and informative pieces, there is a lot of time management that is involved. The purpose of both a thesis and a dissertation are written proof that you understand and have mastered the subject matter of your degree.

Degree Types

A doctoral degree, or PhD, is the highest degree that one can earn. In most cases, students follow the following path to achieve this level of education: Earn a bachelor’s degree, then a master’s, and then a PhD. While not every job title requires this deep educational knowledge, the salaries that come along with each level of higher education increase accordingly.

Earning Your Degree

Whether you are currently a prospective student considering earning your higher education degree or a student enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program, you know the benefits of education.

However, for some, earning a traditional degree on-campus doesn’t make sense. This could be because of the financial challenges, familial obligations, accessibility, or any other number of reasons.

For students who are seeking their higher education degrees but need a flexible, affordable, and quality alternative to traditional college, take a look at the programs that the University of the People has to offer.

University of the People is an entirely online, US accredited and tuition-free institution dedicated to higher education. You can earn your Master’s in Business Administration or your Master’s in Education . Not to mention, there are a handful of associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs to choose from as well.

If you want to learn more, get in touch with us !

The Bottom Line

Regardless of where and when you earn your master’s or doctoral degree, you will likely have to complete a thesis or dissertation. The main difference between a thesis and dissertation is the level at which you complete them. A thesis is for a master’s degree, and a dissertation is for a doctoral degree.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the prospect of having to research and write so much. Your educational journey has prepared you with the right time management skills and writing skills to make this feat achievable!

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The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Thesis Statements

What this handout is about.

This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can craft or refine one for your draft.


Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. Persuasion is a skill you practice regularly in your daily life. You persuade your roommate to clean up, your parents to let you borrow the car, your friend to vote for your favorite candidate or policy. In college, course assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing. You are asked to convince your reader of your point of view. This form of persuasion, often called academic argument, follows a predictable pattern in writing. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence. This sentence is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you’ll make in the rest of your paper.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement:

If your assignment asks you to take a position or develop a claim about a subject, you may need to convey that position or claim in a thesis statement near the beginning of your draft. The assignment may not explicitly state that you need a thesis statement because your instructor may assume you will include one. When in doubt, ask your instructor if the assignment requires a thesis statement. When an assignment asks you to analyze, to interpret, to compare and contrast, to demonstrate cause and effect, or to take a stand on an issue, it is likely that you are being asked to develop a thesis and to support it persuasively. (Check out our handout on understanding assignments for more information.)

How do I create a thesis?

A thesis is the result of a lengthy thinking process. Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading an essay assignment. Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a “working thesis” that presents a basic or main idea and an argument that you think you can support with evidence. Both the argument and your thesis are likely to need adjustment along the way.

Writers use all kinds of techniques to stimulate their thinking and to help them clarify relationships or comprehend the broader significance of a topic and arrive at a thesis statement. For more ideas on how to get started, see our handout on brainstorming .

How do I know if my thesis is strong?

If there’s time, run it by your instructor or make an appointment at the Writing Center to get some feedback. Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own. When reviewing your first draft and its working thesis, ask yourself the following :

Suppose you are taking a course on contemporary communication, and the instructor hands out the following essay assignment: “Discuss the impact of social media on public awareness.” Looking back at your notes, you might start with this working thesis:

Social media impacts public awareness in both positive and negative ways.

You can use the questions above to help you revise this general statement into a stronger thesis.

After thinking about your answers to these questions, you decide to focus on the one impact you feel strongly about and have strong evidence for:

Because not every voice on social media is reliable, people have become much more critical consumers of information, and thus, more informed voters.

This version is a much stronger thesis! It answers the question, takes a specific position that others can challenge, and it gives a sense of why it matters.

Let’s try another. Suppose your literature professor hands out the following assignment in a class on the American novel: Write an analysis of some aspect of Mark Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn. “This will be easy,” you think. “I loved Huckleberry Finn!” You grab a pad of paper and write:

Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel.

You begin to analyze your thesis:

Think about aspects of the novel that are important to its structure or meaning—for example, the role of storytelling, the contrasting scenes between the shore and the river, or the relationships between adults and children. Now you write:

In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops a contrast between life on the river and life on the shore.

After examining the evidence and considering your own insights, you write:

Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain’s Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave “civilized” society and go back to nature.

This final thesis statement presents an interpretation of a literary work based on an analysis of its content. Of course, for the essay itself to be successful, you must now present evidence from the novel that will convince the reader of your interpretation.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Anson, Chris M., and Robert A. Schwegler. 2010. The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers , 6th ed. New York: Longman.

Lunsford, Andrea A. 2015. The St. Martin’s Handbook , 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s.

Ramage, John D., John C. Bean, and June Johnson. 2018. The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing , 8th ed. New York: Pearson.

Ruszkiewicz, John J., Christy Friend, Daniel Seward, and Maxine Hairston. 2010. The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers , 9th ed. Boston: Pearson Education.

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Thesis Definition

The thesis is one of the most important concepts in college expository writing. A thesis sentence focuses your ideas for the paper; it's your argument or insight or viewpoint crystallized into a single sentence that gives the reader your main idea. It's not only useful for the reading audience to understand the purpose of the essay; this purpose is also useful for you as a writer, as it indicates the type of support that will follow in the paper and may indicate a logical structure or order for that support. Thus, you need to have a good grasp of the concept of thesis in order to proceed.

The thesis identifies two basics:

There are two parts to a thesis sentence that reflect these basics.

For example:

Do you understand the basic topic and angle concept? If so, then there are a few more things to consider about the thesis. (And if not, now's the time to start asking a learning coach for assistance!  Email [email protected] or contact your regional Academic Support office ).  It's important to investigate additional thesis characteristics at this point to make sure that you'll be creating a working thesis sentence that is workable and appropriate for college essays.  In addition to knowing what a thesis is, you need to know what a thesis is not. A thesis sentence's angle should NOT be:

Once you create a working thesis, you should assess it to make sure that it fulfills thesis characteristics.  Make sure it has a clear topic (indication of what the thesis is about) and angle (what your own ideas are about the topic, i.e. what you are trying to prove). Make sure that the angle is not too broad, too narrow, a statement of fact, or an announcement. Work with the angle to make it indicate the order of your support, if you choose to do that for yourself or for your reading audience. And realize that the thesis is a working thesis until you finalize the essay (it's okay to revise the thesis as you go along, just as long as you retain important thesis characteristics.)

Need Assistance?

Don't forget: if you would like assistance with this or any other type of writing assignment, learning coaches are available to assist you. Please contact Academic Support by emailing [email protected] .

Questions or feedback about SUNY Empire's Collegewide Writing Support?

Contact us at [email protected] .

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What Does a Thesis Mean?

what does a Thesis mean

by Nayab Imran

April 7, 2019, in student guide, no comments.

Table of Contents

Thesis Etymology

What does a thesis mean.

The term thesis is a Greek word which means “something to put forth”. In the same way the term dissertation is a Latin word which means discussion. The term thesis was first used by Aristotle.

T hesis definition in writing:

A Thesis is a document which is generally submitted to support contention for a professional degree or any qualification. It is also called dissertation presenting the research and findings of the author. However sometimes, the terms thesis and dissertation are different from each other in such a way that thesis is us used as a part of masters or degree course while for the doctorate programs generally the term used is dissertation. So definition of dissertation is different from thesis.

thesis the mean

Sometimes both master’s and doctoral dissertations are referred by using a term called “graduate thesis” . From country to country there is a huge variation in the required complexity and research quality of a thesis or any dissertation. The period of study required is also variable in its duration significantly. A treatise without relation of obtaining an academic degree is sometimes expressed by the term “dissertation”. Thesis is a term which is used as well to refer the claim of a similar task.

Do Check Out:  Best Thesis Writing Service

Thesis is something supposed by a well known philosopher and with general opinion it often conflicts. Aristotle used the term thesis to show his contradiction with other philosophers work and to show his own supposition.

What is Supposition?

It is generally an opinion which on the basis of evidence may or may not be true and therefore a solid proof is presented along with it. The outlining of the proofs is therefore the main purpose of the dissertation. It also mentions why there is a disagreement of author with other popular opinions and well known philosophers.

 Thesis statement

What does thesis statement mean.

The thesis statement is generally a complete sentence which is used to express the central idea of the essay or research paper . It normally answers the questions directly, so what does a thesis mean or Thesis statement development needs a precise collection of words to represent the central idea of a complete work. While writing thesis statement students can take help from seniors or web regarding how to write thesis statement step by step.

How to write a Thesis ?

The process behind writing a thesis involves gathering information pertaining to the selected topic; data such as facts and figures supporting your arguments. Organize all the relevant material and write a draft according to the guidelines set by your instructors and institutions. The draft should consist of an introductory paragraph, the main body consisting arguments and the conclusion. Keep editing until a strong thesis appears before you in the shape of the essay you have written.

General structure of thesis and thesis presentation Style

What does thesis paper mean .

The thesis or dissertation is sometimes arranged as a monograph and sometimes by means of publication either with or without appended papers. There is however some graduate programs which allow the candidate to present curate published papers collection. A monograph which is simple and ordinary has its own features which include title page, abstract, table of contents, introduction, review of literature, method, outcomes, general discussions and bibliography etc.

thesis the mean

In accordance to many areas of study they are different I structure. Sciences, humanities, arts, technology all have different form of thesis. During the publication of thesis, introduction and comprehensive review of the published an unpublished documents are considered.

On the other hand, research project and extended analysis of a topic is reported in dissertation.

What is the meaning of thesis in writing?

The thesis or dissertation structure generally explains the reason, literature’s previous investigation on the topic, and the used methodology along with the current findings of the project. The multiple chapter formats is used by most of the universities across the globe.

thesis the mean

How to write a Thesis?


This is an important part of a thesis which includes the topic under investigation, the method which is used, its scope and importance.

Review of literature:

In this part the relevant literature is reviewed and also this section shows how the research issue has been informed with the help of it.

Method used:

This is an important part which explains how the investigation has been designed and what is the purpose of choosing some special data and analysis.

In this part of the thesis or dissertation the findings of investigation are written.

Analysis and discussion:

The findings are analyzed along with discussions. There are generally two major sections of this chapter and these are analysis and discussions.


The final judgment is generally mentioned in this chapter along with the decision reached by the thesis.

thesis the mean

Style of Thesis or dissertation

What does graduate thesis mean.

The institutions which are awarding degrees most of the times define their house style and all the candidates are supposed to follow the pattern in their thesis. Along with the specific house styles of institutions, field specific, national and international recommendations are also considered while preparing and presenting thesis. For example ISO7144 is generally the international standard which is applicable. Some other standards include ISO2145, ISO690 for the bibliographic references and for the units and quantities the section standard used is ISO 31.

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This front matter is specified by some older house styles which include the page’s title, its abstract and table of content and all these are supposed to be used in the sequence of separate page number from the main text with the help of Roman numbers. Many new style guides as well as international standards also acknowledge that this particular design pattern can result in confusion where viewers of electronic documents number the pages of the document from page number one.

Hence, the traditional separate number sequence is avoided. The accepting officer is likely to check the requirements of presentation, pagination, layout, color and paper type, size of paper, components and their order, citation etc. After checking this receipt is issued to the candidate.

On the other hand, there is no need of strict international standards always. Some universities in Italy have lesser requirements such as size of character, formatting of page etc.

We have also discussed everything related to topic in our YouTube Channel  

how to write a thesis

Thesis Committee

Why do you write a thesis.

Thesis is generally written to express the A committee for thesis or dissertation is the one that supervises a dissertation of a student. In some countries like United States, the committee comprises of an adviser or supervisor with other two members to keep an eye on the dissertation progress. The examining committee or jury is also functional in most of the cases especially at the time of the oral examination for the thesis.

In many of the well known global universities, students along with the primary adviser are responsible for the selection of committee. Generally the members of this committee are concerned field’s doctors (PhD) and these members are supposed to read the dissertation, mention the required changes to the students and also give their tips for the improvement. The structure of thesis committee is different across different parts of the globe. Here is how this thesis committee is constituted in these countries:

In Argentina, an academic committee can approve or reject the thesis. The committee comprises of a thesis director, thesis coordinator, evaluate (one or more) from any recognized university in which the students are pursuing the academic program.

In Canadian universities, papers are submitted in fulfillment of undergraduate coursework. Sometimes, when a longer paper is presented at the end of 4 years of bachelor’s program it is called a major paper. In the major universities of Canada the system is under a strong influence of France where students are given the choice in presenting a memoire (which is a shorter synthetic work) and these which comprises of as much as over hundred pages along with citations.

An undergraduate paper or essay is supposed to contain forty pages while for master’s thesis one hundred pages are needed and for PhD two hundred pages are required. There is however a strong variation in terms of discipline, college, kind of program etc.

The term thesis is used for the academic dissertation and for the final work of doctoral candidates it is kept reserved. 100 pages is the minimum page length. Sometimes however it is several times longer. A memoire is required to complete master’s degree in research. In French, the word dissertation is reserved for shorter words normally 1,000-2000.

Abschlussarbeit is the term which is used in Germany for the academic thesis. The basic name to be more specific is arbeit. The length of the thesis for bachelor’s program is normally 40-60 pages while for masters’ the length ranges from 60-100 pages. A thesis can be rejected with a Latin remark such as non-rite, non-sufficient or worst as sub omni canone etc. Numerical grades are often given for the bachelor’s and master’s thesis with 1.0 indicating the best and 5.0 for failure.

In India another name of thesis is a viva voce which in Latin means Live Voice. Generally two examiners are involved in it with student guide and a candidate. One of the examiners is normally from the candidate’s own university and other one is the external examiner and is generally from a different university.

Three types of thesis are there in Italy. One for the Laurea is considered to be equivalent to the Bachelor’s degree in UK while the other one is known as Laurea Magistrale which is equal to the master’s degree of UK. PhD also requires a thesis and is known as Dottorato di Ricerca. The thesis related work is considered as mandatory for the degree completion.

In Pakistan, the final year project is a name given to thesis at undergraduate level. The thesis is completed in the advanced degree years. Through an elaborate written report the undergraduate level project is completed. The work is presented to the committee with an adviser, board of faculty members and students. In some graduate level programs such as MS, students are allowed by some universities to complete their projects of 6 credits and thesis of 9 credits.

For awarding a degree normally one publication is normally required for awarding of degree with thesis it is considered mandatory. On the other hand, a candidate of PhD is supposed to complete his research work to meet the general requirements of dissertation. The research work defense is publicly done.

thesis 2022

Examination of Thesis and where should a thesis appear?

Who has to write thesis.

For many advanced degrees across the globe, one of the requirements is an oral examination which is also called viva voce or just viva. Once the dissertation is finished the submission is made. Presentation by the student is often made public along with some questions which jury asks. In some countries like North America, initial examination takes place at the time when students settle down for their work on dissertation. After the completion of dissertation another oral exam may take place and is known as defense. At some universities across the globe it sometimes is a mere formality while in some other universities students require significant revisions.

How to identify a strong Thesis

Before finalizing and submitting your thesis, proofread it or hire someone else to do it if you do not have the time. A strong thesis is concise, within the word limit, relevant to the topic and the point needed to be made. To check whether your thesis is worth submitting, make sure to:

Place yourself in the shoes of your readers and distance yourself from your writing so that you can spot the mistakes made in the paper .

Ask yourself questions that you think the readers might have. Has your thesis answered all the arisen questions? Were the answers satisfactory? If no, go through it and write it again with the proper content .

Check whether the essay supports your thesis statement or not. If your thesis and the body of your paper do not seem to go together, one of them needs to be changed.

Writing a Thesis can be daunting task for some, if not all, students. There are hundreds of websites with offering guidelines on how to write a thesis as well as writing custom made thesis specially for clients in need. Creative Savantz is one of the best out there.

Check whether all the references used in the paper have been cited properly and according to whichever reference style that is used by your institutions.

The Thesis should be plagiarism-free. That is the most important of all requirements. Avoid taking credit for the work written by other writers.

Examination Outcomes:

The outcomes or results of the examination are immediately given sometimes if examiner is ready for it. In this case, the candidate is likely to get his or her degree at the same time while sometimes it is offered at a later date. In case of later date, the examiners sometimes make defense report. This report is presented to the Postgraduate studies Board or committee. This board then recommends the degree for the candidates. The verdict or a potential decision comprises of the following:

Accepted or pass program with no corrections:

In this case, the thesis is presented by the student and is accepted without any need of further changes. In this way a grade is awarded to the student. In some countries, PhD is sometimes not graded at all.

Revision of the thesis

Sometimes the thesis requires some additional attempts due to some errors. The errors in the thesis are of several kinds such as grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, concept related mistakes, methodology etc, in some cases a thesis may also require an addition of one or more sections etc.

All these problems are supposed to be fixed before the final approval of the thesis. Once the mistakes are fixed, the jury members or thesis supervisors are supposed to make their decisions on the acceptability of the thesis. If they are satisfied they will provide a written confirmation for it. The jury will ask for further revisions if they are not satisfied with the work. In some condition the examiners sometimes sign the thesis with verbal agreement that candidate will revise the thesis with the help of supervisor before it is submitted as a final version.

Requirement of extensive revision:

Sometimes the thesis is supposed to be extensively revised and errors are supposed to be fixed. The evaluation of the thesis is needed along with the defense process from the start and students normally do it with the help of same examiners. The methodological and theoretical issues are the main problems in such kinds of thesis. After the second defense a candidate who is not recommended for the degree is supposed to withdraw normally from the given program.

Unacceptable thesis:

The thesis is rejected and said to be unacceptable and in this case the candidate is supposed to withdraw from the program. The examiners issue this verdict only when the major revisions are needed in the thesis and when examiners clearly mention that candidate is not able to much the needed revisions.

In the institutions of North America, the last two verdicts are rare. There are two reasons of this. For the doctoral candidates to obtain the status, a qualifying examination or a comprehensive examination is typically written by the graduate students along with oral defense. The students passing this qualification exam are often considered capable to complete their scholarly task at their own and are given permission to work on their dissertations.

The second main reason is that, the thesis is reviewed by the members of the advisory committee before recommendation is given to the student to proceed to the defense. In this way if there is a rejection of the thesis, it would be a major failure for the candidate and his supervisor (who has just recognized the low quality dissertation) long before the proceeding of defense. Also it is not common for the thesis to be accepted at the first attempt without any need of revision.

The Thesis should be plagiarism-free . That is the most important of all requirements. Avoid taking credit for the work written by other writers.

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Think of yourself as a member of a jury, listening to a lawyer who is presenting an opening argument. You'll want to know very soon whether the lawyer believes the accused to be guilty or not guilty, and how the lawyer plans to convince you. Readers of academic essays are like jury members: before they have read too far, they want to know what the essay argues as well as how the writer plans to make the argument. After reading your thesis statement, the reader should think, "This essay is going to try to convince me of something. I'm not convinced yet, but I'm interested to see how I might be."

An effective thesis cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." A thesis is not a topic; nor is it a fact; nor is it an opinion. "Reasons for the fall of communism" is a topic. "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" is a fact known by educated people. "The fall of communism is the best thing that ever happened in Europe" is an opinion. (Superlatives like "the best" almost always lead to trouble. It's impossible to weigh every "thing" that ever happened in Europe. And what about the fall of Hitler? Couldn't that be "the best thing"?)

A good thesis has two parts. It should tell what you plan to argue, and it should "telegraph" how you plan to argue—that is, what particular support for your claim is going where in your essay.

Steps in Constructing a Thesis

First, analyze your primary sources.  Look for tension, interest, ambiguity, controversy, and/or complication. Does the author contradict himself or herself? Is a point made and later reversed? What are the deeper implications of the author's argument? Figuring out the why to one or more of these questions, or to related questions, will put you on the path to developing a working thesis. (Without the why, you probably have only come up with an observation—that there are, for instance, many different metaphors in such-and-such a poem—which is not a thesis.)

Once you have a working thesis, write it down.  There is nothing as frustrating as hitting on a great idea for a thesis, then forgetting it when you lose concentration. And by writing down your thesis you will be forced to think of it clearly, logically, and concisely. You probably will not be able to write out a final-draft version of your thesis the first time you try, but you'll get yourself on the right track by writing down what you have.

Keep your thesis prominent in your introduction.  A good, standard place for your thesis statement is at the end of an introductory paragraph, especially in shorter (5-15 page) essays. Readers are used to finding theses there, so they automatically pay more attention when they read the last sentence of your introduction. Although this is not required in all academic essays, it is a good rule of thumb.

Anticipate the counterarguments.  Once you have a working thesis, you should think about what might be said against it. This will help you to refine your thesis, and it will also make you think of the arguments that you'll need to refute later on in your essay. (Every argument has a counterargument. If yours doesn't, then it's not an argument—it may be a fact, or an opinion, but it is not an argument.)

This statement is on its way to being a thesis. However, it is too easy to imagine possible counterarguments. For example, a political observer might believe that Dukakis lost because he suffered from a "soft-on-crime" image. If you complicate your thesis by anticipating the counterargument, you'll strengthen your argument, as shown in the sentence below.

Some Caveats and Some Examples

A thesis is never a question.  Readers of academic essays expect to have questions discussed, explored, or even answered. A question ("Why did communism collapse in Eastern Europe?") is not an argument, and without an argument, a thesis is dead in the water.

A thesis is never a list.  "For political, economic, social and cultural reasons, communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" does a good job of "telegraphing" the reader what to expect in the essay—a section about political reasons, a section about economic reasons, a section about social reasons, and a section about cultural reasons. However, political, economic, social and cultural reasons are pretty much the only possible reasons why communism could collapse. This sentence lacks tension and doesn't advance an argument. Everyone knows that politics, economics, and culture are important.

A thesis should never be vague, combative or confrontational.  An ineffective thesis would be, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because communism is evil." This is hard to argue (evil from whose perspective? what does evil mean?) and it is likely to mark you as moralistic and judgmental rather than rational and thorough. It also may spark a defensive reaction from readers sympathetic to communism. If readers strongly disagree with you right off the bat, they may stop reading.

An effective thesis has a definable, arguable claim.  "While cultural forces contributed to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the disintegration of economies played the key role in driving its decline" is an effective thesis sentence that "telegraphs," so that the reader expects the essay to have a section about cultural forces and another about the disintegration of economies. This thesis makes a definite, arguable claim: that the disintegration of economies played a more important role than cultural forces in defeating communism in Eastern Europe. The reader would react to this statement by thinking, "Perhaps what the author says is true, but I am not convinced. I want to read further to see how the author argues this claim."

A thesis should be as clear and specific as possible.  Avoid overused, general terms and abstractions. For example, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because of the ruling elite's inability to address the economic concerns of the people" is more powerful than "Communism collapsed due to societal discontent."

Copyright 1999, Maxine Rodburg and The Tutors of the Writing Center at Harvard University

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FAQ - English & Grammar

What Is a Thesis Statement? Definition and Examples.

What is a thesis statement.

A thesis statement is a declaration of one or two sentences that gives the topic and purpose of an essay or speech. More specifically, it provides information to the audience about what the author/speaker intends to prove or declare, with specific discussion points. The thesis statement is usually placed toward the end of the introductory paragraph.

What Should a Thesis Statement Include?

Regardless of the type of paper or speech you’re writing, a strong thesis statement should include the following five elements:

·          Restatement of the Topic : You should state the main topic of your dissertation before your thesis statement, usually within the first or second sentence. The proceeding thesis statement should then refer back to this topic.

·          Declaration of Your Position : After restating the main topic of your essay, declare your personal viewpoint on the issue.

·          An Opposing Viewpoint : Many topics are quite controversial, such as abortion, the death penalty, and vaccines, and can include a myriad of perspectives. An effective thesis statement is one that offers an opposing viewpoint, even if the main topic isn’t debatable. For example, if the main topic of your essay is about how pollution is harmful to the environment, your thesis might give your personal opinions of the worst effects of pollution. These opinions are what will have opposing viewpoints.

·          Reasons to Support Your Stance : For a strong thesis, it’s not enough to simply state what you believe; you have to provide reasons for that belief. In a standard five-paragraph essay, having at least three reasons/discussion points is sufficient to support your thesis.

·          Evidence to Support Your Stance : Whether your intentions are to persuade, inform, entertain, or educate your audience, make sure your thesis includes evidence from credible sources to support your discussion points.  

Structuring Your Thesis Statement

When writing a thesis statement for the first time, it’s important to understand how to structure it. Answering the following questions may help. Use your responses to write your statement, keeping each component in the same order as your answers. Keep in mind that #2 and 3 can be reversed, as in the examples in the next section.

1.        What is your essay about?

2.        What opinion/belief do you wish to convey on this topic?

3.        What is one other belief (preferably a common one) on this topic?

4.        Why do you hold your beliefs on the topic (give three reasons)?

5.        What evidence do you have to support each of your reasons?

Thesis Statement Examples

The following is a list of topics that are commonly selected for high school or college essays, as well as an example thesis statement for each topic. Each of these examples contains a mention of the topic, a reference to an opposing viewpoint, a declaration of the writer’s personal beliefs on the issue, and a list of reasons to support the beliefs.

Please note, these statements are intended for example purposes only and may or may not include actual facts about the topics.

·          Nationwide Legalization of Marijuana : While there are some benefits of marijuana, this drug should be illegal in all 50 states because it’s addictive, it can lead to psychotic disorders, and legalizing it can pose a risk for contamination. 

·          Mask Mandates : Despite the claims of masks being used as a preventive measure against COVID-19, mask mandates should be banned worldwide because they infringe on personal rights, masks can be dangerous, and masks are proven to be ineffective in preventing infection.

·          The Ketogenic Diet : Although the ketogenic diet is rising in popularity, it should not be used as a long-term means of weight loss/maintenance because there are negative side effects, carbohydrates boost the release of serotine, and you’re more likely to eat an unhealthy amount of red meat.

·          Universal Healthcare : The Unites States does not currently offer universal healthcare, but it should because doing so would increase the average lifespan, improve overall public health, and create more jobs.

·          Vegetarianism : While most Americans eat meat and enjoy it, vegetarianism is a better diet option because you won’t be contributing to animal cruelty, you can have more protection against certain diseases, and it will be easier for you to consume the vitamins that your body needs.

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Look up a word, learn it forever.

A thesis is the most important or foundational idea of an argument. If the thesis of your paper is that chocolate ice cream is better than vanilla, you'll need to back that up with plenty of sundae-based research.

The noun thesis has more than one important sense to it. One definition of thesis is that it is the most important or foundational idea of an argument, presentation, or piece of writing. But it can also mean a large work of art, criticism, or scientific research that represents original research and is generally the final requirement for an academic degree.

Vocabulary lists containing thesis

thesis the mean

Moving back to California from Hong Kong, ten-year-old Knox, his older brother Bowen, and younger sister Lea, must deal not only with the coronavirus but also the separation from their father and fearful suspicions of their background.

thesis the mean

After her grandfather becomes sick, eleven-year-old Maizy moves from Los Angeles to Last Chance, Minnesota, where she struggles to fit in as her family's Chinese restaurant is targeted with racist attacks.

Expository writing is writing that presents the reader with important research and information about a topic. This list of vocabulary can help expose you to the key terms that provide the basis for good expository writing. Here are links to our lists in the collection: List 1 , List 2

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Thesis and Purpose Statements

Use the guidelines below to learn the differences between thesis and purpose statements

In the first stages of writing, thesis or purpose statements are usually rough or ill-formed and are useful primarily as planning tools.

A thesis statement or purpose statement will emerge as you think and write about a topic. The statement can be restricted or clarified and eventually worked into an introduction.

As you revise your paper, try to phrase your thesis or purpose statement in a precise way so that it matches the content and organization of your paper.

Thesis statements

A thesis statement is a sentence that makes an assertion about a topic and predicts how the topic will be developed. It does not simply announce a topic: it says something about the topic.

Good: X has made a significant impact on the teenage population due to its . . . Bad: In this paper, I will discuss X.

A thesis statement makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of the paper. It summarizes the conclusions that the writer has reached about the topic.

A thesis statement is generally located near the end of the introduction. Sometimes in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or an entire paragraph.

A thesis statement is focused and specific enough to be proven within the boundaries of the paper. Key words (nouns and verbs) should be specific, accurate, and indicative of the range of research, thrust of the argument or analysis, and the organization of supporting information.

Purpose statements

A purpose statement announces the purpose, scope, and direction of the paper. It tells the reader what to expect in a paper and what the specific focus will be.

Common beginnings include:

“This paper examines . . .,” “The aim of this paper is to . . .,” and “The purpose of this essay is to . . .”

A purpose statement makes a promise to the reader about the development of the argument but does not preview the particular conclusions that the writer has drawn.

A purpose statement usually appears toward the end of the introduction. The purpose statement may be expressed in several sentences or even an entire paragraph.

A purpose statement is specific enough to satisfy the requirements of the assignment. Purpose statements are common in research papers in some academic disciplines, while in other disciplines they are considered too blunt or direct. If you are unsure about using a purpose statement, ask your instructor.

This paper will examine the ecological destruction of the Sahel preceding the drought and the causes of this disintegration of the land. The focus will be on the economic, political, and social relationships which brought about the environmental problems in the Sahel.

Sample purpose and thesis statements

The following example combines a purpose statement and a thesis statement (bold).

The goal of this paper is to examine the effects of Chile’s agrarian reform on the lives of rural peasants. The nature of the topic dictates the use of both a chronological and a comparative analysis of peasant lives at various points during the reform period. . . The Chilean reform example provides evidence that land distribution is an essential component of both the improvement of peasant conditions and the development of a democratic society. More extensive and enduring reforms would likely have allowed Chile the opportunity to further expand these horizons.

For more tips about writing thesis statements, take a look at our new handout on Developing a Thesis Statement.

thesis the mean

Writing Process and Structure

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Getting Started with Your Paper

Interpreting Writing Assignments from Your Courses

Generating Ideas for Your Paper

Creating an Argument

Thesis vs. Purpose Statements

Developing a Thesis Statement

Architecture of Arguments

Working with Sources

Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources

Using Literary Quotations

Citing Sources in Your Paper

Drafting Your Paper



Developing Strategic Transitions


Revising Your Paper

Peer Reviews

Reverse Outlines

Revising an Argumentative Paper

Revision Strategies for Longer Projects

Finishing Your Paper

Twelve Common Errors: An Editing Checklist

How to Proofread your Paper

Writing Collaboratively

Collaborative and Group Writing

What Is a Master’s Thesis?

Before enrolling in a master’s degree program , it’s important that you know what a thesis is and whether you’ll need to write one. Your thesis is the sum of all of your learned knowledge from your master’s program and gives you a chance to prove your capabilities in your chosen field.

A thesis also involves a significant amount of research, and depending on the subject, may require you to conduct interviews, surveys and gather primary and secondary resources. Most graduate programs will expect you to dedicate enough time to developing and writing your thesis, so make sure to learn more about the department’s requirements before enrolling in your master’s program.

What is a Master’s Thesis?

Unlike thesis projects for undergraduates, which are shorter in length and scope, a master’s thesis is an extensive scholarly paper that allows you to dig into a topic, expand on it and demonstrate how you’ve grown as a graduate student throughout the program. Graduate schools often require a thesis for students in research-oriented degrees to apply their practical skills before culmination. 

For instance, a psychology major may investigate how colors affect mood, or an education major might write about a new teaching strategy. Depending on your program, the faculty might weigh the bulk of your research differently. 

Regardless of the topic or field of study, your thesis statement should allow you to: 

 Once the thesis is completed, students usually must defend their work for a panel of two or more department faculty members. 

What is the Difference Between a Thesis and a Non-Thesis Master’s Program?

A thesis is a common requirement in many research-focused fields, but not every master’s program will require you to complete one. Additionally, some fields allow you to choose between a thesis and a non-thesis track . In the case of a non-thesis program, you won’t have to write a lengthy paper, but you will have to take more classes to meet your graduation requirement.

Whether you choose a thesis or non-thesis program, you’ll still be required to complete a final project to prove your critical thinking skills. If you favor a non-thesis program, your project may be a capstone project or field experience.

Thesis vs. Dissertation

It's common for graduate students to mistakenly use the words "thesis" and "dissertation" interchangeably, but they are generally two different types of academic papers. As stated above, a thesis is the final project required in the completion of many master's degrees. The thesis is a research paper, but it only involves using research from others and crafting your own analytical points. On the other hand, the dissertation is a more in-depth scholarly research paper completed mostly by doctoral students. Dissertations require candidates create their own research, predict a hypothesis, and carry out the study. Whereas a master's thesis is usually around 100 pages, the doctoral dissertation is at least double that length.

Benefits of Writing a Thesis

There are several advantages that you can reap from choosing a master's program that requires the completion of a thesis project, according to  Professor John Stackhouse . A thesis gives you the valuable opportunity to delve into interesting research for greater depth of learning in your career area. Employers often prefer students with a thesis paper in their portfolio, because it showcases their gained writing skills, authoritative awareness of the field, and ambition to learn. Defending your thesis will also fine-tune critical communication and public speaking skills, which can be applied in any career. In fact, many graduates eventually publish their thesis work in academic journals to gain a higher level of credibility for leadership positions too.

Tips for Your Master's Thesis

Writing your thesis paper will be a long process, so the first step is to make certain you have a close faculty advisor to guide you along the way. Before starting, consult with other scholarly texts to see exactly how a master's thesis should be structured with an introduction, literary review, main body, conclusion, and bibliography. Finding a thesis topic may be the simplest or hardest part for you, but choose one that interests you and gives you room to explore, according to  Ta Da!  Creating a detailed outline will prompt an easier flow of ideas for a well-written thesis. It's advised that you stay aware of your thesis defense date to allow enough time for proofreading and possibly sending your work to an editor.

Related Resource:  Oral Exam Preparation

Overall, a master's thesis is designed to support a graduate student's academic and professional qualifications for a degree by presenting research findings. While it's important to note that some graduate programs offer non-thesis tracks for master's degrees, the thesis is the main capstone staple for many others. Now that you know what a thesis is, you can decide whether it's a good option for your career or whether a comprehensive exam would be better.

How long is a thesis for a master’s?

A master’s thesis typically ranges from 100 to 300 pages , not including the bibliography. The length will depend on various factors, including the subject matter and method of your research. There’s no ‘correct’ page length you should aim for. Instead, your thesis should be long enough to properly convey all necessary information in a clear and concise manner.

Can you fail a master’s thesis?

While it’s not common, it is possible to fail your master’s thesis.

When you defend your thesis, the committee evaluates whether you understand your field and focus area. In most cases, the advisor you’re working with might help you go over your defense beforehand and address any questions that might come up during the final presentation. If you can’t correctly answer crucial questions from the committee, you will likely be given a chance to resubmit your thesis after making corrections.

Are there specific subjects that don’t require a thesis versus those that do?

Not all subjects will require a thesis at the end of your studies. Applied graduate school programs that focus on hands-on experience over theoretical work will mostly favor evaluating you through applied research projects. For example, nursing, education, and business programs prepare graduates for specific career placements and require them to complete internships or supervised fieldwork.

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What is a Thesis? Definition, Examples of Theses in Literature

Home » The Writer’s Dictionary » What is a Thesis? Definition, Examples of Theses in Literature

Thesis definition: A thesis is a statement in which the writer conveys his position regarding a topic.

What is a Thesis?

A thesis statement refers to part of an essay where the writer establishes his position regarding a topic. This is the position that the writer will further explore throughout his paper.

Example of Thesis

The Importance of a Thesis Statement

Thesis statements are important in order to establish the writer’s position regarding a topic or idea. They help to introduce the essay and set a focus for the reader.

Narrative thesis statements are found in narrative essays or in literature. They set the scene for the lesson that will be explored or taught through the piece.

Famous opening lines that exemplify a narrative thesis:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

The Function of Thesis in Literature

Narrative thesis statements are important in literature in order to establish the purpose for the work or introduce the lesson that the novel will attempt to teach. This allows the reader to have a focus when beginning the novel in order to effectively engage them into the story.

Examples of Theses in Literature

In the memoir, I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, a thesis statement can be found in the beginning pages of her story.

In this thesis statement, Yousafzai establishes the basis of her memoir, which is to tell the story of how she was forced to leave her home.

In Vladmir Nabokov’s Lolita , a thesis can be seen in the line, “Lolita, light of my life, the fire of my loins”.

Here the narrator establishes the identity of the young nymph that he is unhealthily obsessed with in the story. Lolita is a young child while he is a grown man; therefore, this statement creates the uneasy feeling about him that continues throughout the novel.

Summary: What Are Theses?

Define thesis in literature: In summation, a thesis statement establishes a purpose in the piece of writing. It may establish the lesson or story to be told, or in an essay it may establish the position the writer assumes when exploring a topic.

Either way, it is important for the thesis to be clear in order to effectively convey the writer’s message.

Final Example:

In Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado,” the thesis statement can be found in the first line of the short story. Montresor immediately states his purpose, “the thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as best I could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge.”

In this statement, Montresor states that he will be seeking revenge after being treated wrongly by Fortunato. By beginning the story with the narrative thesis establishes the purpose for the remainder of the piece.


thesis (n.)

late 14c., "unaccented syllable or note," from Latin thesis "unaccented syllable in poetry," later (and more correctly) "stressed part of a metrical foot," from Greek thesis "a proposition," also "downbeat" (in music), originally "a setting down, a placing, an arranging; position, situation," from reduplicated form of PIE root *dhe- "to set, put." Sense in logic of "a formulation in advance of a proposition to be proved" is first recorded 1570s; that of "dissertation presented by a candidate for a university degree" is from 1650s.

Entries linking to thesis

*dhē- , Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to set, put."

It forms all or part of: abdomen ; abscond ; affair ; affect (v.1) "make a mental impression on;" affect (v.2) "make a pretense of;" affection ; amplify ; anathema ; antithesis ; apothecary ; artifact ; artifice ; beatific ; benefice ; beneficence ; beneficial ; benefit ; bibliothec ; bodega ; boutique ; certify ; chafe ; chauffeur ; comfit ; condiment ; confection ; confetti ; counterfeit ; deed ; deem ; deface ; defeasance ; defeat ; defect ; deficient ; difficulty ; dignify ; discomfit ; do (v.); doom ; -dom ; duma ; edifice ; edify ; efface ; effect ; efficacious ; efficient ; epithet ; facade ; face ; facet ; facial ; -facient ; facile ; facilitate ; facsimile ; fact ; faction (n.1) "political party;" -faction ; factitious ; factitive ; factor ; factory ; factotum ; faculty ; fashion ; feasible ; feat ; feature ; feckless ; fetish ; -fic ; fordo ; forfeit ; -fy ; gratify ; hacienda ; hypothecate ; hypothesis ; incondite ; indeed ; infect ; justify ; malefactor ; malfeasance ; manufacture ; metathesis ; misfeasance ; modify ; mollify ; multifarious ; notify ; nullify ; office ; officinal ; omnifarious ; orifice ; parenthesis ; perfect ; petrify ; pluperfect ; pontifex ; prefect ; prima facie ; proficient ; profit ; prosthesis ; prothesis ; purdah ; putrefy ; qualify ; rarefy ; recondite ; rectify ; refectory ; sacrifice ; salmagundi ; samadhi ; satisfy ; sconce ; suffice ; sufficient ; surface ; surfeit ; synthesis ; tay ; ticking (n.); theco- ; thematic ; theme ; thesis ; verify .

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit dadhati "puts, places;" Avestan dadaiti "he puts;" Old Persian ada "he made;" Hittite dai- "to place;" Greek tithenai "to put, set, place;" Latin facere "to make, do; perform; bring about;" Lithuanian dėti "to put;" Polish dziać się "to be happening;" Russian delat' "to do;" Old High German tuon , German tun , Old English don "to do."

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updated on April 30, 2017

Dictionary entries near thesis



What does thesis mean?

Definitions for thesis ˈθi sɪs the·sis, this dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word thesis ., princeton's wordnet 4.0 / 3 votes rate this definition:.

thesis noun

an unproved statement put forward as a premise in an argument

dissertation, thesis noun

a treatise advancing a new point of view resulting from research; usually a requirement for an advanced academic degree

Wiktionary 4.5 / 4 votes Rate this definition:

A statement supported by arguments.

A written essay submitted for a university degree.

Etymology: From thesis, from θέσις

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary 0.0 / 0 votes Rate this definition:

Thesis noun

A position; something laid down; affirmatively or negatively.

Etymology: these, Fr. ϑέσις.

The truth of what you here lay down, By some example should be shewn. An honest, but a simple pair, May serve to make this thesis clear. Matthew Prior.

Webster Dictionary 0.0 / 0 votes Rate this definition:

a position or proposition which a person advances and offers to maintain, or which is actually maintained by argument

hence, an essay or dissertation written upon specific or definite theme; especially, an essay presented by a candidate for a diploma or degree

an affirmation, or distinction from a supposition or hypothesis

the accented part of the measure, expressed by the downward beat; -- the opposite of arsis

the depression of the voice in pronouncing the syllables of a word

the part of the foot upon which such a depression falls

Freebase 0.0 / 0 votes Rate this definition:

A thesis or dissertation is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author's research and findings. In some countries/universities, the word "thesis" or a cognate is used as part of a bachelor's or master's course, while "dissertation" is normally applied to a doctorate, while in others, the reverse is true. The word dissertation can at times be used to describe a treatise without relation to obtaining an academic degree. The term thesis is also used to refer to the general claim of an essay or similar work.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary 0.0 / 0 votes Rate this definition:

thē′sis, n. a position or that which is set down or advanced for argument: a subject for a scholastic exercise: an essay on a theme:— pl. Theses (thē′sēz). — adj. Thet′ic .— adv. Thet′ically . [L.—Gr. ti-thē-mi , I set.]

Suggested Resources 0.0 / 0 votes Rate this definition:

Song lyrics by thesis -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by thesis on the Lyrics.com website.

Matched Categories

British national corpus.

Nouns Frequency

Rank popularity for the word 'thesis' in Nouns Frequency: #1990

Anagrams for thesis »

How to pronounce thesis.

Alex US English David US English Mark US English Daniel British Libby British Mia British Karen Australian Hayley Australian Natasha Australian Veena Indian Priya Indian Neerja Indian Zira US English Oliver British Wendy British Fred US English Tessa South African

How to say thesis in sign language?

Chaldean Numerology

The numerical value of thesis in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

Pythagorean Numerology

The numerical value of thesis in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of thesis in a Sentence

Madeline Peltz :

The Republican Party was sort of testing this thesis about, do we continue down this path of Trumpism, of extreme election denial, and that was being reflected in the right wing media’s commentary on Brazil as well — they were testing that thesis both in the American elections and in the Brazilian elections.

Adam Sarhan :

I understand the aging demographic thesis for this group, but they're not nearly as liquid as I'd like.

David Bain :

Arrival increases bode well for Macau's longer-term bull thesis which includes an unparalleled geographic gaming location, small mainland penetration and upcoming multi-staged infrastructure improvements.

Ralph Waldo Emerson :

Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis .

Sam Doctor :

One of the reasons to own cryptocurrencies is because they are an effective hedge, until something happens to disprove that thesis , you aren't looking to sell them so long as other asset classes are falling.

Popularity rank by frequency of use

Translations for thesis, from our multilingual translation dictionary.

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  1. Thesis Definition & Meaning

    noun, plural the·ses [thee-seez]. 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.

  2. Thesis Definition & Meaning

    1 : a dissertation embodying results of original research and especially substantiating a specific view especially : one written by a candidate for an academic degree 2 a : a proposition to be proved or one advanced without proof : hypothesis b


    thesis meaning: 1. a long piece of writing on a particular subject, especially one that is done for a higher…. Learn more.

  4. What Is a Thesis?

    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.


    thesis noun [ C ] us / ˈθi·sɪs / plural theses us / ˈθi·siz / a piece of writing involving original study of a subject, esp. for a college or university degree: a master's thesis A thesis is also the main idea, opinion, or theory of a speaker or writer, who then attempts to prove it: His thesis was that World War I could have been avoided.

  6. Thesis Definition & Meaning

    Britannica Dictionary definition of THESIS [count] 1 : a long piece of writing on a particular subject that is done to earn a degree at a university She wrote her thesis on Renaissance Nativity scenes. a master's/doctoral thesis on the effects of global warming 2 formal : a statement that someone wants to discuss or prove

  7. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay. It usually comes near the end of your introduction. Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you're writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across.

  8. Thesis statement Definition & Meaning

    [ thee-sis steyt-m uhnt ] noun a short statement, usually one sentence, that summarizes the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, etc., and is developed, supported, and explained in the text by means of examples and evidence. false Words nearby thesis statement

  9. Dissertation vs Thesis: The Differences that Matter

    What is a Thesis? A thesis is also a scholarly piece of writing, but it is for those who are graduating from a master's program. A thesis allows students to showcase their knowledge and expertise within the subject matter they have been studying. Main Differences Between a Thesis vs. Dissertation

  10. Thesis Statements

    A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel. makes a claim that others might dispute.

  11. Thesis Definition

    The thesis is one of the most important concepts in college expository writing. A thesis sentence focuses your ideas for the paper; it's your argument or insight or viewpoint crystallized into a single sentence that gives the reader your main idea.

  12. What Does A Thesis Mean?

    The term thesis is a Greek word which means "something to put forth". In the same way the term dissertation is a Latin word which means discussion. The term thesis was first used by Aristotle. Thesis definition in writing: A Thesis is a document which is generally submitted to support contention for a professional degree or any qualification.

  13. Developing a Thesis Statement

    A thesis statement . . . Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic. Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper. Is focused and specific enough to be "proven" within the boundaries of your paper. Is generally located near the end ...

  14. Thesis

    Etymology. The term thesis comes from the Greek word θέσις, meaning "something put forth", and refers to an intellectual proposition. Dissertation comes from the Latin dissertātiō, meaning "discussion". Aristotle was the first philosopher to define the term thesis.. A 'thesis' is a supposition of some eminent philosopher that conflicts with the general opinion...for to take notice when ...

  15. Developing A Thesis

    Anticipate the counterarguments. Once you have a working thesis, you should think about what might be said against it. This will help you to refine your thesis, and it will also make you think of the arguments that you'll need to refute later on in your essay. (Every argument has a counterargument. If yours doesn't, then it's not an argument ...

  16. What Is a Thesis Statement? Definition and Examples.

    A thesis statement is a declaration of one or two sentences that gives the topic and purpose of an essay or speech. More specifically, it provides information to the audience about what the author/speaker intends to prove or declare, with specific discussion points.

  17. Thesis

    thesis: 1 n an unproved statement put forward as a premise in an argument Type of: assumption , premise , premiss a statement that is assumed to be true and from which a conclusion can be drawn n a treatise advancing a new point of view resulting from research; usually a requirement for an advanced academic degree Synonyms: dissertation Type ...

  18. Thesis and Purpose Statements

    A thesis statement makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of the paper. It summarizes the conclusions that the writer has reached about the topic. A thesis statement is generally located near the end of the introduction. Sometimes in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or an entire ...

  19. What Is A Master's Thesis?

    As stated above, a thesis is the final project required in the completion of many master's degrees. The thesis is a research paper, but it only involves using research from others and crafting your own analytical points. On the other hand, the dissertation is a more in-depth scholarly research paper completed mostly by doctoral students.

  20. What is a Thesis? Definition, Examples of Theses in Literature

    Thesis definition: A thesis is a statement in which the writer conveys his position regarding a topic. What is a Thesis? A thesis statement refers to part of an essay where the writer establishes his position regarding a topic. This is the position that the writer will further explore throughout his paper. Example of Thesis

  21. thesis

    THESIS Meaning: "unaccented syllable or note," from Latin thesis "unaccented syllable in poetry," later (and more… See origin and meaning of thesis.

  22. What does thesis mean?

    Definition of thesis in the Definitions.net dictionary. Meaning of thesis. Information and translations of thesis in the most comprehensive dictionary definitions resource on the web.

  23. Thesis definition and meaning

    noun Word forms: plural ˈtheˌses (ˈθiˌsiz ) 1. a. in classical Greek poetry, the long syllable of a foot. b. in later poetry, the short or unaccented syllable or syllables of a foot. 2. a proposition maintained or defended in argument, formerly one publicly disputed by a candidate for a degree in a medieval university.