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Thesis statement focuses your ideas into one or two sentences. It should present the topic of your paper and also make a comment about your position in relation to the topic. Your thesis statement should tell your reader what the paper is about and also help guide your writing and keep your argument focused. 

Thesis definition

You've probably heard the term thesis before. But would you like a clearer definition of its meaning?

The term thesis has two interrelated meanings. The first is: the main idea or claim that will be defended within a piece of scholarly writing. 

And the second meaning of thesis is: a final or culminating work at the end of a course of study, in which the student will defend a thesis (in the first sense of the word). 

Understanding & Clarity

In order to help you understand the meaning of the term thesis more clearly, here are some examples of the word being used correctly within the context of actual sentences. 

"The professor gave the student a low grade because she believed that he had a weak thesis that he failed to defend in a meaningful way over the course of his essay." 

"The graduate student was having some trouble with thinking of an original and interesting subject on which to write his 100-page final thesis at the end of his program." 

"A standard model of the academic paper is to have an introduction with a thesis, three body paragraphs that defend the thesis, and a conclusion that summarizes the paper." 

In case you would still like more information, here are a couple guidelines you can follow in order to correctly use the term thesis. 

1. The thesis is always the main point that is being defended within an academic essay. It is often found near the end of the introductory paragraph. In any paper that makes an argument or a claim, the thesis is the argument or claim that is being made.

2. A document itself is only called a thesis when it is the final work for a course of study. Sometimes, the term thesis in this sense is used interchangeably with the term dissertation. This is not the final paper for a single course; it is the final paper for an entire academic program.    

Supplementary information

The concept of the thesis (in the sense of final work for a course of study) is an important one for most programs of formal education around the globe. This is because in order to acquire any advanced degree, a candidate is generally expected to have such a level of mastery of the content under consideration that he will be able to make a meaningful contribution to the extant body of literature on the subject. Master's-level and doctoral programs thus almost always require the submission of a thesis in accordance with the policies of the academic institution in question; and this can even be the case for more advanced bachelor's level programs. 

From the perspective of information science, a thesis often falls into the category of grey literature. That is, it is a written work that is not actually published in a formal way. However, it is relatively common for the author of a thesis to later adapt that thesis (or sections of the thesis) into a monograph that can then be published in a standard way. 

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