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Creating a tentative term paper thesis

Creating a term paper thesis is an ongoing process. The first thesis that is thought of is hardly ever the ending thesis for the paper. As research is done and the paper is developed and ideas are developed, the thesis changes. Having a tentative thesis however, is useful throughout the process and helps with focusing the paper and having a general idea for what your paper will be about.

First thing's first

The first step to creating a thesis is to think of a general idea. The idea can start as broad as the word “animals”. A thesis can obviously not just be one word or idea, so, the idea is further detailed and developed


A thesis has to be specific. After coming up with the broad idea, the next step is to come up with a sub topic relating to the idea but is more detailed. If you are writing a biological paper on “animals”, a subtopic could start with a type of animal that the paper could be written about such as “whales”. The next step would be to expand upon that subtopic to an issue or argument that needs to be discussed. An example could be “The Mistreatment of Whales at Aquariums”; a topic such as that is too broad for a thesis statement, so a specific issue involving the mistreatment of whales at aquariums would be more appropriate. Maybe specifying a particular aquarium and arguing how the whales are mistreated is a possibility and would make for a thesis that is specific enough to research, but is not yet been written about so often its common knowledge. This is the first draft of a thesis.

As papers change, so must a thesis

As you research and write, some ideas might change and so the thesis statement must change. It might changed based on the amount of research or new interest in a slightly different topic. A thesis acts as a focus and a guide for a paper to keep the author from rambling or getting off topic, but it can change and be altered slightly to fit new information and changes based on it.

Writing a thesis statement is important to starting a research paper. With a thesis statement, research can be more focused and so can the writing itself. This makes a more polished paper and more professional as the thesis is more specific. Make sure the thesis is specific, but able to be researched and don't be afraid to alter based on new research and information.