Answered By: APUS Librarians
Last Updated: Jan 02, 2020     Views: 28746

A thesis statement is a short, concise sentence or paragraph that summarizes the main point of an essay or research paper. In a thesis statement, the author is making a specific claim or assertion about a topic that can be debated or challenged. This claim will be developed, supported, and explained in the body of the paper by means of examples and evidence.

Example of weak thesis statement:

  • Ursula K. Le Guin is one of the best American authors in the last half century.

Example of a strong thesis statement:

  • Ursula K. Le Guin's ability to subvert cultural and social expectations makes her one of the best authors of the last century.

A research question indicates the direction of your research. It is an open-ended query, not a final claim or conclusion about an idea. A good research question should act as the focus of a study. It helps the author decide on the methodology she will use as well as guide all subsequent stages of inquiry, analysis, and reporting.

Example of a weak research question:

  • How does science fiction literature affect our understanding of other cultures?

Example of a strong research question:

  • Can science fiction literature that focuses on fundamental issues such as gender and race deepen our ability to empathize with cultures different from our own?

 

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