Basic thesis form consists of an assertion of an opinion, interpretation, or analysis that is presented in a succinct, declarative fashion. Framing one's opinion, interpretation, or analysis in a succinct, declarative way is the challenge of hypothesis writing. Therefore, it may be helpful for writers who struggle with crafting strong theses to learn the basic elements of hypothesis format. Thesis form is simply the structure a thesis takes. There are several different thesis forms, but most thesis forms can be summarized as consisting of a statement of opinion followed by a statement asserting strong reasons for that opinion.
The first element of thesis form is the statement of opinion. This is the more important of the two components of thesis form because it is the main point of the entire paper. For example, the statement of opinion for an essay on federal income tax may be that "Federal income tax is an unnecessary burden on a country's populace and should be abandoned." To complete this thesis, there needs to be a second component added: a statement that asserts strong reasons for the opinion. To simply say that "Federal income tax is an unnecessary burden on a country's populace and should be abandoned" and then present no reason for it makes the writer unpersuasive. The second component of the thesis form is therefore necessary in order to validate the writer's hypothesis opinion and encourage the reader to keep reading. In a statement like this, for instance, the writer might add to the beginning sentence that "The money collected by the federal government could be better spent by city and state governments that have a more informed idea of the needs of their local regions
The two elements of thesis form should both be presented in a succinct, declarative way. To write a succinct hypothesis simply requires that the thesis be encapsulated within a few sentences. The depth and complexity of the thesis will determine exactly how many sentences it should include, but as a general rule, it is best to combine thoughts into between one and three sentences. If a hypothesis is longer than three sentences, it is likely that it is not as succinct as it could be.
A declarative statement is one that, as its name implies, declares. This means that it should use strong language to make its point clearly and boldly. For instance, the hypothesis "It seems like in Act IV of Hamlet, the Prince may be a little off in the head" is very weak, because all of its claims are presented in very tentative terms. Prefer a thesis that makes a clear, bold statement: "In ACT IV of Hamlet, the Prince displays signs of genuine madness."
Thesis form should not be thought of as static. The form may change depending on the writer's topic and level of ability. Like any other forms, thesis forms are intended to be models and guidelines, but they are models and guidelines that are open to interpretation and innovation.
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