Thesis Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

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Understanding what a thesis is can help you improve your written and spoken communication.

There are countless different contexts where this word is used, and knowing how to properly use it can help you communicate effectively in your field. If you want to be the most effective and successful communicator possible, feel free to read and learn about this essential word

This is everything you need to know about what this word means, where it comes from in etymology, and how it is used.

What Is a Thesis? 

The definition of thesis (ˈθi sɪs, ˈθiːsɪs, the-sis, plural theses) in American English is the main idea presented in an essay. In other words, the central message of the piece. Behind every literary device and rhetorical strategy stands a thesis. Thesis statements don’t just appear at the beginning of your paper; they should be woven into every sentence you write. 

Your thesis statement will probably be one of two things: an assertion that something is true or an argument for why something should be done (or not done). 

What Is a Thesis Statement?

A Thesis statement is a sentence that contains the main idea of a written work.

All other sentences in a paper should explain, prove, or describe this main idea. Thesis statements are often used in reports to express a central message of an essay or article. Researchers commonly use them to propose a hypothesis and then test it with evidence from their study.

What Are Some Synonyms of Thesis?

If you look in a thesaurus for word lists of synonyms for the word thesis, you’ll likely find words including: 

  • Point of View
  • Theory
  • Contention
  • Prosody
  • Assumption
  • Proposition
  • Dialectic
  • Opinion
  • View
  • Theorem
  • Dissertation

What Is a Thesis in the Academic World? 

When it comes to the world of academics, the word thesis has another similar yet different meaning. 

A thesis is a long-form piece of writing, often a research paper, that is used as the final project of a university degree, like a master’s degree. 

What Is a Master’s Thesis?

A master’s thesis is a project that contains lots of original research and is used to cap off an academic degree. It is how a student takes an unproved statement and then proves it through extensive writing. 

When Would You Write a Thesis?

If you’re studying a language like Greek, Spanish, Arabic, or Late Latin, you’ll likely have to do an extensive study — and write a thesis — to prove your knowledge of the language. The main goal of a thesis is to establish the synthesis of knowledge that a student is capable of and ensure that they can operate well in the academic world. 

How Do You Start Writing a Thesis?

Before a student or researcher begins writing a paper, they must have a thesis statement. This thesis statement is one sentence that describes how you will support your argument and what evidence you will provide in your paper. In many cases, it is the last sentence of your introduction paragraph and appears again as the first sentence of the body paragraph:

A thesis statement usually evolves only after considerable reading, writing, and thinking has been done on your topic. Your thesis changes and develops as you write it, so by the time you arrive at the end, you will know what your paper is about and should be able to sum it up clearly in a sentence or two.

What Is the Etymology of the Word Thesis? 

The word thesis comes from the Greek word θέσις (thésis), which means “placement” or “setting.” The term was first used in English in 1632 by William Lilly. As time has progressed, the word has entered into many different languages, including Latin tithenai, French, and Middle English. 

Throughout its different stages of development, the word has remained relatively the same. However, this word’s collocations and more specific meanings have gradually changed over the years. 

Luckily, as long as you’re only sticking to English, thesis is a word with meanings that are relatively consistent and easy to understand! 

What Are Some Example Sentences Using the Word Thesis?

One of the best ways to learn how to use a word is by seeing it in use in the context of actual-world sentences and conversations. 

Here are some excellent examples of thesis being used in everyday sentences, so you can start using the word for yourself! 

As he started his conversation, the lowering of his voice enticed everyone to listen intently to his thesis presentation.

The first research stage for her doctoral thesis meant studying the Hegelian people.

Mr. Tese’s master’s thesis primarily focused on a tiny part of a metrical foot in poetry, which was reasonably interesting for many poets.

My entire paper’s central thesis was based on how the downbeat is not the most crucial part of music — the backbeat is.

My professor keeps telling me that the thesis statement is, by far, the most critical part of any essay, and I’m starting to believe her.

It took nearly six months to write the first draft of my thesis, which was really exhausting. 


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Thesis Definition & Meaning | Merriam-Webster

Thesis definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

Thesis – Definition, Meaning & Synonyms |