Skip to content

Kleju Vs Thesis Statements

Open Thesis vs. Closed Thesis

Implicit Thesis vs. Explicit Thesis


The thesis is a declarative sentence. It is a clear, specific statement, which states the main point of a the paper, thereby limiting the topic and indicating the researcher’s approach to the topic. For this research paper we will be discussing the difference between the open (implicit) thesis approach, and the closed (explicit) thesis.

Open (implicit) thesis:
Let’s say you are writing a paper on the relationship between the United States criminal court system and the media. You have read on article related to this topic, but you have not yet begun your research. Still, it is possible for you to arrive at a very basic and general opinion without going into detail, secondary topics, or supporting reasons for your assertion.

Broad Topic:  The United States criminal court system and the media.

Example of an open (implicit) thesis statement:
The media plays too influential a role in criminal court trials.

To assist you in formulating your preliminary thesis, ask basic “W” questions that are related to your topic: who, what, when, where, and why? This will help you determine your particular interests and a possible starting point for your research. Based on the topic above, the following list demonstrates the different kinds of questions that can be generated.

*Why is the media involved in court cases?
*When did the media start reporting court cases?
*What is the media’s role in criminal court cases?
*What aspects of the media am I going to write about?
*What kind of criminal case is it?
*When did the case take place?
*Where did the case take place?
*Who were the people involved in the case?

If you are writing a research paper and you have come up with a long list of random questions, select three or four questions that hold the most interest for you. These questions will narrow your focus and help you to plan your research strategy.

Closed (Explicit) Thesis:
If you make an assertion and include the reason or reasons which support your assertion, and it is broad enough in scope, yet specific enough to be unified and to perform as a substantial generalization of your essay, you have written a closed thesis statement. The evidence can take many forms: facts, opinions, anecdotes, statistics, analogies, etc., but the essential relationship between the thesis and the major points of support is one of conclusion to reason:   This is believed to be true because… (reasons).

Broad Topic:  The United States criminal court system and the media.

Example of a closed (explicit) thesis:
The media plays a very influential role in criminal court trials because of their access to the
people, their bias, and because of the special privileges.

Based on the topic that YOU have chosen, ask yourself basic “W” questions that are related to YOUR topic to help you plan your research strategy and form a thesis.
(Written by Lisa Tolhurst for the Hunter College Reading/Writing Center, 1998)

WHY –



WHEN –



WHAT –



WHERE –



WHO –



HOW –



KEEP GOING!.....


Thesis and Purpose Statements

Use the guidelines below to learn the differences between thesis and purpose statements

In the first stages of writing, thesis or purpose statements are usually rough or ill-formed and are useful primarily as planning tools.

A thesis statement or purpose statement will emerge as you think and write about a topic. The statement can be restricted or clarified and eventually worked into an introduction.

As you revise your paper, try to phrase your thesis or purpose statement in a precise way so that it matches the content and organization of your paper.

Thesis statements

A thesis statement is a sentence that makes an assertion about a topic and predicts how the topic will be developed. It does not simply announce a topic: it says something about the topic.

Good: X has made a significant impact on the teenage population due to its . . .

Bad: In this paper, I will discuss X.

A thesis statement makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of the paper. It summarizes the conclusions that the writer has reached about the topic.

A thesis statement is generally located near the end of the introduction. Sometimes in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or an entire paragraph.

A thesis statement is focused and specific enough to be proven within the boundaries of the paper. Key words (nouns and verbs) should be specific, accurate, and indicative of the range of research, thrust of the argument or analysis, and the organization of supporting information.

Purpose statements

A purpose statement announces the purpose, scope, and direction of the paper. It tells the reader what to expect in a paper and what the specific focus will be.

Common beginnings include:

"This paper examines . . .," "The aim of this paper is to . . .," and "The purpose of this essay is to . . ."

A purpose statement makes a promise to the reader about the development of the argument but does not preview the particular conclusions that the writer has drawn.

A purpose statement usually appears toward the end of the introduction. The purpose statement may be expressed in several sentences or even an entire paragraph.

A purpose statement is specific enough to satisfy the requirements of the assignment. Purpose statements are common in research papers in some academic disciplines, while in other disciplines they are considered too blunt or direct. If you are unsure about using a purpose statement, ask your instructor.

This paper will examine the ecological destruction of the Sahel preceding the drought and the causes of this disintegration of the land. The focus will be on the economic, political, and social relationships which brought about the environmental problems in the Sahel.

Sample purpose and thesis statements

The following example combines a purpose statement and a thesis statement (bold).

The goal of this paper is to examine the effects of Chile's agrarian reform on the lives of rural peasants. The nature of the topic dictates the use of both a chronological and a comparative analysis of peasant lives at various points during the reform period. . . The Chilean reform example provides evidence that land distribution is an essential component of both the improvement of peasant conditions and the development of a democratic society. More extensive and enduring reforms would likely have allowed Chile the opportunity to further expand these horizons.

For more tips about writing thesis statements, take a look at our new handout on Developing a Thesis Statement.