Students usually confuse where to place a research paper thesis in a research during their writing. It’s certainly impossible to write a good research paper without a thesis, though most narrative essays only have implied thesis.  Lack of a thesis in any writing may as well indicate a lack of focus for the paper. Think of a thesis statement as an umbrella, where everything else that features in your writing fits under.

 Thesis Statement Position on a Research Paper

It’s normal to use the introduction section of writing to develop the rationale and context of the research paper and therefore develop a logical lead up to the thesis statement. Consequently, a thesis is not actually the whole of the introductory paragraph, but rather a sentence or two within the paragraph.

The first paragraph of writing serves to introduce the rest of the paper to the reader. A thesis statement usually falls at the end of the introductory paragraph. It’s the statement in one or two sentence that contains the paper’s focus and introduces the main point or ideas that the paper is going to discuss or talk about.

A thesis statement is a good test for the scope of the writer’s intent. You should, therefore, place it in the first paragraph, though not in the first sentence. It would be more effective if you just set it in the last sentence as opposed to having a thesis statement at the first sentence of the introductory paragraph of a research paper to avoid getting complicated and having it a bit longer. A thesis statement in the first sentence of writing is likely to put off a reader as there is nothing to indicate to the reader of the introduction of the statement.

When to  Change or Revise a Thesis Statement

A thesis should remain flexible until you’re done compiling your research paper. It should be one of those final things that you fuss within your rewriting process.  You may come across a new idea or information in the process of writing the paper. This ought to be reflected in your thesis. It means that if you’ve written your argument before, you need to revise it.  On the other hand, if you realize that your paper has done sufficient work but your thesis statement appears to address ideas or points that you’ve not discussed in the paper, then you need to limit your statement to reflect only those things covered in the paper.

If the thesis statement requires your instructor, tutor or supervisor’s prior approval, then you might seek for their permission before changing it.  It’s better to explore your instructor’s permission and guide rather than writing a thesis statement that claims to do much or less than what the paper accomplishes. It is critical to emphasize that your tutor’s instructions supersede any other guidelines

A thesis statement is introduced by the sentence proceeding it, and often supported and explained by the sentences that follow it.  It enables the reader to prepare himself/herself of what to follow just as a topic sentence introduces a paragraph.  So, it’s okay to use the first paragraph of your paper to work into your thesis statement. This enables you to focus on your audience attention on the general topic, and in a direction, you would want your readers to focus.  This way, your readers will be warmed up when you eventually introduce the thesis statement, which should be somewhere towards the end of the introductory paragraph. You can as well extend the thesis statement to the second paragraph if you want to extend the lead into the thesis. If you’re not sure where to put your thesis statement, you may consult with your tutor, instructor or supervisor.