How long should a Thesis statement be?
Before understanding exactly how long is a thesis statement, we need to understand the term itself. Considering it as a central element of an essay, a thesis statement is the main theme of your essay around which your subsequent arguments and views revolve.
The thesis statement primarily introduces the reader to the topic and the main message of the topic. The thesis statement is also used to indicate the author’s position on the topic as well. Use the thesis statement to shed light on your thoughts about an argument or premise that you will be discussing in the subsequent parts of the essay. The thesis statement is ideally placed following the introduction of your essay and will help narrow down the broader ideas and views expressed in the introduction of your essay. Therefore, the thesis statement is ideally the focal point of the essay on which every argument and view hinges and allows conveying the same to the reader.
So, to understand how long is a thesis statement, you will first need to understand the type of essay you will be writing and its length. It would be foolish to add a 200-word thesis statement in a 500-word essay. Therefore, keeping the word count of the essay in mind is critical in determining the length of your thesis statement.
As for the type, it also depends on the type of essay you are writing. It boils down to two basic types; explanatory and argumentative. Ideally, we use the former if the essay is informative or descriptive, and therefore formulating a thesis statement that expresses a particular idea is key in such situations. If you are using your essay to defend or attack an idea, an argumentative thesis statement is what you will need.
How long is a thesis statement? An analysis
Ideal scenarios demand a one-sentence thesis statement. However, it is a challenge for many as finding a brief way to express your whole idea can be intimidating and might seem to be much more difficult than writing a whole paragraph. It should be able to define the essence of your idea or argument that will go through detailed scrutiny. It requires a lot of thought and consideration as well as time-consuming as well.
However, as mentioned, the length of an essay highly influences the length of the thesis statement, and longer thesis statements are accommodated in cases of longer essays. This is especially useful if you need to explain yourself more to the reader. If you are looking to exceed the predetermined length of a thesis statement, consult your supervisor or professor immediately.
Factors to consider when determining how long is a thesis statement
As noted in the previous instances, the length of a thesis statement is ideally one or two sentences long. Sentences, on the contrary, can vary in length significantly. By definition, an easy-to-follow sentence should have 25 to 30 words, but many authors prefer longer and more complex sentences, making it a bit hard to follow along. For those of you who are tempted towards such a complex manner of expressions, it is ill-advised to do so. This makes the argument weaker, and readers can have difficulty finding meaning.
The language used
The main goal is to lay down your ideas and arguments on the topic and express them concisely using words and phrases in the thesis statement. There is absolutely no point in using longer phrases and using complex and archaic words in the thesis statement making it unnecessarily long. Try to keep it short and communicate your ideas in the shortest way possible.
The balance of expression of general ideas and their specific elements:
Before reaching the stage of formulating your thesis statement, you have most likely introduced the topic to the readers in the introduction section. There is no need to repeat it to the reader again. Try to keep the thesis statement specific to express your ideas without any unnecessary lengthy expressions.
A general rule of determining how long is a thesis statement is to formulate your claim and briefly give reasoning to support it in a sentence or two. Occasionally it can be extended based on the length of the essay to convey complex ideas and views.
Frequently asked questions
Can I include the thesis statement in the introduction of the essay?
No, the thesis statement is the central section of the essay around which every argument or view is based and therefore requires a separate section of its own.
If I have a 1000-word essay to write, how long is the thesis statement?
Ideally, a thesis statement should be as brief as possible, limiting it to about one or two sentences. In the case of longer essays like 1000 words, one should have a thesis statement of around 3 to 4 sentences depending on the complexity of the essay.
Is the inclusion of a thesis statement necessary?
The thesis statement serves as a central statement or argument upon which all your subsequent arguments would be based on. So, exclusion of the thesis statement is not an option.