Criteria for writing a good thesis statement
- A thesis statement should be one sentence.
- A thesis statement occurs at the end of your introduction paragraph (i.e., the last sentence).
- A thesis statement should consist of the following: 1) the topic, 2) a position or claim, and 3) evidence or two-to-four main points (i.e., reasons or ways).
“English language teachers who want to motivate learners to interact more with mobile technologies should use cell phones in class because it allows learners to assess each other’s spoken performance, teachers to be more accessible to learners, and outside experts to become part of the educative experience in the classroom“.
- A thesis statement is the main idea of your entire paper, so it should state a position that reflects a possible solution to a problem related to applied linguistics and pedagogy. Avoid a thesis statement that focuses on a problem or learning. The problem will be introduced before the thesis statement; that is, it provides a possible solution to the problem being introduced. When it comes doing research about learning, shift your focus more towards pedagogy due to our limited time we have on such a broad subject for a single semester. This does not mean you have to ignore collecting evidence of student work and/or opinions. It simply means that this kind of evidence must support the collecting of data based on what teachers say and/or do in class.
- A thesis statement must support a S.M.A.R.T. topic:
- Smart The evidence you collect during your research project should be specific and narrow in scope.
- Measurable The evidence you collect for your research project should be measurable; that is, observable.
- Attainable Your research project should be attainable, feasible, or doable. Have you found similar studies that you can model or replicate yourself? Do you have access to participants with the profiles needed to conduct your research based on your research objectives (i.e., based on your Problem Statement)? Does your research contribute to the current body of literature that currently exists?
- Relevant and meaningful Does your (i.e., Problem Statement) relate to applied linguistics in some way and is the topic meaningful to you? Does it relate to a problem that either you have faced or your learners have faced? Is it based on a “burning question” that you want to learn more about so to become a better English teacher?
- Timely Does your Problem Statement motivate you to complete end-date tasks based on the syllabus calendar?