How To Rephrase A Thesis Statement
The papers requested in tertiary education are meant to convince or persuade a reader to agree with your point of view.
A good paper, therefore, will effectively convince a reader that you not only have an excellent idea but also a logical point of view on a given subject or topic.
For that reason, after introducing the topic of discussion, you write your thesis statement, which is mostly a sentence or two.
Your thesis statement declares your position on the topic of discussion; it tells your reader your focus idea and guides them towards the direction you will take.
In other words, a thesis statement is a summary of the argument in the body of your paper.
The thesis statement of your paper appears in two places – the introduction and the conclusion.
You write your thesis statement in the conclusion to remind the readers the point you have been trying to make throughout the paper.
However, in the conclusion section, you will have to rephrase your thesis: you can’t simply repeat it as you phrased it in the introduction.
The wording and the sentence structure of your thesis statement in the last paragraph have to be different.
The following is a guide on how to go about restating a thesis statement.
Figure out a suitable position for your restatement
Most of the time, the restatement comes at the beginning of the conclusion.
However, it does not necessarily have to be the first sentence.
For example, you could begin your conclusion with a rhetorical question, then a restatement of your thesis.
But, there is no clear-cut formula for writing a conclusion.
It helps to write a rough draft of your conclusion so you can figure out the ideal position for your thesis restatement.
In fact, you might have to test several positions of the restatement so you can figure out the most ideal.
Make it have a deeper impact
By the time a reader gets to the conclusion, they have gone through the rest of the essay.
Therefore, they have a better idea of what the essay is all about and your stand on the topic of discussion.
Take advantage of all this by restating your thesis statement in a way that it will have a deeper level of emotional impact.
One way of restating a thesis with a deeper meaning is addressing the reader.
Let’s say your essay discusses cybersecurity for small businesses, you could start your thesis restatement by saying, “As a small business owner, …”
Such a statement creates a connection with the reader and will help relate the points in the body of the essay to your thesis.
Answer the “so what” question
The thesis statement in the introduction might not answer the ‘so what’ question.
The one in the conclusion should because the reader has already gone through the main points of your argument.
Answering the ‘so what’ question tells your reader the significance of your argument.
And, telling your readers the significance of your argument adds weight to your thesis.
Let’s say your paper is about the impact of drug abuse in college.
You could address the ‘so what’ question by restating your thesis statement as follows:
Drug abuse in colleges is slowly becoming an epidemic at the watch of college authorities and parents who can help contain this problem by widening their perspective to accommodate more effective solutions such as helping the youth find better ways to deal with stress and frustration.
When rephrasing your thesis statement, do not start with clichés such as ‘In conclusion’.
Such starts are boring and do not add meaning to your thesis.
Also, such phrases and your lecturer will simply conclude you lack creativity.
To avoid these phrases, start your conclusion using a fresh take of what the paper discusses or a rhetorical question related to your argument.
Do not make apologies
When writing your conclusion, you should be confident that you have given enough proof in the body of your paper.
So, as you restate your thesis and as you write other sentences in your conclusion do not make apologetic statements.
Such statements include:
- It is possible that…
- It seems like…
- It is just my opinion…
These phrases undermine your argument and make it seem like you are not confident in the evidence you have provided.
However, if the topic of discussion was just a possibility, you can use such language.
Also, do not use absolute language if your essay includes two opposing viewpoints; you might alienate some of your readers.
How to make the restatement different from the original thesis
The following are tips on how to make the thesis restatement sound different:
Vary the structure of the statement
One of the best ways to rephrase the thesis is by changing the structure.
If you began the thesis with a prepositional clause, restate it by starting with the subject.
Let’s say the original thesis started, “During the beginning of the twentieth century in Africa, colonialists…”
In the restatement, you could say, “Colonialists in Africa in the early twentieth century…”
Change the tense
The thesis statement in the introduction is probably in the future tense since you were informing the readers what they should expect.
For instance, “This paper will examine the prevalence of drug abuse among the youth…”
When rephrasing the thesis statement in the conclusion, you can use past tense since you are telling the reader what you have already discussed.
Change the wording
Identify the crucial words and phrases in the original statements and replace them with stronger synonyms.
You can use the Thesaurus Function in your word processor, an online thesaurus, or the traditional hardcopy dictionary to look for synonyms.
You cannot replace everything, especially prepositions, and articles.
Therefore, you should focus on changing the adjectives, adverbial phrases and nouns that add meaning to the point you are trying to put across.
Break it up
The thesis statement in your introduction is probably brief, a sentence or two.
But, in the conclusion, you have the liberty to make it longer.
So, break up the points and spread them across several sentences, or even a paragraph.
Not only will the thesis statement read and sound different, but also show how well you have proven your argument in the body of the essay.
Restating a thesis statement is important if you are to write a good conclusion to your essay.
The restated thesis should emphasize your stand on the topic of discussion.
Therefore, it should make it persuasive and definitive.
And, the tips shared above will help you do just that.