How long are thesis statements?

How long are thesis statements? image

If you don't know already what a thesis statement is exactly, take a look at our guide What is a thesis statement?

In short, a thesis statement is a concise description of your work's aim.

If you find yourself in the process of writing a thesis statement but you don't know how long it should be, you've come to right place. In the next paragraphs you will learn about the most efficient way to write a thesis statement and how long it should be.

What is the proper length of a thesis statement?

Short answer: one or two sentences. The long and more in-depth answer: as one's professional writing evolves, good arguments become more established, and are therefore longer than 2 short sentences. So a thesis statement can even have three or four long sentences. The point is to write one well-formed statement that truly reflects your knowledge. You can have a short thesis statement with 2 sentences, but make sure its not trivial or obvious. Or you can have 3 long sentences with plenty meta-discourse, but make sure there isn't too much exposition.

Examples of thesis statements

Joe Haley, a former Expository Writing Instructor at Johns Hopkins University exemplified in this forum post the different sizes a thesis statement can take. From Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, someone could come up with these two theses:

  • In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, gossip is an important but morally ambiguous tool for shaping characters' opinions of each other.
  • As the aforementioned critics have noted, the prevalence of gossip in Jane Austen's oeuvre does indeed reflect the growing prominence of an explicitly-delineated private sphere in nineteenth-century British society. However, in contrast with these critics' general conclusions about Austen and class, which tend to identify her authorial voice directly with the bourgeois mores shaping her appropriation of the bildungsroman, the ambiguity of this communicative mode in Pride and Prejudice suggests that when writing at the height of her authorial powers, at least, Austen is capable of skepticism and even self-critique. For what is the narrator of her most celebrated novel if not its arch-gossip par excellence?

Both statements are equally round. In the end, the length will depend on the scope of your work.

Frequently Asked Questions about the length of thesis statements

What is the word count of a thesis statement?

There is no exact word count for a thesis statement, as the length depends on your level of knowledge and expertise. It usually has two sentences, so between 20-50 words.



How long is too long for a thesis statement?

Your level of knowledge and insight of a topic will determine how long your thesis statement is. A concise one is between 20-50 words. A paragraph is also acceptable for a thesis statement, lets say that anything over one paragraph is already too long.



Where can I find examples of thesis statements with different lengths?

Here is a list of Thesis Statement Examples that will help you understand better how long they can be.



How long should the thesis statement of a high school essay be?

As a high school student you are not expected to have an extremely elaborated thesis statement. So a couple of clear sentences indicating the aim of your essay will be more than enough.



Is there any video tutorial of thesis statements?

Here is a YouTube tutorial that will help you write a thesis statement: How To Write An Essay: Thesis Statements by Ariel Bisset.