A thesis is a claim. The thesis is drawn up to initiate an argument and is regarded as the starting point of such an argument. It is thus the basis of a scientific work and must be proved by valid means. In dialectical argumentation, the logical counterpart of the thesis is antithesis.
The thesis is thus a proposition or thought which must be proved. This means that the truth content must be proved by a proof. Basically, the evidence should be given with strong evidence. At school, where the discussion is based on arguments, weak evidence is sufficient. Therefore, each argument for a thesis is also a proof of these (→ argument types).
However, arguments are considered weak proofs, as they are only with a very high probability. This is because arguments are based on regressive and inductive evidence and can not be derived mathematically.
Regressive proof: In the case of regressive proof, as many conclusions as possible are to be drawn from the thing which is to be proved. If all of these are true, it is very probable that the proposition to be proved is true.
Inductive proof: Here, from a part of the whole, the whole is closed. If, for example, all the wasps observed were black-yellow, it is assumed that all wasps are black-yellow.
Make a thesis
The thesis tries to summarize the most important from a series of different statements aptly. The essentials should be highlighted pragmatically. Pragmatic means that we do what is necessary and has proven to work.
Whoever wants to make a thesis formulates in principle a claim that something is one way or another. For example, we could argue that school uniforms strengthen the sense of community among pupils and reduce bullying at German schools.
It is important that we formulate our claim clearly. There should therefore be no possibility that the hypothesis will be misunderstood.
If we are to make a number of theses in one work, we have to make sure that these do not contradict each other in any way, since otherwise we refute ourselves.
If, in formulating the thesis, we contradict other theses, we must clearly state this and clearly formulate why we do so.
If we want to prove the thesis in the following work, we must not deviate from the assertion. The thesis must remain the same from the beginning to the end of the work.
Tip: If you want to make several theses in one work, write them down on a separate sheet and check whether the claims contradict each other.
Thesis and hypothesis
Who argues, uses theses, which he would like to prove in hindsight. A hypothesis, which is not true (~ correct), is a questionable form of the thesis.
This method is usually encountered in interpreting and analyzing literary works and, of course, mostly in the context of poetic analysis. In this case, we merely provide a guess as to what observations we have made in the work and how these will behave to each other.
This means that the hypothesis, contrary to the thesis, can also be untrue, which is why we have to check in the work. In a thesis we always assume that these are true and prove this truth. In the hypothesis, we only examine the truth content of the statement → interpretive hypothesis.
This also means that a thesis is always true, since we prove it in the argument. If we can not prove it, it is not a thesis, but merely a presumption or a hypothesis.
The scientific thesis
We have described what must be considered in principle when we make a thesis. However, this guideline mainly focused on teaching German.
With regard to theses, which should satisfy a scientific claim, we should set still further standards. While there is no clear set of rules for formulating a thesis, there are some things that can be considered to increase the acceptance of such a claim.
Claim and criteria of a scientific thesis
Clear and clear judgment: the conclusion must be logical and comprehensible to the reader of the work.
Falsifiability: An assertion is falsifiable if there is an observation set with which the statement can be attacked. This means that our assertion can be theoretically disproved.
Identical representation: If a thesis has been made at the beginning, it must remain identical until the end of the work and must not deviate from the original version.
Contradiction: The thesis should not contradict any accepted thesis.