A successful thesis paper is the ticket to ending a course or graduate program on a high note. Before you begin writing, it is important to know which type of thesis you need to write. Elements such as a thesis statement, textual support and references will vary, depending on whether the paper is a persuasive, expository or analytical piece.


According to Purdue University's Online Writing Lab, a persuasive thesis makes a claim about a topic and justifies it with specific evidence. Thesis statements should reflect the main point of your argument.

Calgary Bible College provides this example of a persuasive thesis statement: "High school graduates should be required to take a year off to pursue community service projects before entering college in order to increase their maturity and global awareness." The part of the statement about increasing their maturity and global awareness makes the sentence ideal for a persuasive paper, since it expands upon and explains the initial argument.

When writing a persuasive paper, resist the tendency to simply state an opinion. Provide solid textual support for this opinion, and draw out its implications and advantages.


An expository is the most basic type of thesis paper and often the easiest to write. It simply explains a topic to an audience.

According to Calgary Bible College, an expositiory thesis might start with a sentence such as, "The life of the typical college student is characterized by time spent studying, attending class and socializing with peers." So, the thesis will expound on a college student's life in the three areas mentioned.

In an expository paper, it is important to make sure that your evidence is relevant to the theme of the paper.


Analytical theses also explain a given theme, but in more detail. These types of papers are common in mathematics and science courses, where data is analyzed. Analytical papers often are tied to a specific text or study, and unlike a persuasive paper, they are entirely factual.

"An analysis of the college admission process reveals two principal problems facing counselors: accepting students with high test scores or students with strong extracurricular backgrounds." From this statement, given as an example by Calgary Bible College, the paper will focus on studies that involve the college admission process and explore the two problems.