If you’re engaged in academic or professional writing, you might have heard the term ‘closed thesis’ being thrown around. A closed thesis is a statement or proposition that the writer intends to prove within the constraints of their paper. In other words, it is a preconceived position that the writer takes on their topic and argues for throughout their work. In this guide, we will explore the concept of a closed thesis, how it differs from an open thesis, the benefits and drawbacks of using a closed thesis, and some examples to help you understand it better.
Closed Thesis vs. Open Thesis
A closed thesis serves as a roadmap for the writer and limits the scope of the text, while an open thesis allows for exploration and the discovery of new ideas. A closed thesis is more common in academic writing where the writer already knows their position on a particular topic.
Let’s take the example of two papers on the same topic: ‘The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health.’ In the first paper, the writer has a closed thesis that reads, “Social media has a negative impact on mental health.” The writer then uses their paper to back up this statement by presenting research and evidence to support this claim. The second paper takes an open thesis approach, reading, “The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health,” and explores the various ways in which social media can impact mental health, both positively and negatively. The writer of the second paper doesn’t have a preconceived notion on their topic and takes the time to explore different angles of the topic.
Benefits of Using a Closed Thesis
Using a closed thesis in academic writing can have some benefits, such as:
Clarity of argument
Since a closed thesis is a preconceived position taken by the writer, it allows for a very clear and focused argument. It also sets the tone for the paper, giving the reader a specific direction for the writer’s argument.
A closed thesis can help you keep your writing concise and focused, as you’ll have a specific point to prove. You’ll be able to avoid wandering off-topic and including irrelevant information.
Convincing the reader
Since a closed thesis is a clear statement of your position, it allows for a more persuasive and convincing argument. You’ll be able to present a strong case for your argument by using facts and evidence to back up your position.
Drawbacks of Using a Closed Thesis
While there are some benefits to using a closed thesis, there are some drawbacks to consider, such as:
Lack of exploration
Since a closed thesis is a preconceived notion on the topic, it can limit the exploration of the topic. The writer may overlook important nuances or factors that could change their argument.
Risk of Confirmation Bias
Another drawback of using a closed thesis is that the writer might cherry-pick evidence that supports their argument while ignoring evidence that doesn’t. This can lead to confirmation bias and weaken the argument.
Examples of Closed Thesis Statements
Here are a few examples of closed thesis statements to give you an idea of what they look like:
- “Climate change is caused by human activity.”
- “The death penalty is a necessary tool for deterring crime.”
- “Gun control laws should be more rigorous in order to protect public safety.”
- A closed thesis is a preconceived position taken by the writer that they intend to prove in their paper.
- A closed thesis differs from an open thesis, which allows for exploration and discovery of new ideas.
- Closed thesis statements can provide clarity, a focused argument, and persuasive writing, but can also limit exploration and lead to confirmation bias.
- Closed thesis statements can be found in academic writing and take a clear position on a topic.
In conclusion, a closed thesis can be a useful tool in academic writing for providing a clear direction and focused argument. However, it can also limit exploration and lead to confirmation bias. Understanding the difference between a closed and open thesis and knowing when to use each approach can help you produce stronger and more comprehensive writing.
What is the difference between a closed thesis and a claim?
A claim is a statement that presents an arguable point, while a closed thesis is a claim that the writer intends to prove throughout their work. A closed thesis is a specific type of claim that provides a clear direction for the paper.
Can a closed thesis be changed later on?
A thesis statement can be changed or modified later on as the writer progresses and discovers new information. However, it’s essential to ensure that the new thesis still aligns with the direction of the paper and the evidence presented.
Is a closed thesis better than an open thesis?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as both approaches have their benefits and drawbacks. The choice between using a closed or open thesis will depend on the writer’s topic, level of expertise, and the overall goals of their work.