How To Write a Thesis Statement: Quantitative

A Quantitative Thesis Statement

Quantitative thesis statements differ considerably from the qualitative models just presented, in terms of the rhetorical and methodological paradigm assumptions.

To properly write a quantitative thesis statement, one needs a firm understanding of variables. At this point it might be useful to review the meaning and use variables. A variable is a discrete phenomenon that can be measure or observed in two or more categories. Psychologists use the term construct interchangeably with variable,. Variable could be gender, age, social and economic status, or attitudes or behaviors such as racism, social control, political power and socialization. Because the phenomena vary ( in tow or more categories), they are called "variables". Several texts provide detailed discussions about the types of variables one can use and their scale of measurement. In brief, variables might be distinguished by two characteristics their temporal order and their measurement. 

Temporal order means that one variable precedes another in time. Because of this time ordering, it said that one variable affects or "causes" another variable ( although "cause" may be questioned in dealing with human behavior). This time ordering underlies Isaac and Michael's full description of three types of variables in social science.

Independent variables- cause, influence or affect outcomes.

Dependent variables- are dependent on the independent variables; they are the outcomes or results of the influence of the independent variables.

Intervening ( also called nuisance or extraneous or mediating) variables- intervene between the independent and dependent variables; these variables are statistically controlled in analyses. Often these variables are demographic items, such as gender, age, income, and class size.

  • In how to write a thesis statement using a quantitative research, therefore begins with identifying the proposed variables for a study ( independent, intervening, dependent ), drawing a visual model to identify clearly the sequence and specifying the measurement for variables. Finally the intent of using the variables quantitatively will be either to relate variables ( as one typically finds in a survey) or to compare samples or groups (as in commonly found in experiments).

  • This knowledge helps in the design of the quantitative thesis statement. The major components of a good quantitative thesis statement consists of a brief paragraph that includes the following:

  • In how to write a thesis statement in a quantitative research, use a word such as purpose, intent, or objective to begin the passage. As in the quantitative approach, it sets the statement apart from other components of the research process. Start with " The purpose (or objective or intent) of this study is (was or will be).."

  • Identify the theory, model or conceptual framework to be tested in the study. At this point does not need to describe it in detail. I suggest a separate " theoretical perspective" section for this purpose. By mentioning the theory, one uses the deductive methodology of the quantitative paradigm.

  • In writing a thesis statement mention the specific type of method of inquiry being used in the study. I discuss two types- the survey and the experiment.

  • In how to write a thesis statement one should state whether the independent and independent variables will be related to whether two or more groups (as an independent variable) will be compared in terms of the dependent variable(s). A characteristics of the quantitative methodology is that one looks for causation (cause and effect) or a relationship among variables. The words relationship and comparison are good rhetorical words denoting the cause-and-effect methodology of quantitative studies. A combination of comparing and relating might also exist- for example, a two-factor experiment wherein the researchers has two or more treatment groups, as well as continuous variable as an independent variable in the study. Although one typically finds studies about comparing two or more groups in experiments, it is also possible to compare groups in a survey study.

  • As a general principle, order the variables in the relationship or comparison sentence from independent to dependent. As mentioned earlier, in experiments the independent variable is always the "manipulated" variable.

  • In how to write a thesis statement refer to the unit of analysis in the study. Although quantitative designs are more context free than qualitative studies, it is useful to mention the subjects, population, or sample being studied, as well as the number of individuals studied.

  • Provide a general definition for each key variable on how to write a thesis statement in the study and use established definitions. Another rhetorical characteristic of the quantitative paradigm is the use of set definitions. These definitions are meant to help the reader understand the study, and not to replace specific, operational definitions later found in a "definition of terms" section in dissertation proposals.