The difference between a thesis and a topic is that a thesis, also known as a thesis statement, is an assertion or conclusion regarding the interpretation of data, and a topic is the subject a research paper is based on. The thesis provides an answer to the research question. In addition, the thesis is based on facts rather than opinion.
The topic of a research paper can be broad, but the longer and more complex the research paper is, the narrower the topic is. The same degree of focus applies to a thesis or thesis statement. Research on extensive or technical data results in a more definitive thesis statement.
The thesis statement is typically included in the introduction of a research paper. It allows the researcher to posit a belief about the data based on an analysis of the data collection. The rest of the research paper is intended to provide evidence to back up the claim mentioned in the thesis statement.
One important element to include after the thesis statement and the introduction to the topic is an explanation of why the research is important. Always include a brief statement explaining how the data and research is valuable to make the paper more credible and to engage the reader.