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Researching the term paper. tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.

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A thesis statement

  • tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.

  • is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.

  • directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.

  • makes a claim that others might dispute.

  • is usually a single sentence somewhere in your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader, but can be a short paragraph ( a minor précis). The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.

A thesis statement:


  • If your task is to take a position or develop a claim about a subject, you may need to convey that position or claim in a thesis statement near the beginning of your draft. The assignment may not explicitly state that you need a thesis statement because your instructor may assume you will include one. When in doubt, ask your instructor if the assignment requires a thesis statement.

  • When an assignment asks you to analyze, to interpret, to compare and contrast, to demonstrate cause and effect, or to take a stand on an issue, it is likely that you are being asked to develop a thesis and to support it persuasively.


From sjsu political science dept writing center

  • Your thesis statement is the central argument of your essay. It must be concise and well-written.

  • Your thesis goes in the introductory paragraph. Don't hide it; make it clearly asserted at the beginning of your paper.

  • Your thesis must make an argument. It is the road map to the argument you will subsequently develop in your paper

From SJSU Political Science Dept. writing center


  • In-class It must be concise and well-written.exercise: Selecting and judging Thesis statements.


Organizing and expressing ideas

  • Analysis It must be concise and well-written.

    • Select, differentiate, dissect, break up

  • Synthesis

    • Integrate, combine, recast, formulate

  • Comprehension

    • Understand, explain, distinguish, interpret

  • Knowledge

    • Define, classify, describe, name, use, problem solve

Organizing and expressing ideas


Research for your paper
Research for your paper It must be concise and well-written.


Strong and weak thesis sentences. It must be concise and well-written.


Research

  • Sources It must be concise and well-written.

    • Begin with key word searches in library databases.

    • Examine multiple abstracts to zero in on relevant articles

    • Experiment with different databases and related key words—important research can wind up in surprising places.

Research


Notes from your research reading review handout

  • Purpose It must be concise and well-written.

  • Scope

  • Focus

  • Sample

  • Data

  • Approach

  • Validity

Notes from your research reading(review handout)


Classifying and sorting research

  • Determine early on whether or not your paper will be strengthened with quantitative data.

Classifying and sorting research


About opinions

  • Not relevant to most essay assignments that require analysis and evaluation.

  • Relevant when supporting an interpretation, but must be supported with sufficient data.

  • Useful only if it advances the paper.

  • Your term paper is about a subject, and your evaluation of evidence, not your opinion on the subject.

About opinions


Homework

Homework


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