Writing Thesis Statements for your Research. Why, a thesis?. A thesis statement declares what you intend to prove. A thesis gives your work focus. A good thesis statement makes the difference between a thoughtful research project and a simple retelling of facts. . Some Defining Features.
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2 Simple equations:
(or 3 Ts: Topic + ‘Tude’= Thesis)
What you plan to argue
+How you plan to argue it
= Your thesis
Contestable--proposes an argument with which people could reasonably disagree
Provocative--takes a stand and justifies the discussion you will present.
Coverable--could be adequately covered in the format of the project assigned.
Specific and focused--proves a point without discussing “everything in the world about …”
Provable-- asserts your own conclusion based on solid evidence.
A good tentative thesis will help you focus your search for information.
You must do a lot of background reading before you know enough about a subject to identify the key or essential questions.
You may not know how you stand on an issue until you have examined the evidence.
You will likely begin your research with a working, preliminary or tentative thesis which you will continue to refine until you are certain of where the evidence leads.
The evidence may lead you to a conclusion you didn't
think you'd reach.
It is perfectly okay to
change your thesis!
As you research look for:
Interesting contrasts or comparisons or patterns emerging in the information
Something about the topic that surprises you
Ideas that make you wonder why?
Priorities you can weigh
Created for papers where an issue is broken down or evaluated
Explains something to the audience
Makes a claim about a topic and justifies that claim. Includes the claim, the reasons/evidence to support the claim, and the order in which the reasons or evidence will be discussed
Because the rest of the paper will support or back up your thesis, a thesis is normally placed at or near the end of the introductory paragraph. (The opening paragraph serves to set the context for the thesis.)
Author’s Name: Biographical Info. your author that the biographical, historical, and literary criticism sections will relate to.
Birth (time and place)
Major Life Events
End of Life
Author’s Name: Historical Info. your author that the biographical, historical, and literary criticism sections will relate to.
your notes ~ a paragraph to explain the significance of each event
Author: Literary Criticism your author that the biographical, historical, and literary criticism sections will relate to.
Writings in general
My story in particular
your notes – what others say