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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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Why a thesis l.jpg
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.


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Some Defining Features

  • It's a one- or two- sentence statement that explicitly outlines the purpose or point of your paper. A thesis is to a paper what a topic sentence is to a paragraph.

  • It argues one main point and doesn't squeeze three different theses for three different papers into one sentence


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Some More Defining Feature

  • It is an assertion that a reasonable person could disagree with. It is not a fact or casual observation; it must beg to be proved.

  • It takes a position on a topic rather than simply announcing that the paper is about a topic (the title should have already told your reader your topic). Don't tell a reader about something; tell them what about something. Answer the questions "how?" or "why?".


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What does a thesis look like?

2 Simple equations:

Specific topic+Attitude/Angle/Argument=Thesis

(or 3 Ts: Topic + ‘Tude’= Thesis)

OR

What you plan to argue

+How you plan to argue it

= Your thesis


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Attributes of a good 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.


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Don’t rush your thesis!

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.


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Be flexible!

The evidence may lead you to a conclusion you didn't

think you'd reach.

It is perfectly okay to

change your thesis!


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How will you find a 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


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The Analytical Thesis Statement

Created for papers where an issue is broken down or evaluated


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The Expository Thesis Statement

Explains something to the audience


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The Argumentative Thesis Statement

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


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I have a thesis. Where do I put it?

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.)


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Sample Thesis Statements

  • Ever since Willa Cather was young, she listened to the stories of others, which influenced her to become a novelist, journalist and publisher.


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Research your author that the biographical, historical, and literary criticism sections will relate to.

  • During your research you will locate at least 8 sources. Write down or cut and paste the MLA citations into a document. Your final works cited page will list your sources in alphabetical order.

  • Take Cornell Notes on the sources you find. Record the sources on your notes. You will cite at least 5 sources in your final paper. Use quotation marks to indicate direct quotes.

  • This step is due your first day back from Thanksgiving Break. Please remember the steps for this research project must be turned in sequentially.


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Author’s Name: Biographical Info. your author that the biographical, historical, and literary criticism sections will relate to.

Birth (time and place)

Parents/Upbringing

Schooling

Major Life Events

Careers

End of Life

your notes

MLA Citation


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Author’s Name: Historical Info. your author that the biographical, historical, and literary criticism sections will relate to.

Major Events

Wars/Conflicts

Politics

Economics

Social Issues

your notes ~ a paragraph to explain the significance of each event

MLA Citation


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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

MLA Citation


Now you are ready go forth and do powerful thoughtful research l.jpg

Now you are ready! your author that the biographical, historical, and literary criticism sections will relate to.Go forth and do powerful, thoughtful research!


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