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A good thesis falls somewhere between the two extremes.To arrive at this point, ask yourself what is new, interesting, contestable, or controversial about your topic.As you think and write about your topic, you can restrict, clarify, and refine your argument, crafting your thesis statement to reflect your thinking.
Sometimes you won’t be able to find a focus or identify your “spin” or specific argument immediately.
Like some writers, you might begin with a purpose statement just to get yourself going.
Many papers you write require developing a thesis statement. Ask your instructor if you’re in doubt whether you need one.
In this section you’ll learn what a thesis statement is and how to write one. Your topic is the subject about which you will write.
Begin with a purpose statement that you will later turn into a thesis statement.
Assignment: Discuss the history of the Reform Party and explain its influence on the 1990 presidential and Congressional election.As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times.Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.These patterns or data may then lead you to some conclusions about your topic and suggest that you can successfully argue for one idea better than another.For instance, you might find out that Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis, but when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from them, he turned to the Allies.You can then turn this “controlling idea” into a purpose statement about what you intend to do in your paper.Consult the examples below for suggestions on how to look for patterns in your evidence and construct a purpose statement.Keep in mind that not all papers require thesis statements. Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic; or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper.If in doubt, please consult your instructor for assistance. Reason This topic avoids generalities such as “Spain” and “World War II,” addressing instead on Franco’s role (a specific aspect of “Spain”) and the diplomatic relations between the Allies and Axis (a specific aspect of World War II). Identified topic (warfare being a major theme in that work).Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic, or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper.You’ll want to read your assignment carefully, looking for key terms that you can use to focus your topic.