Your thesis statement serves as the main argument that drives your paper forward. Students are for the most part well accustomed to writing essays that follow this top-down structure; however, they usually have a such harder time adapting their thesis statements to match the purpose of the specific writing task. Never assume that you don’t need a thesis statement just because you’re not asked to write a traditional academic essay.
The following table lists some of the most common assignments and their corresponding thesis forms: Type of Assignment Analytical Essay Form of the Thesis Statement Statement of main claim about the topic in relation to the object of study Book Review Statement of critical evaluation about the book Critical Review (I. E. Review of an academic journal article) Position Paper
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Comparative Essay Statement of critical evaluation about the journal article Statement of position + reasons Statement of main argument + main points of comparison Research paper Statement of main claim about the topic, issue, or problem Research Proposal Tentative statement of main claim about the topic, issue, or problem Personal Reflection Case Study Lab Report Statement of main focus or direction Statement of problem + recommendations Statement of main purpose 3.
FORMULATE A RESEARCH QUESTION Students often have a hard time distinguishing between the thesis statement ND the research question. These two components of an academic paper are closely related, but not interchangeable. Sometimes the research question is given to you as a part of the assignment question; at other times, you will have to come up with the research question on your own.
The research question can be defined in the following ways: The question that focuses your research on a significant problem, issue, controversy or contradiction The main question outlined in your assignment, or the final question you have arrived at after having asked questions to narrow your topic The question that your thesis statement will answer in the form of a specific claim 2 Example of research question: ‘What was the most important cause of America’s increased involvement in the Vietnam War during the sass? ” (Avery et 22).
Example of a thesis statement in response to a research question: “The escalation of the Vietnam War during the 1 9605 was caused primarily by America’s anti-Communist foreign policy” (Avery et al. 22). Tips on coming up with a good research question: Ask the journalistic questions (who, what, when, where, why) about your topic until you get down o a single question that is both specific and substantive Consider how your question relates to published literature on your topic Use a purpose- statement prompt to help you come up with a research question: “The purpose of this paper is to 4.
Coming up with a good thesis statement can seem like a very perplexing task in the early stages of the writing process, particularly if you’re asked to submit a research proposal that requires a tentative thesis statement. Remember that a tentative thesis statement is not something set in stone; rather, it is mouthing meant to help you focus your analysis and research so that the writing task becomes manageable. You should not attempt to start collecting and analyzing evidence until you have an idea of the main argument you would like make in your paper.
Generating the thesis statement, then, can be thought of as a recursive process. In the early stages of planning and writing, the tentative thesis helps you focus on the evidence in a certain way, but as you get further along in the writing process the analysis of evidence should also help you clarify the thesis statement (Rosewater et al. 32). The writers of Writing Analytically recommend that you ask yourself the following questions as you go through the process of generating a main claim for your essay: 3 What kinds Of patterns or implications emerge when kick closely at my evidence?
What kind of evidence and support do need to support my tentative thesis? What kind of evidence cannot be adequately accounted for by my tentative thesis? How can I explain the mismatches between my thesis statement and my selected evidence? How can rewrite my thesis statement in order to accommodate the evidence that doesn’t fit? This practice of constantly readjusting the thesis statement to match the evidence and analysis will ultimately lead you to write a polished and defensible thesis statement in your final draft.
Example of a tentative thesis statement: “Educating Rata celebrates the liberating potential of enabling education, defined as that which remains open to healthy doses of working-class, real-world infusions” (Rosewater et al. 137). Example of complicating evidence: “Frank and Rata both end up alone and alienated” (Rosewater et al. 137). Example of a revised thesis: “Educating Rata celebrates the liberating potential f enabling education (kept open to real-world, working-class energy) but also acknowledges its potential costs in loneliness and alienation” (Rosewater et 5.
EXAMINE A CONTRADICTION Some thesis statements are just simply more interesting than others. The choice of a boring or self-evident thesis statement has less to do with how brilliant you are as a writer and more to do with how good you are at identifying a “problem that is significant not just to you, but to your readers as well” (Booth et al. 48). If you get halfway through 4 your essay, and you find yourself with nothing left to say, then you can be airily certain that your thesis lacks the intellectual vigor required to propel you through the essay.
According to the authors of Thinking It Through: A Practical Guide to Academic Essay Writing, one way that you can avoid writing a thesis statement that falls intellectually flat is to formulate one that focuses on an interesting contradiction, tension, or paradox between two things. For example, a complex thesis statement might focus on the contrast between the popular interpretation of a political event and your own interpretation, between two paradoxical themes in a novel or poem, and so on.