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Research Without Pain: 1e. Write a Thesis

Research can be fun if you follow these simple steps.

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Write a Thesis

How to Write a Thesis

The thesis statement is a sentence or two near the beginning of your text containing the focus of your paper or assignment.

  • It is contestable, proposing an arguable point with which people could reasonably disagree. A strong thesis is provocative; it takes a stand and justifies the discussion you will present.
  • It tackles a subject that could be adequately covered in the format of the project assigned.
  • It is specific and focused. A strong thesis proves a point without discussing “everything about …” Instead of music, think "American jazz in the 1930s" and your argument about it.
  • It clearly asserts your own conclusion based on evidence. Note: 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!
  • It provides the reader with a map to guide him/her through your work.
  • It anticipates and refutes the counter-arguments
  • It avoids vague language (like "it seems").
  • It avoids the first person. ("I believe," "In my opinion")
  • It should pass the So what? or Who cares? test (Would your most honest friend ask why he should care or respond with "but everyone knows that"?) For instance, "people should avoid driving under the influence of alcohol," would be unlikely to evoke any opposition.

This Thesis builder might also be helpful.

Thesis Resources on the Web

 

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