ReasonIliad (Developing a Thesis Statement--Additional information Consider what your assignment asks you to doYour 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.
Sample assignment: Analyze Spain's neutrality in World War II Key terms: analyze, Spain's neutrality, World War IIInform yourself about your topicAfter you've identified the key words in your topic, the next step is to read about them in several sources, or generate as much information as possible through an analysis of your topic. Obviously, the more material or knowledge you have, the more possibilities will be available for a strong argument.
For the sample assignment above, you'll want to look at books and articles on World War II in general, and Spain's neutrality in particular This topic avoids generalities such as Spain and World War II, addressing instead Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find .
Focus on one aspect of your topicAs you consider your options, you must decide to focus on one aspect of your topic. This means that you cannot include everything you've learned about your topic, nor should you go off in several directions. If you end up covering too many different aspects of a topic, your paper will sprawl and be unconvincing in its argument, and it most likely will not fulfill the assignment requirements.
For the sample assignment above, both Spain's neutrality and World War II are topics far too broad to explore in a paper The Details of the Bloodiest and Deadliest Wars of All Times, World War I of skirts, jewelry, bathing suits, make-up, cigarette smoking, etc. indicate about W.W.I. .
You may instead decide to focus on Franco's role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis, which narrows down what aspects of Spain's neutrality and World War II you want to discuss, as well as establishes a specific link between those two aspects. Ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your effortsBefore you go too far, however, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts.
Try to avoid topics that already have too much written about them (i.
, "eating disorders and body image among adolescent women") or that simply are not important (i World War I left many families dead, creating large numbers of orphans. Jamaie (later to become James) Decartes was one of those orphans. His father died in .
These topics may lead to a thesis that is either dry fact or a weird claim that cannot be supported.
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 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.