Can we write a good paper about problems in higher education in Connecticut?
Well, we're getting there, but that's still an awfully big topic, something we might be able to handle in a book or a Ph. Can we write a paper about problems within the community college system in Connecticut. Now we're narrowing down to something useful, but once we start writing such a paper, we would find that we're leaving out so much information, so many ideas that even most casual brainstorming would produce, that we're not accomplishing much.
What if we wrote about the problem of community colleges in Connecticut being so close together geographically that they tend to duplicate programs unnecessarily and impinge on each other's turf?
Now we have a focus that we can probably write about in a few pages although more, certainly, could be said and it would have a good argumentative edge to it. To back up such a thesis statement would require a good deal of work, however, and we might be better off if we limited the discussion to an example of how two particular community colleges tend to work in conflict with each other.
It's not a matter of being lazy; it's a matter of limiting our discussion to the work that can be accomplished within a certain number of pages. The thesis statement should remain flexible until the paper is actually finished.
Starting Your Research Paper: Writing an Introductory Paragraph
It ought to be one of the last things that we fuss with in the rewriting process. If we discover new information in the process of writing our paper that ought to be included in the thesis statement, then we'll have to rewrite our thesis statement. On the other hand, if we discover that our paper has done adequate work but the thesis statement appears to include things that we haven't actually addressed, then we need to limit that thesis statement.
If the thesis statement is something that we needed prior approval for, changing it might require the permission of the instructor or thesis committee, but it is better to seek such permission than to write a paper that tries to do too much or that claims to do less than it actually accomplishes. The thesis statement usually appears near the beginning of a paper.
It can be the first sentence of an essay, but that often feels like a simplistic, unexciting beginning. It more frequently appears at or near the end of the first paragraph or two. Here is the first paragraph of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
Thesis statement formula
Notice how everything drives the reader toward the last sentence and how that last sentence clearly signals what the rest of this essay is going to do. The first paragraph serves as kind of a funnel opening to the essay which draws and invites readers into the discussion, which is then focused by the thesis statement before the work of the essay actually begins. You will discover that some writers will delay the articulation of the paper's focus, its thesis, until the very end of the paper.
That is possible if it is clear to thoughtful readers throughout the paper what the business of the essay truly is; frankly, it's probably not a good idea for beginning writers. Avoid announcing the thesis statement as if it were a thesis statement. In other words, avoid using phrases such as "The purpose of this paper is. If necessary, write the thesis statement that way the first time; it might help you determine, in fact, that this is your thesis statement. But when you rewrite your paper, eliminate the bald assertion that this is your thesis statement and write the statement itself without that annoying, unnecessary preface.
Here are the first two paragraphs of George Orwell's classic essay, "Politics and the English Language" Which of these sentences would you say is or are the thesis statement of the essay which is to follow? Everything that follows in this essay, then, would have to be something that fits under the "umbrella" of that thesis statement.
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Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. While most American families would view consanguineal marriage as a threat to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families, like my own, believe that these marriages help reinforce kinship ties in an extended family. This is a strong thesis because it shows how your experience contradicts a widely-accepted view.
A good strategy for creating a strong thesis is to show that the topic is controversial. Readers will be interested in reading the rest of the essay to see how you support your point. Readers need to be able to see that your paper has one main point. If your thesis statement expresses more than one idea, then you might confuse your readers about the subject of your paper.
For example:. Companies need to exploit the marketing potential of the Internet, and Web pages can provide both advertising and customer support. To revise the thesis, the relationship between the two ideas needs to become more clear. One way to revise the thesis would be to write:.
Thesis statement examples
Because the Internet is filled with tremendous marketing potential, companies should exploit this potential by using Web pages that offer both advertising and customer support. This is a strong thesis because it shows that the two ideas are related. Hint: a great many clear and engaging thesis statements contain words like because , since , so , although , unless , and however. A thesis statement should show exactly what your paper will be about, and will help you keep your paper to a manageable topic.
For example, if you're writing a seven-to-ten page paper on hunger, you might say:.
This is a weak thesis statement for two major reasons. Second, many causes and effects is vague. You should be able to identify specific causes and effects. A revised thesis might look like this:. Hunger persists in Glandelinia because jobs are scarce and farming in the infertile soil is rarely profitable. This is a strong thesis statement because it narrows the subject to a more specific and manageable topic, and it also identifies the specific causes for the existence of hunger.
How to Write a Thesis Statement. You start out with a thesis statement like this: Sugar consumption. You change your thesis to look like this: Reducing sugar consumption by elementary school children. You revise your thesis statement to look like this: More attention should be paid to the food and beverage choices available to elementary school children.
You decide to explain what you mean about food and beverage choices , so you write: Experts estimate that half of elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar.
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You finally revise your thesis statement one more time to look like this: Because half of all American elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar, schools should be required to replace the beverages in soda machines with healthy alternatives. A strong thesis statement takes some sort of stand.
How to Write a Thesis Statement for a Research Paper
Here are two thesis statements: There are some negative and positive aspects to the Banana Herb Tea Supplement. This is a strong thesis because it takes a stand, and because it's specific. A strong thesis statement justifies discussion. If your assignment is to write a paper on kinship systems, using your own family as an example, you might come up with either of these two thesis statements: My family is an extended family. A strong thesis statement expresses one main idea. For example: Companies need to exploit the marketing potential of the Internet, and Web pages can provide both advertising and customer support.
One way to revise the thesis would be to write: Because the Internet is filled with tremendous marketing potential, companies should exploit this potential by using Web pages that offer both advertising and customer support. A strong thesis statement is specific. For example, if you're writing a seven-to-ten page paper on hunger, you might say: World hunger has many causes and effects.