Moving From Topic To Thesis
What Is A Thesis?
A paper is never simply "about" a topic -- it makes
a clear statement, highlights a central idea, or states an
opinion. This "thesis" or main idea gives your writing
focus. Without a thesis, your paper may become simply a collection
of random ideas. A thesis may be clearly stated or implied.
Truman Capote's Out There has no thesis
statement you can underline, but the description of a small
Kansas town has a clear focus. It creates a dominant impression
and is more than a list of facts.
Don't Confuse A Thesis With A Narrowed Topic
A key element in generating a thesis is limiting your topic.
Take a general idea and limit it so you can intelligently
discuss a topic without repeating generalizations that add
nothing new. The more common or controversial your subject,
the more you will have to find a new way of addressing it:
||Abortion and Pregnant Teens
||Attitudes of Fathers
||Abortion and Fathers' Rights
Abortion and fathers' rights is a good topic for a paper
-- but it is not a thesis. A thesis must state an opinion
Points To Remember
- Legalized abortion has led men to be less responsible
in their sexual behavior.
- Fathers should have the right to prevent their children
from being aborted.
- Because women bear children, only the mother should have
the right to terminate a pregnancy.
- A thesis makes a clear assertion about a topic. It states
an opinion and is not simply a limited topic.
- A thesis can usually be stated in a single sentence.
- The thesis can be directly stated in essay in a single
sentence, stated in portions throughout the essay, or implied.
- Thesis statements can be placed at the beginning, middle,
or conclusion -- wherever it will have the greatest effect
on the reader.
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Sundance Reader, Third Edition, Web Site by Mark