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The best thing you can remember when at this stage of the writing process is to remain fearless of your topic and your research.You might stumble at points when your research forces you to question your own argument. It does NOT mean that your argument is not good - it simply means that you have an opportunity to clarify your ideas and increase your knowledge.A working thesis is far enough along to serve as a viable research question-and-answer-pair, but it is still pliable and open to being altered or refined further as your research progresses and as you discover other, related research questions and answers.
Without a central argument, a piece of writing is a structural mess. If you don't answer that question in the introductory section of your article or book, readers are not going to keep reading. Trust me, no one who edits or reviews your submission wants to be Reviewer No. We all want to love the piece of writing that we’ve been charged with reviewing or editing.
Ensuring that you have a strong central argument at the core of your text — before you submit it anywhere — will lead not only to better organization and clearer prose, but to happier readers all along the production line.
It's midsummer, which, if you’re an academic, may mean you are traveling or firing up the grill, but it most definitely means you are trying to get some of your research and writing done. As the digital editor of one of my field’s top journals — and as someone who is asked to review manuscripts for major academic publishers on a fairly regular basis — I see a lot of polished texts by sophisticated thinkers whose writing, nonetheless, either has no argument whatsoever or has 17 smaller arguments peppered throughout the text, not one of which binds everything together.
By summer's end, you are hoping to press the submit button. I’d like you to pause a moment from your daily diligence — grinding out future articles and book chapters — and think about those of us who work as editors and manuscript reviewers. You didn’t get this far in academe without knowing how to craft a thesis statement. In the past few months alone, I've had to write so many comments to authors pointing out their lack of an argument and their poor organizational structure that I’m forced to believe this is a much more widespread problem than I’d originally imagined.
You are not simply reporting on a topic, such as "treehouses." While such a report might be informative for you or a handful of treehouse novices, it would not produce anything new in the repertoire of treehouse literature, and therefore would simply be repeating information that has already been established.
Thesis Statement Question And Answer
Instead, you are trying to find out something new relating to that topic (e.g., how does a treehouse contribute to the emotional development of a child?Ask the following eight questions to evaluate the quality of your research question and the feasibility that you can answer it in the time that you have: * for most student work, it's a one- or two- sentence statement that explicitly outlines the purpose or point of your paper.A thesis is to a paper what a topic sentence is to a paragraph * it should point toward the development or course of argument the reader can expect your argument to take, but does not have to specifically include 'three supporting points' as you may have once learned * because the rest of the paper will support or back up your thesis, a thesis is normally placed at or near the end of the introductory paragraph.Generally, faculty do not like them and they rarely appear in academic prose.Not using an "I will show" statement goes beyond avoiding the first person, a rule that is changing even in scientific writing.Who would want to read something they already knew? Good research questions (and their corresponding working theses) pass the "so what? This means that during the topic-formulating stage and again now, always keep asking "SO WHAT? " or, to paraphrase the famous Canadian journalist Barbara Frum, "Tell me something new about something I care about." That will automatically make your paper significant and interesting both for you to write and the reader to study. Once again, let's reword our thesis statement for enhanced clarity and strength: Congratulations! After all, you're not writing a paper trying to convince others that children like treehouses. Now you can keep developing your working thesis until you have pinned down any question that might remain: e.g., What is the connection between "independence" and "imagination" and "appreciation for nature"? In summary, if you can provide a good case, with evidence, that treehouses give a child a place of her own that improves self-confidence in a unique way, you could be making a good contribution to those interested in child-development (or treehouse manufacturers - they'd love to advertise this! Moreover, you will need to satisfactorily argue the specific benefits of treehouses. The process we just went through to arrive at our working thesis might seem tedious, but it is actually very typical for writers to continually revise their working theses.You wouldn't be persuading them of anything and all your work would be pretty meaningless. Now let's apply this test to a sample thesis about the relationship between treehouses and child development: Now we ask, who cares? Because they allow a child to have a place of her own! In fact, our treehouse thesis is probably an exceptionally easy example.Once you have chosen and refined a topic, you will need to form a set of research questions about that topic, and next form a working thesis to answer the research questions. It is a proposed answer to a focused research question, and it is the main point of your argument that you develop throughout your paper.A working thesis is "working" because it guides your research at the same time that your research tweaks it.And someone should be able to theoretically argue against it (how successfully will depend, of course, on how persuasive you are) * it takes a side on a topic rather than simply announcing that the paper is about a topic (the title should have already told your reader your topic). " * it is sufficiently narrow and specific that your supporting points are necessary and sufficient, not arbitrary; paper length and number of supporting points are good guides here * it argues one main point and doesn't squeeze three different theses for three different papers into one sentence Most importantly, it passes the "So What? No one wants to write a paper that doesn't matter, much less read one. This means to construct a thesis statement about a problem that is still debated, controversial, up in the air. So, how might you reword this phrase to clarify this meaning to yourself and the reader? Otherwise, you might as well just argue that any old "place of your own" benefits self-confidence.Don't tell a reader about something; tell them what about something. So arguing that treehouses can be dangerous-- while you could find a ton of evidence to support your view --would be pretty worthless nowadays. How can our thesis statement communicate to our readers that treehouses are significant places? It's a thesis that looks at what treehouses could be doing, and people would certainly be interested in following your development on this issue.