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thesis statement

 

Formulating a working thesis statement:


 

Step 1:  Ruminate about the topic you are interested in.  This can be very stream of conscious.  It will help you focus your thoughts on your topic.

 

Step 2:  Write the following:

 

The purpose of my paper is to show how (insert writer’s name) uses/develops WHAT __________________ (broad topic) in order to ________________________(Why?).

 

Ex.  The purpose of my paper is to show how Chaucer uses (WHAT) examples of corruption in the clergy (WHY) in order to encourage reform not only in the clergy but also in all members of society.

 

Step 3: Erase the “crutch” phrase.

 

Ex.  The purpose of my paper is to show how Chaucer uses (WHAT) examples of corruption in the clergy (WHY) in order to encourage reform not only in the clergy but also in all members of society.

 

Step 4: Refine and add information that foreshadows a logical treatment of your topic.

 

In the thesis statement, or claim, the write makes the central idea CLEAR and SPECIFIC.  The order of the clauses indicates the PLANNED ORGANIZATION of the paper.  As research proceeds, the thesis and outline must be REVISED so that they continue to MATCH.