Monday, August 07, 2006

Tips for Writing a Research Paper Thesis

Developing a thesis is the most important part of prewriting. When writers are in a hurry, they often take shortcuts on this step. Starting to write a research paper without a solid thesis will not save you time: When you are halfway through the paper at 1 a.m. and discover that you need to change your thesis and scrap much of what you have hastily written, you will realize the value of spending extra minutes brainstorming about the thesis in the prewriting stage.
- Kerry Flannery-Reilly, Princeton University

Your research paper thesis is a central idea of your paper, which should…
  • Be one to two sentences long;
  • State clearly and succinctly the purpose of your paper;
  • Uncover what you believe your research will prove.

Remember that it is crucial to come up with a well-defined research paper thesis because it…

  • Helps you focus on your subject throughout the research project;
  • Provides a clear blueprint for the rest of the paper;
  • Assist you with prioritizing your time;
  • Make your research more productive.

A thesis statement should comprise two elements: (1) a limited subject + (2) a specific attitude or feeling toward a subject.

To develop a tentative thesis that you have written early in your research into a final thesis statement of your paper, you should follow this process:

  • Choose a broad subject;
  • Limit your subject;
  • Select a tentative thesis that will evolve as you do further research;
  • Put your research paper thesis in the form of a question;
  • Turn this question into a more exact and precise sentence.

When you have created a specific and clearly defined thesis statement, make sure that it directs you to write a paper that meets all the requirements of your assignment.

1 comment:

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