Thesis Writing – The Cornerstone of Solid Academic Composition
You have been assigned a paper on the Presidential election of 2012, and you have been given a great deal of latitude within that topic. You have decided to explore the reasons for Romney’s loss, and you begin the research, by reading journal articles, maybe a recently published book or two, and gathering as much information as possible. You realize quite quickly that the topic will have to be narrowed, and you therefore focus on the impact of the Hispanic vote. Immediately your thesis has changed.
Defining a Thesis
Every piece of academic writing, from a basic 5-paragraph essay to a major research work, will have a thesis, that is, a specific “point” for writing the piece. This point or purpose will generally be stated in the introduction, so that the reader has a focus from the very beginning. Once that thesis is stated, all that follows must support it, whether that is factual information, personal experience, evidence, original research, etc. The point is this: by the end of your document, the reader should be convinced that your thesis statement is valid.
Thesis Writing Will Require Several Attempts
You might begin the formulation of your thesis statement as you conduct your research or gather your thoughts on a topic. As you formulate potential theses, write them down. Once the research is complete, or once you have prepared some type of graphic for your essay, you will begin to see your purpose more clearly. For example, you know at the onset of your research that Romney lost the Latino vote overwhelmingly. The question for you is why? Once you have answered that question, you have your thesis help, that is, the basis for your purpose.
Refining Your Thesis Writing
You know that Romney lost the Latino vote; your research has revealed a number of reasons for this – the Republican attitude in general toward immigration, Romney’s own statements about “illegals” in during his primary campaign, the views of his running mate, Paul Ryan, and the statements and opinions of campaign surrogates and conservative Republicans throughout the election process. How will you synthesize all of this into a solid thesis?
Look at your research. What general statement can you make about such research and what do you plan to cover in your essay or paper? Your thesis statement will certainly not be a question, such as, “Why did Romney lose the election?” Your thesis statement certainly will not be too general, such as, “There are a number of reasons for Romney’s loss.” It needs to focus on the Latino vote as one of the reasons for Romney’s loss. An appropriate thesis statement, then, would be something such as, “Among the reasons for Romney’s loss of the Presidential election of 2012 was the lack of support among the American Latino population.” Now, your reader knows exactly what you are going to speak to in your essay or paper!
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