Formulate Your Thesis Statement

Formulate Your Thesis Statement-32
Tip: your introductory paragraph will probably look like this: You can test your thesis statement’s arguability by asking the following questions: Is my thesis about my primary source or case study, or is it about the world?If it’s about the world, revise it so that it focuses on your primary source or case study.All good writing has a purpose or motive for existing.

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You need a good thesis statement for your essay but are having trouble getting started. You’ve focused on a topic--high school cliques--which is a smart move because you’ve settled on one of many possible angles.

You may have heard that your thesis needs to be specific and arguable, but still wonder what this really means. Imagine you’re writing about John Hughes’s film is a romantic comedy about high school cliques. But the claim is weak because it’s not yet arguable.

Summarize for your reader how a scholar or group of scholars has approached your topic.

Introduce a theoretical source (possibly from another discipline) and explain how it helps you address this issue from a new and productive angle.

Here are some possible ways to introduce a conceptual problem in your paper’s introduction. Challenge a commonplace interpretation (or your own first impressions).

How are readers likely to interpret this source or issue?Good essays problematize what we think we know and offer an alternative explanation in its place.They leave their reader with a fresh perspective on a problem.Now explain how you will extend this scholar’s argument to explore an issue or case study that the scholar doesn’t address fully. If your assignment asks you to do research, identify a gap in another scholar’s or a group of scholars’ research.Or, summarize how scholars in the field tend to approach your topic.If your thesis doesn’t go beyond summarizing your source, it’s not arguable. Although the film appears to reinforce stereotypes about high school cliques, it undermines them in important ways, questioning its viewers’ assumptions about what’s normal. We also have a sense of why this argument is important.The key words in the thesis statement are “romantic comedy” and “high school cliques.” One way to sharpen the claim is to . The film’s larger goal, we learn, is to question what we think we understand about normalcy.Next, explain what important aspect this scholarly representation misses or distorts.Introduce your particular approach to your topic and its value. If your assignment asks you to do research, bring in a new lens for investigating your case study or problem.We all bring important past experiences and beliefs to our interpretations of texts, objects, and problems.You can harness these observational powers to engage critically with what you are studying.

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