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Many papers you write require developing a thesis statement. Ask your instructor if you’re in doubt whether you need one.
Once you have a topic, you will have to decide what the main point of your paper will be.
This point, the “controlling idea,” becomes the core of your argument (thesis statement) and it is the unifying idea to which you will relate all your sub-theses.
You can then turn this “controlling idea” into a purpose statement about what you intend to do in your paper.
Consult the examples below for suggestions on how to look for patterns in your evidence and construct a purpose statement.
For the sample assignment above, you’ll want to look at books and articles on World War II in general, and Spain’s neutrality in particular.
As you consider your options, you must decide to focus on one aspect of your topic.A purpose statement is one or more sentences that announce your topic and indicate the structure of the paper but do not state the conclusions you have drawn.Thus, you might begin with something like this: At some point, you can turn a purpose statement into a thesis statement.Before you go too far, however, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts.Try to avoid topics that already have too much written about them (i.e., “eating disorders and body image among adolescent women”) or that simply are not important (i.e. These topics may lead to a thesis that is either dry fact or a weird claim that cannot be supported.A good thesis falls somewhere between the two extremes.To arrive at this point, ask yourself what is new, interesting, contestable, or controversial about your topic.For the sample assignment above, both Spain’s neutrality and World War II are topics far too broad to explore in a paper.You may instead decide to focus on Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis, which narrows down what aspects of Spain’s neutrality and World War II you want to discuss, as well as establishes a specific link between those two aspects.This means that you cannot include everything you’ve learned about your topic, nor should you go off in several directions.If you end up covering too many different aspects of a topic, your paper will sprawl and be unconvincing in its argument, and it most likely will not fulfull the assignment requirements.