Test Your Thesis!
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Following all the suggested steps, you should now have a one to three sentence thesis concept. Test it against these questions for clarity, scope and content of position.
- DOES YOUR THESIS STATEMENT HAVE ONE TOPIC?
Remember the objective is a paper that has a single focus. It can be made up of assorted subpoints, but they must be related and unified to support that central idea
- IS YOUR THESIS OF APPROPRIATE SCOPE?
Do you have a specific argument or line of thought that you want the reader to follow? Does the thesis suggest that you may be trailing off on some other idea not sufficiently related to your thesis?
- DOES YOUR THESIS SHOW YOUR POSITION?
Even a definitional paper will show the position you are taking or the conclusion that you want readers to draw from your paper. Be careful here that your thesis is not just announcing what you are going to talk about rather than stating your position on that subject.
- IS YOUR THESIS CLEAR AND SPECIFIC?
Have a friend look at it who does not know what you are writing about and ask him or her to explain back to you what it sounds like the paper will be about. You may be surprised that your thesis is overly large, uses vague language, does not make your point clear or suggests subject matter that you did not intend to address.
Copyright 1998 Margaret Oakes
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