As you think and write about your topic, you can restrict, clarify, and refine your argument, crafting your thesis statement to reflect your thinking.If you are writing a paper that will have an argumentative thesis and are having trouble getting started, the techniques in the table below may help you develop a temporary or “working” thesis statement.Keep in mind that not all papers require thesis statements. Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic; or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper.
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.
As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times.
Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.
As you read more about Franco’s decisions, you may conclude that Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: his desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power.
Based on this conclusion, you can then write a trial thesis statement to help you decide what material belongs in your paper.
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, 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.