Developing A Thesis. Effectively with our tips.
Think of yourself as a part of a jury, listening to an attorney who is presenting an opening argument. You’ll want to know as soon as possible whether or not the lawyer believes the accused to be guilty or perhaps not guilty, and exactly how the lawyer intends to convince you. Readers of academic essays are like jury members: before they will have read too far, they would like to know very well what the essay argues as well as how the writer intends to result in the argument. After reading your thesis statement, your reader should think, “This essay will probably attempt to convince me of something. I’m not convinced yet, but I’m interested to observe how I may be.”
An thesis that is effective be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” A thesis is not a topic; neither is it a fact; neither is it an opinion. “known reasons for the fall of communism” is an interest. “Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe” is an undeniable fact known by educated people. “The fall of communism is the greatest thing that ever happened in Europe” is an impression. (Superlatives like “the best” almost always result in trouble. You can’t really weigh every “thing” that ever happened in Europe. And think about the fall of Hitler? Could not that be “the thing that is best”?)
A thesis that is good two parts. It must tell everything you intend to argue, and it also should “telegraph” the way you intend to argue—that is, what support that is particular your claim is certainly going where in your essay.
Steps in Constructing a Thesis
First, analyze your primary sources. Try to find tension, interest, ambiguity, controversy, and/or complication. Does the author contradict himself or herself? Is a point made and later reversed? Which are the deeper implications of the author’s argument? Finding out the why to at least one or maybe more of the questions, or even related questions, will place you in relation to developing a working thesis. (without having the why, you almost certainly have only show up with an observation—that there are, as an example, many metaphors that are different such-and-such a poem—which is not a thesis.)