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Wednesday, August 24, 2016 The Danger of a Working Thesis

You’re finally getting started on your paper, and you’ve magically come to the end of your introduction. You pause for a moment because you realize this is where your thesis is supposed to go. You start to think about your paper, and you’re unsure of what to do. You think you basically know what you’re going to write about, but there’s a lot of detail that you haven’t thought about yet. So, naturally, you create a working thesis for your paper.

That’s not a bad idea at all! A working thesis can be a great springboard to help you write your paper and discover the details that you do want to put in your paper. So, what’s the danger?

The danger is the very real temptation to leave your working thesis alone. Don’t do that.

When you write what you consider to be a working thesis, that’s just what it is! As you continue to write your paper, it will evolve into a different shape with interesting details and a strong and interesting argument. The first draft of most theses is vague and, though it may include three points, often does not explain the argument that the writer takes on.

Here are a few questions to help you revise your thesis:

  • Is it specific? Does it vaguely mention “birds,” even though you're actually writing about a specific type of bird and why it needs to be protected?
  • Did you address the audience?
  • Is it easy to tell what your argument is from reading it? Make your claim strong.
  • Is it stuck like a block on the end of your introduction or does it create a natural bridge from the introduction to the rest of your paper?

Posted at 9:50 AM | Comments (0)
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