Authors Keene and Adams discuss the topic of Thesis Statements in this way:
"A thesis is a sentence that presents the main idea of a paper, an idea that every fact and detail should support. Although you may alter your thesis after you write a first draft, formulating it now will help you to organize your ideas." A good thesis "states the paper's TOPIC and states a POINT OF VIEW concerning that topic."
Keene, Michael L. and Katherine H. Adams. Easy Access. McGraw-Hill, 2006. (18)
1. Choose a topic in which you are personally interested.
2. Don't choose a topic so broad that you drown in information. *A topic is probably too broad if you can state it in four or five words" (Booth, Colomb and Williams 39)
Example: History of the Space Program, Characters in Zora Neale Hurston's writings.
3. Don't choose a topic so narrow that you are not able to find anything on it!
Example: Alcohol consumption in Hispanic Women over 35 in Harris County, Texas.
4. Focus your topic by:
Asking questions on the history, traditions, symbolism, and meanings surrounding it.
Ask questions such as "What if?" and pose arguements that reflect disagreement.
Categorizing your topic into a group.
Challenging commonly-held beliefs.
Comparing and contrasting your hypothesis with others similar to it.
(Booth et al, 46)
5. Fill in the blanks:
1) I am studying_______.
2) Because I want to find out what/when/why/how__________.
3) In order to help my reader understand_________.
It is pointless to just gather random data. You must have focus, otherwise your time will not be spent wisely.
Booth, Wayne C., et al. The Craft of Research. 3rd ed. University of Chicago Press, 2008.