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Developing a Thesis Statement
- A thesis statement provides you with a goal as you write.
- A thesis statement is clear, concise and, most importantly, helps your reader to understand your purpose.
- A thesis statement is often your research question + a claim about the topic.
- Too General: Global warming impacts the environment.
- Focused:Increasing temperatures in the Northeastern United States are transforming forests from coniferous to deciduous vegetation.
Adapted from: Richardson, J. B., Friedland, A. J., Engerbretson, T. R., Kaste, J. M., & Jackson, B. P. (2013).
Spatial and vertical distribution of mercury in upland forest soils across the northeastern
United States. Environmental pollution, 182, 127-134.
Your argument should include what other scholars have said about the topic
- Formulating arguments
- Speaking to and with academic sources
- Accurately summarizing and paraphrasing other scholar’s work
- Situating your claims and arguments within a scholarly dialogue
In longer research papers, such as journal articles, thesis, and dissertations, this is called a literature review. However, even in short essays you should reference the work that others have completed to understand the problem you are investigating. A good source for this kind of writing is:
Birkenstein, C., & Graff, G. (2018). They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. WW Norton & Company.
Proof Reading and Revising
Proof reading and Revising
- Writing your conclusion doesn’t mean you are finished!
- Check your argument and evidence – does it match your thesis?
- Organization – do you have one long paragraph?
- Sentences and syntax – Read your work out loud.
- Don’t be afraid to delete! It’s ok to delete a sentence (or three!) if they don’t align with your argument.
- Visit the writing tutors! The Writing Resource Center https://www.esf.edu/wrc/wrc.htm