The Thesis Statement Group Members: Topic: Definition of a Thesis Statement



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Name______________________________________________________Period___________

*Only one worksheet needs to be turned in for each group/individual project.


The Thesis Statement
Group Members:
Topic:
Definition of a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is an argument or a hypothesis, the “main” point of your work; an unproved statement, especially one serving as a premise in a paper or project. The purpose of your project will be to present evidence in support of your thesis. Everything about your project will stem and evolve from your thesis statement.


A strong thesis is...

1. Arguable.

2. Evolved from your research therefore you have evidence to support it.

3. Clear, focused, and specific.




Three Steps to Arriving at a Thesis Statement


1. Begin with a general topic

Women’s Voting Rights and Suffrage.

2. Narrow down topic


Alice Paul’s Role in the Suffrage Movement of the early 20th century.

3. Develop a thesis statement

By taking a non-violent and radical approach, Alice Paul with the National Women’s Party, kept the women’s suffrage movement in the public eye, helping to pass the 19th Amendment.



Hints in developing a strong thesis statement

  • Develop a tentative thesis statement early on to keep your work focused.

  • If you cannot explain your argument in three sentences or less, refine your thesis.

  • Keep your thesis in mind as you conduct your research.

  • Revise your thesis, if your research findings shed new light on your earlier questions.

  • If you cannot phrase your thesis statement in the form of a “why” question, refine your thesis statement.

  • Look at what others have written about a subject, and argue against them and/or show how your research supports what they are saying.

  • Do not force your evidence to support or prove your thesis.


Two Thesis Examples:

  • Weak Thesis Statement: “This project is about Alice Paul and the women’s suffrage movement.” This thesis statement is weak. *It does not take a position or make an argument. It is too general and not specific.




  • Strong Thesis Statement: “By taking a non-violent and radical approach, Alice Paul with the National Women’s Party kept the women’s suffrage movement in the public eye, helping to pass of the 19th amendment.” *This example takes a position and provides an argument with which people can either agree or disagree.


Six Steps to Developing a Strong Thesis

Step One

Think of a question that you want to answer. The question should be a WHY question. Example: I am curious about why .........


Step Two

Do preliminary research by reading secondary sources and reading a lot of information.


Step Three

Refine or reformulate your question based on your preliminary findings. Start looking at primary sources.


Step Four

Narrow and focus your topic. You may decide to look a specific area of your general topic.


Step Five

Continue your research with a NARROWER and more SPECIFIC focus in mind, and follow and stay with this narrower focus.


Step Six

Develop a hypothesis and formulate a strong thesis statement that answers the “why” of your topic.



My/Our Thesis Statement:


Teacher Comments on Thesis Statement:


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