Chapter 5

Chapter 5

Within Every Great Thesis Is a Stimulating Question

  • Keep Reading
  • Apply Your Perspective
  • Make Your Own Luck
  • Challenger Yourself
  • Talk With Others
  • Try Freewriting

Preliminary List:

  • Controversies about existence or fact
  • Controversies about definition or interpretation
  • Controversies about cause, consequence, or circumstance
  • Controversies about evaluation
  • Controversies about jurisdiction, procedure, policy, or action to be taken

So What's a Good Question?

  • Challenging
  • Compelling
  • Controversial

When brainstorming possible research questions, see whether they fit the following criteria;

  • Which questions are most controversial, interesting, or complicated to answer?
  • Which questions already have obvious, simple, or commonly known answers? (AVOID THESE)
  • Is this question expansive and sophisticated enough for me to fufill my assignment's page requirement, yet narrow enough for me to investigate it deeply within the page limit
  • How might I answer this question? What methods (surveys, interviews, library research) could I use?
  • Do I have the time and resources such as access to relevant books and articles, labs, contact with experts, that i'll need to answer this question?

Dig narrow and deep, rather than broad and shallow

Find the strongest thesis statements by

  • Investigating a controversy thoroughly to identify the best questions that people haven't answered fully yet
  • Selecting challenging, compelling, and controversial questions
  • Focusing on the later controversy categories

Writing and Evolving Thesis

  • To show readers your evolving thoughts
  • To build a complicated argument
  • To develop a controversial argument
  • To keep the reader interested or surprised

Titanic Thesis Statements

  • Cliched arguments
  • "Interesting" arguments

Checklist for Thesis Statements

  • Answers a challenging, compelling, and/or controversial question
  • Gets at the heart of the controversy
  • Breathes new life into an issue and avoids overused, common wisdom
  • Is appropriate for the argument's audience, purpose, and context
  • Engages readers with specific and interesting content and style
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