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For the sample assignment above, you’ll want to look at books and articles on World War II in general, and Spain’s neutrality in particular.As you consider your options, you must decide to focus on one aspect of your topic.This means that you cannot include everything you’ve learned about your topic, nor should you go off in several directions.
You can then turn this “controlling idea” into a purpose statement about what you intend to do in your paper.
Consult the examples below for suggestions on how to look for patterns in your evidence and construct a purpose statement.
Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic, or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper.
You’ll want to read your assignment carefully, looking for key terms that you can use to focus your topic.
As you can see, there is no universal thesis statement formula as every type of a writing assignment requires a different approach.
In some cases, you will have to include counterarguments, and in others presenting solely your point of view will suffice.Before you go too far, however, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts.Try to avoid topics that already have too much written about them (i.e., “eating disorders and body image among adolescent women”) or that simply are not important (i.e. These topics may lead to a thesis that is either dry fact or a weird claim that cannot be supported.For the sample assignment above, both Spain’s neutrality and World War II are topics far too broad to explore in a paper.You may instead decide to focus on Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis, which narrows down what aspects of Spain’s neutrality and World War II you want to discuss, as well as establishes a specific link between those two aspects.As you read more about Franco’s decisions, you may conclude that Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: his desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power.Based on this conclusion, you can then write a trial thesis statement to help you decide what material belongs in your paper.Once you have a topic, you will have to decide what the main point of your paper will be.This point, the “controlling idea,” becomes the core of your argument (thesis statement) and it is the unifying idea to which you will relate all your sub-theses.After you’ve identified the key words in your topic, the next step is to read about them in several sources, or generate as much information as possible through an analysis of your topic.Obviously, the more material or knowledge you have, the more possibilities will be available for a strong argument.