The process of writing the thesis can be a daunting and perplexing one. More often than not, the process itself strikes fear within the woeful student has heart before he has even begun to think about a topic. In order to write the thesis sentence, approach the thesis from the perspective of which you approached your paper has topic. Use some of the methods you used above to brainstorm for topic ideas to arrive at a suitable thesis statement.
It’s important to bear in mind some useful generalities when it comes to creating the thesis statement. Thesis statements can be structured slightly differently, depending on the field or subject you’re writing in. Here are some points to bear in mind:
- An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.
- An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.
- An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.
Even if you are writing a paper that doesn’t strictly fall within these three categories, as for example a narrative paper, you can still use a thesis statement to define your stand or your argument, and help shape the direction of your paper.
In summary, a thesis statement is a like a beacon of light in the middle of the deep, dark sea. You, the scholarly traveler on turbulent seas, rely upon the thesis statement to show you the way.
Structuring and Writing the Paper
We wish there was a formula we could offer you for writing academic papers, but unfortunately, there isn’t one. This isn’t news to most of you, but we thought we would mention it again anyway. Academic papers are required to be sophisticated and logically-constructed; it’s not as simple as having a strong opinion and expressing it in writing. It’s important to constantly bear in mind the audience you’re writing for, as well as to have a strong enough interest in the topic If the topic is given to you and you don’t have much of a choice in its selection, then interest is something you need to sort of coax into existence.
But if you have a certain amount of leeway in being able to choose what topic you can write on, go all out and pick a topic and subject that really captures your interest. When your interest is piqued, chances are you’ll write much better on that topic than you will on the “right” or “correct” topic.
So first of all, before you begin writing the paper, you need to collect your thoughts, notes, and resources together and organize them according to some arrangement that makes sense to you. First of all, let your thesis be your guide. If you have spent enough time developing and writing your thesis, it will benefit you at this stage of the writing process. A well-thought out thesis not only set limits and boundaries for your paper, but allows you to explore far and wide in your topic, within those boundaries.
Sketch Out Your Argument
Before you start on the paper, it might serve you well to come up with a rough sketch of your main arguments. The sketch will serve as a rough blueprint, and act as a map and compass for your scholarly exploration.
The goal of a sketch is idea generation. You might begin by writing down your thesis and clustering all your ideas that pop up in relation to what you have written. There will be a lot of them, some you might consider ludicrous, but note them all down. At this point, it might look messy. Your instinct might be to draw bubbles, circles, arrows. Get it all down on the page; it’s vital to remember at this point that it is a sketch. It does not have to bear any resemblance to a finished paper at all. You might want to add colour in order to distinguish points, facts, and arguments – go ahead and use it; there is no need to be shy.
Bearing in mind that there is no right or wrong way to do a sketch, your brain is freed up to think of different ideas and arguments that might connect to your thesis. It is an important step at this point because your brain is allowed to visually imagine your essay topic, when all the while it’s been prompted to think logically within the structure of language.
Keep your mind focused while you do your sketch, but don’t keep it rigid. This advice is easier said than done, but it’s worthwhile to remember!