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Research question or thesis statement

However, it is too easy to imagine possible counterarguments. For example, a political observer might believe that Dukakis lost because he suffered from a "soft-on-crime" image. If you complicate your thesis by anticipating the counterargument, you'll strengthen your argument, as shown in the sentence below. Some Caveats and Some Examples.


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  • Developing A Thesis.
  • Research-Based Writing!
  • How to Write a Research Question the Right Way.
  • Thesis and Purpose Statements;
  • The important sentence expresses your central assertion or argument;
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A thesis is never a question. Readers of academic essays expect to have questions discussed, explored, or even answered. A question "Why did communism collapse in Eastern Europe? A thesis is never a list. However, political, economic, social and cultural reasons are pretty much the only possible reasons why communism could collapse.

Help with Research Questions

This sentence lacks tension and doesn't advance an argument. Everyone knows that politics, economics, and culture are important. A thesis should never be vague, combative or confrontational. An ineffective thesis would be, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because communism is evil. It also may spark a defensive reaction from readers sympathetic to communism. If readers strongly disagree with you right off the bat, they may stop reading. An effective thesis has a definable, arguable claim.

This thesis makes a definite, arguable claim: that the disintegration of economies played a more important role than cultural forces in defeating communism in Eastern Europe. The reader would react to this statement by thinking, "Perhaps what the author says is true, but I am not convinced. I want to read further to see how the author argues this claim. A thesis should be as clear and specific as possible. Avoid overused, general terms and abstractions. For example, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because of the ruling elite's inability to address the economic concerns of the people" is more powerful than "Communism collapsed due to societal discontent.


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Weak Thesis: Underfunded arts programs, underpaid teachers, and standardized testing are all factors in underachieving students in public schools. Stronger Thesis: The emphasis on standardized testing is a critical factor in the underperformance of public school students.

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Developing A Thesis

Present your argument or position clearly and precisely. A clear thesis statement will avoid generalizations and make your position known. Weak Thesis: The lack of funding in public schools is a major issue in the American education system. Stronger Thesis: Underfunding arts programs in public schools does not adequately prepare students for college. Present your position or point of view as a statement or declarative sentence.

Developing strong research questions

Your research question helped guide your initial searching so you could learn more about your topic. Now that you have completed that step, you can extract a thesis statement based on the research you have discovered. Write your thesis statement in third person voice. When proposing an answer or solution as part of a thesis statement, be sure to:.

Creating a Good Research Question

Focus your topic: which path will you take? These sites offer a lot of help with writing thesis statements, including good—and bad—examples.

Turning Your Research Question into a Thesis | Writing

The advice they give can help with research questions, too. Using Thesis Statements , from the University of Toronto. Comparison of weak and strong statements, plus several "myths" about thesis statements.


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  • Thesis and Purpose Statements – The Writing Center – UW–Madison!

Tips and examples. Establishing a research question will assist you in two ways:. Most students start with a topic that is much too broad. Here are some ways you might narrow the focus of your topic:. When you have reached the point where you can articulate a brief, focused research question, you are ready to start your search for resources. But how many times have you done exactly that? No wonder you don't enjoy research! The problem lies in the way you see data—the information you gather as you conduct your research.