This weak thesis restates the question without providing any additional information. It does not tell the reader where you are heading. A reader of this weak thesis might think "What reasons? How are they the same? How are they different?" Ask yourself these same questions and begin to compare Northern and Southern attitudes (perhaps you first think "The South believed slavery was right, and the North thought slavery was wrong"). Now, push your comparison toward an interpretation_why did one side think slavery was right and the other side think it was wrong? You look again at the evidence, and you decide that you are going to argue that the North believed slavery was immoral while the South believed it upheld the Southern way of life. You write: While both sides fought the Civil War over the issue of slavery, the North fought for moral reasons while the South fought to preserve its own institutions.
Compare this to the original weak thesis. This final thesis presents a way of interpreting evidence that illuminates the significance of the question. Keep in mind that this is one of many possible interpretations of the Civil War_it is not the one and only right answer to the question. There isn´t one right answer; there are only strong and weak thesis statements and strong and weak uses of evidence. Let´s look at another example. Suppose your literature professor hands out the following assignment in a class on the American novel: Write an analysis of some aspect of Mark Twain´s novel Huckleberry Finn. "This will be easy," you think. "I loved Huckleberry Finn!" You grab a pad of paper and write: Mark Twain´s Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel.
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