How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned? Almost all assignments, no matter how complicated, can be reduced to a single question. Your first step, then, is to distill the assignment into a specific question. For example, if your assignment is, "Write a report to the local school board explaining the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth_grade class," turn the request into a question like, "What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth_grade class?" After you've chosen the question your essay will answer, compose one or two complete sentences answering that question. Q: "What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth_grade class?" A: "The potential benefits of using computers in a fourth_grade class are . . ." OR A: "Using computers in a fourth_grade class promises to improve . . ." The answer to the question is the thesis statement for the essay.
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.
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