Tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. Is a road map for the paper in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper. Directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel. Makes a claim that others might dispute. Is usually a single sentence near the beginning of your paper (most often, at the end of the first paragraph) that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.
For instance, you might find out that Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis, but when he couldn't get some concessions that he wanted from them, he turned to the Allies. 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.
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