Look for patterns in your evidence. To find out what your "controlling idea" is, you have to examine and evaluate your evidence. As you consider your evidence, you may notice patterns emerging, data repeated in more than one source, or facts that favor one view more than another. These patterns or data may then lead you to some conclusions about your topic and suggest that you can successfully argue for one idea better than another.
Is your thesis statement original? Avoid, avoid, avoid generic arguments and formula statements. They work well to get a rough draft started, but will easily bore a reader. Keep revising until the thesis reflects your real ideas. Tip: The point you make in the paper should matter: Be prepared to answer "So what?" about your thesis statement. Be prepared to explain why the point you are making is worthy of a paper. Why should the reader read it?.
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