Ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts. Before you go too far, however, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts. Try to avoid topics that already have too much written about them (i.e., "eating disorders and body image among adolescent women") or that simply are not important (i.e. "why I like ice cream"). These topics may lead to a thesis that is either dry fact or a weird claim that cannot be supported. A good thesis falls somewhere between the two extremes. To arrive at this point, ask yourself what is new, interesting, contestable, or controversial about your topic. As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.
Avoid merely reporting a fact. Say more than what is already proven fact. Go further with your ideas. Otherwise, why would your point matter? Original thesis: Hoover's administration was rocked by scandal. Revised thesis: The many scandals of Hoover's administration revealed basic problems with the Republican Party's nominating process. Do not expect to come up with a fully formulated thesis statement before you have finished writing the paper. The thesis will inevitably change as you revise and develop your ideas and that is ok! Start with a tentative thesis and revise as your paper develops.
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