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.
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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