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.
Compare the original thesis (not specific and clear enough) with the revised version (much more specific and clear): Original thesis: Although the timber wolf is a timid and gentle animal, it is being systematically exterminated. (if it's so timid and gentle, why is it being exterminated?) Revised thesis: Although the timber wolf is actually a timid and gentle animal, it is being systematically exterminated because people wrongfully believe it to be a fierce and cold_blooded killer.
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