Context matters! Think about your course materials and lectures. Try to relate your thesis to the ideas your instructor is discussing. As you go through the process described in this section, always keep your assignment in mind. You will be more successful when your thesis (and paper) responds to the assignment than if it argues a semi_related idea.
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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