What if we wrote about the problem of community colleges in Connecticut being so close together geographically that they tend to duplicate programs unnecessarily and impinge on each other's turf? Now we have a focus that we can probably write about in a few pages (although more, certainly, could be said) and it would have a good argumentative edge to it. To back up such a thesis statement would require a good deal of work, however, and we might be better off if we limited the discussion to an example of how two particular community colleges tend to work in conflict with each other. It's not a matter of being lazy; it's a matter of limiting our discussion to the work that can be accomplished within a certain number of pages.
How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned? Almost all assignments, no matter how complicated, can be reduced to a single question. Your first step, then, is to distill the assignment into a specific question. For example, if your assignment is, "Write a report to the local school board explaining the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth_grade class," turn the request into a question like, "What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth_grade class?" After you've chosen the question your essay will answer, compose one or two complete sentences answering that question. Q: "What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth_grade class?" A: "The potential benefits of using computers in a fourth_grade class are . . ." OR A: "Using computers in a fourth_grade class promises to improve . . ." The answer to the question is the thesis statement for the essay.
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