Tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. Is a road map for the paper in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper. Directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel. Makes a claim that others might dispute. Is usually a single sentence near the beginning of your paper (most often, at the end of the first paragraph) that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.
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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