Preliminary Thesis Statement
The thesis statement is like a rough map that helps you find your way through the unfamiliar territory of your topic. The details are filled in as you conduct your research. A thesis statement is one or two sentences that state your goal and the main idea of your paper. Why are you writing about the subject and what you intend to describe, prove, or analyze?
The statement should be related to the type of paper you are writing – literary, argumentative, position, or descriptive. The main idea must be one that can be developed through research. Remember, this is still a rough version of your statement. As you conduct your research, you may find that your want to modify it.
All your research every paragraph in your paper must relate to the thesis statement. As you can see, a good statement can save you a great deal of time by further narrowing your focus and by concentrating your research on information that supports or proves your main idea.
Developing Your Thesis Statement
No one claims that writing a thesis statement is easy. However, you use more than one strategy to develop your statement. If you have written notes, comments, or reactions during your preliminary research, this “idea sheet” can serve as starting point. The techniques–laundry list, free-writing, and clustering–that served to narrow your topic can also be used to develop a thesis statement.