Writing a Thesis

Writing a Thesis - 1 Your Thesis Is an Argument and an...

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1 Your Thesis Is an Argument and an Organizational Principle Academic papers typically ask you to make an argument, often in response to a question, whether given by a professor or developed on your own. The first – and most important – statement of this argument is called your thesis , and ordinarily appears in your introduction (contrary to popular belief, introductions can be longer than one paragraph, especially in longer papers, but no matter how long, they should include a thesis statement). We can better understand what the thesis is and how it lays the groundwork for a successful argument if we think of it in the following terms: A thesis is made up of a claim supported by reasons , supported in turn by evidence . The claim is the core of your argument. It is your answer to the question at issue in the essay assignment. If your assignment was to address the question of whether Socrates would have voted for Obama or McCain, for instance, your claim might look something like this: If given the opportunity to vote in the 2008 Presidential elections, Socrates would cast his vote for Senator John McCain. In the humanities, a claim is thus not a factually true or false statement, but an interpretative, or argumentative, statement. As such, it needs to be supported by reasons that will persuade the reader, your audience, to agree with your response to the question. A strong thesis statement will
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This note was uploaded on 08/24/2011 for the course FSEM II taught by Professor Gruber during the Spring '10 term at Bard College.

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Writing a Thesis - 1 Your Thesis Is an Argument and an...

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