Writers use various methods to develop their thesis statements. Maybe you’re one of the many writers who don’t arrive at a final thesis until after you’ve completed most of the paper. Often, you will have done background research, written some or most of the paper, and still be searching for the thesis to tie it all together. You have the answer(s), but may require a question to determine what the main point of the paper is. To determine the thesis for the paper, ask “What is this paper about?” The thesis statement is probably within your answer. In a way, thesis development is like the game show Jeopardy, where contestants are given the answers to the questions and must then provide the question.
For instance, imagine you are writing a paper on the benefits of libraries. During your research you may have come across information highlighting the kinds of information available in libraries.
Your main topics might be:
(1) information available through databases supplied by the libraryAsk a question like this: “What is common between all of the points I make about information and libraries?”
(2) information available in the book collections in a library
(3) information available in the periodical collections of libraries
Next, turn your question into a statement that answers the question.
Your answer could be that libraries provide information in various forms for people to access. It is the multi-dimensional aspects libraries that may develop into your thesis statement.
An example thesis statement could be:
“Libraries provide access to information in the forms of databases, books and periodicals.”This thesis makes a statement and encompasses all of the main topics in the paper.
“Assessing the Primary Points of the Paper and Drawing Connections” for $400, Alex.
A thesis statement can be thought of as drawing a connection between two or more things or concepts that would otherwise not be naturally connected. Or, you may be highlighting the connection that is naturally there, but not usually observed. If you were writing a paper on the negative effects of smoking cigarettes you could first make points about the negative effects:
(1) can lead to lung cancerAsk a question like: What do these three points have in common?
(2) can lead to emphysema
(3) is unhealthy to those around smokers.
Your answer might focus on the negative effects smoking has on health
A thesis statement could then be formed:
“Smoking is hazardous to the health of the smoker as well as to the health of anyone who is around a smoker.”Final Jeopardy: “What is using questions to form a thesis.”