Subject to Thesis

Or, How to Take Your Initial Idea and Turn It into an Argument

by Sarah Collins

I always found that coming up with my thesis statement for my papers was hardest when I hadn’t first done three things: 1) chosen a broad subject area, 2) focused that subject down to a more manageable topic, and 3) done background research on that more specific topic to more clearly understand how I wanted to approach it.

It can be a painful process if you aren’t breaking things down into steps that are manageable and that give you the time to explore things in a way that helps you identify the best route for your paper.

This handout below walks you through the process of moving from a subject to a topic to a thesis statement, and then outlines strategies for creating a strong, cohesive, memorable thesis that will guide you as you then write your paper.

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