Formulating Thesis Problem

Formulating Thesis Problem-31
Or why does the film challenge our expectations about romantic comedies by focusing on high school cliques? is a romantic comedy criticizing the divisiveness created by high school cliques. You’re starting to take a stance by arguing that the film identifies “divisiveness” as a problem and it, but your readers will want to know how this plays out and why it’s important. If your argument lacks evidence, readers will think your thesis statement is an opinion or belief as opposed to an argument. To get started, you might experiment with some of these “mad libs.” They’re thinking exercises that will help propel you toward an arguable thesis.If you can answer one of those questions (or others of your own), you’ll have a strong thesis. Right now, the thesis still sounds bland – not risky enough to be genuinely contentious. By examining __________________ [topic/approach], we can see _____________________[thesis—the claim that's surprising], which is important because ___________________________.[1] Example: is merely entertaining, I believe its message is political.

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On the other hand, “Do negative attitudes toward alternative therapies lead to prescribing more pharmaceutical drugs?

” is a predictive question that may require a quantitative approach to answer.

However, that approach might not be feasible if your time and resources are limited.

If you have already started your research and then realized the research question needs to be modified, discuss it with your mentor and/or dissertation chairperson and make the required adjustments.

Intelligent people would generally agree with this statement—so there’s no real “news” for your reader.

You want your thesis to say something surprising and debatable. It challenges an obvious interpretation of the movie (that it just reinforces stereotypes), offering a new and more complex reading in its place.

For example, how does the film represent high school cliques in a surprising or complex way? As we’ve just seen, a strong thesis statement crystallizes your paper's argument and, most importantly, . It goes beyond merely summarizing or describing to stake out an interpretation or position that’s not obvious, and others could challenge for good reasons.

How does the film reinforce stereotypes about high school groups and how does it undermine them? It’s also arguable in the literal sense that it can be , or supported through a thoughtful analysis of your sources.

You need a good thesis statement for your essay but are having trouble getting started. You’ve focused on a topic--high school cliques--which is a smart move because you’ve settled on one of many possible angles.

You may have heard that your thesis needs to be specific and arguable, but still wonder what this really means. Imagine you’re writing about John Hughes’s film is a romantic comedy about high school cliques. But the claim is weak because it’s not yet arguable.


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