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As you think and write about your topic, you can restrict, clarify, and refine your argument, crafting your thesis statement to reflect your thinking.If you are writing a paper that will have an argumentative thesis and are having trouble getting started, the techniques in the table below may help you develop a temporary or “working” thesis statement.For the sample assignment above, you’ll want to look at books and articles on World War II in general, and Spain’s neutrality in particular.
Once you have a topic, you will have to decide what the main point of your paper will be.
This point, the “controlling idea,” becomes the core of your argument (thesis statement) and it is the unifying idea to which you will relate all your sub-theses.
Sometimes you won’t be able to find a focus or identify your “spin” or specific argument immediately.
Like some writers, you might begin with a purpose statement just to get yourself going.
A purpose statement is one or more sentences that announce your topic and indicate the structure of the paper but do not state the conclusions you have drawn.
Thus, you might begin with something like this: At some point, you can turn a purpose statement into a thesis statement.
Purpose Statement: This paper briefly sketches the history of the grassroots, conservative, Perot-led Reform Party and analyzes how it influenced the economic and social ideologies of the two mainstream parties.
If your assignment asks a specific question(s), turn the question(s) into an assertion and give reasons why it is true or reasons for your opinion.
You can then turn this “controlling idea” into a purpose statement about what you intend to do in your paper.
Consult the examples below for suggestions on how to look for patterns in your evidence and construct a purpose statement.