Using the concepts from Asking the Right Questions, think of your thesis statement as your conclusion about to be argued and supported with reasons, logic, evidence, counter-arguments, etc. The thesis, or controlling idea, must direct the paper in a very explicit fashion. It is your responsibility as the writer to be sure that your discussion relates clearly to the major idea you are exploring. It is not the reader’s responsibility to have to assume connections between your thesis and the explication of that thesis. See Chapter 2 of the Little Brown Handbook for further discussion.
Develop your thesis with examples, being as concrete as possible. If you cite references or paraphrase the ideas of others, be sure you document those uses. Your objective is to justify your thesis by proving it is a sound interpretation of the materials and ideas with which you are working. See pp. 271-281 of the Little Brown Handbook for further clarification.) Provide transitions and topic sentences for paragraphs to guide the reader through the paper.
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