29

Jan

2007

Thesis vs. Topic

I was searching how to develop a good thesis for my assignment, and I found a neat and clear article regarding thesis and topic. Here are some key points that I extracted fro your reference.

A topic is a general area of inquiry; “topic” designates the general subject of your essay.

A thesis is an idea, stated as an assertion, which represents a reasoned response to a question at issue and which will serve as the central idea of a unified composition.

How to compose a thesis statement, think about how it satisfies the following tests:

  • Is it an idea? Does it state, in a complete sentence, an assertion?
  • Does it make a claim that is truly contestable and therefore engaging?
  • Are the terms you are using precise and clear?
  • Has the thesis developed out of a process of reasoning?

Once these questions have been satisfactorily answered, use the resulting thesis to organize your evidence and begin the actual writing. As you do so, bear in mind the following questions:

  • What is my purpose in writing? What do I want to prove?
  • What question(s) does my writing answer?
  • Why do I think this question is important? Will other people think it equally important?
  • What are my specific reasons, my pieces of evidence? Does each piece of evidence support the claim I make in my thesis?
  • Where does my reasoning weaken or even stop? Am I merely offering opinions without reasoned evidence?
  • How can I best persuade my reader?

( Original by Phil Nel)

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