Developing A Research Thesis

You may instead decide to focus on Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis, which narrows down what aspects of Spain’s neutrality and World War II you want to discuss, as well as establishes a specific link between those two aspects.

Before you go too far, however, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts.

You’ll want to read your assignment carefully, looking for key terms that you can use to focus your topic.

After you’ve identified the key words in your topic, the next step is to read about them in several sources, or generate as much information as possible through an analysis of your topic.

Obviously, the more material or knowledge you have, the more possibilities will be available for a strong argument.

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.As you consider your evidence, you may notice patterns emerging, data repeated in more than one source, or facts that favor one view more than another.These patterns or data may then lead you to some conclusions about your topic and suggest that you can successfully argue for one idea better than another.Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.Once you have a topic, you will have to decide what the main point of your paper will be.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.Begin with a purpose statement that you will later turn into a thesis statement.As you consider your options, you must decide to focus on one aspect of your topic.This means that you cannot include everything you’ve learned about your topic, nor should you go off in several directions.If, after looking at your notes, you do not think you have enough examples or evidence to support your thesis statement (you should have at least three examples for each subtopic) look for more now and take notes on them. Many papers you write require developing a thesis statement. Ask your instructor if you’re in doubt whether you need one.

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