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.
Based on this conclusion, you can then write a trial thesis statement to help you decide what material belongs in your paper.
Sometimes you won’t be able to find a focus or identify your “spin” or specific argument immediately.
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.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.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.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.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.You can then turn this “controlling idea” into a purpose statement about what you intend to do in your paper.To arrive at this point, ask yourself what is new, interesting, contestable, or controversial about your topic.As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times.