Coming up with a thesis statement is a difficult task for many students, but once you gain a better understanding of what makes a great thesis statement, as well as the process required to create one, you will be better equipped to come up with proper thesis statements for every paper.
Determining a Research Topic
The first step in developing a thesis statement is to come up with an original research topic. This does not mean that you must choose a topic that has never been researched before, it just means that you need to approach a specific idea or theory in a new way. While this may seem challenging, there are three common approaches you can use to determining a good research topic.
- Seek a Specific Outcome – This means that you plan to provide research and conclusions that have not already been reached by another party.
- Choose a Specific Subject – This approach requires you to choose a topic and address a problem or issue using a position that has not already been done.
- Application of New Methodology – Choose a methodology for a given subject that is different from other approaches to the same issue or problem.
Once you have chosen a research topic, you will need to make sure there are no other publications that approach the topic in the way in which you intend. Additionally, you will need to determine whether you can gain knowledge from other researchers and their methodologies, and supply justification for your research. If your approach to a topic is completely unknown, it will be difficult for others to take your work seriously.
The final step in choosing a research topic is to ensure that you have the ability, expertise, and resources required to properly present and support your ideas.
Choosing Your Thesis Topic
In order to choose a relevant thesis topic, you will need to follow a three-step process until you find one that meets all of the requirements.
- Generate Ideas – Make sure to consider a variety of ideas, rather than focusing on only one idea. Once you have chosen a theme, brainstorm and explore additional approaches to the idea in which you are interested. After this, choose the potential topics that you feel are your best options.
- Test Viability and Potential – Once you have chosen a few ideas, you must test them to determine what you need to complete the research. You will also need to consider the process by which you will complete the paper, and the probability of its being successful.
You will also need to plan on carrying out small experiments, ensure access to required information and equipment, and read literature that is relevant to the topic.
Once you have completed testing, you will need to eliminate ideas that fail the testing process in order to narrow down your list of thesis topics. This will allow you to find relevant, good data that supports your chosen stance. If you have any ideas that you are unable to find solid data on, reject those ideas and continue the process until you have chosen a great thesis statement that you can prove.
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