This document will help you form a thesis statement for your research paper, thus completing the second step in the research process.
If, after reading this lesson, you have questions about developing a thesis statement or would like a tutor to review your thesis statement, please attend one of Smarthinking’s live (real-time) sessions.
Research Paper Project – Step 2: Developing a Thesis Statement
During the lesson, you learned how to create a strong thesis statement and how to connect the thesis statement to the main idea in your essay.
You will need to revise your thesis statement later, but it’s good to have a working thesis statement in mind to help you choose the best resources for your paper.
Since this is a working thesis statement, you won’t need to worry about spelling, grammar, or mechanics. This is just for you.
You will be informing your audience of a particular concept for this research paper, so your thesis statement will need to be informative, as well. To get started, you might want to complete a prompt like this:
For this essay, I am going to write about [insert your topic here], and I want to write about these topics specifically: [insert your ideas here].
Once you have the prompt complete, you can focus on the two ideas that you inserted and try to create a complete sentence with them. Consider this example:
For this essay, I am going to write about computers in K-12 Social Studies classrooms, and I want to write about these topics specifically: Internet usage, Office applications, and presentations/review games using computers.
With this prompt, the working thesis statement could become:
Computers in K-12 Social Studies classrooms are used for the Internet, Office applications, presentations, and review games.
Keep in mind that your research paper should contain an element of persuasion in addition to being informative. If all you do is inform the reader about factual information that is not debatable, you will not have fulfilled your purpose. Try to think of a topic that you can take a stance on or make an argument about.