Introduction to thesis writing

Interesting question! First of all, I’d separate out ‘chapter one’ from the introduction. The introduction is where you do all the groundwork that lets you get on with your argument. In some fields, ‘chapter one’ is actually a literature review – that is, you go through all the material published on your subject and outline the state of play. This will depend on your discipline, and it’s best to check with your supervisor what the expectations are in your field. To my mind, the introduction is about laying out the foundations on which you will start building your argument in chapter one, so it should include some broad background to the study, but shouldn’t try to make minute points about previous scholarship which would be better addressed in the relevant chapters as you construct your argument.

Here’s a working thesis with potential: you have highlighted an important aspect of the novel for investigation. However, it’s still not clear what your analysis will reveal. Your reader is intrigued but is still thinking, “So what? What’s the point of this contrast? What does it signify?” Perhaps you are not sure yet, either. That’s fine—begin to work on comparing scenes from the book and see what you discover. Free write, make lists, jot down Huck’s actions and reactions. Eventually you will be able to clarify for yourself, and then for the reader, why this contrast matters. After examining the evidence and considering your own insights, you write:

Create a thesis statement that is narrow and concise. One way to create a thesis statement is to think of a question your topic raises and then create a sentence that answers that question. For example, if your topic for literature class is the Modernist movement, you could turn the topic into a question: How does the Modernist movement continue to influence 21st century authors? Develop a one-sentence answer to that question, and this can be the basis for a thesis statement. Be aware that your thesis statement must be narrow enough that you can answer the question in the assigned length of the paper.

Introduction to thesis writing

introduction to thesis writing


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