DOCUMENTED RESEARCH PAPER FROM TOPIC TO THESIS
PRINT AND FILL OUT AND TURN IN TO MRS. CLARK
Part I: TOPIC
The first step after choosing your topic is to analyze your topic. The word “analyze” means to break something down into its parts and looks at how the parts relate to each other. Your research sources should examine different aspects of your topic. Try to see relationships between the different sources and form them into a whole concept. Analyze your topic by thinking and writing about the following questions:

1) Briefly explore your topic using the following questions reporters usually ask:

Who?_

What?

When?

Where?_

Why?_

How?_

2) Is your topic too broad? (e.g. War) Too narrow? (e.g. The straps on army issued gas masks are difficult to use) What are the main points you will discuss? List them from most important to least important):

a)


b)


c)


d)

3) Give a brief explanation of any issues that may make your topic arguable or controversial:








4) Who would be interested in reading about this topic and why?







RESEARCH CHECK POINT: As you gather information and think about your subject, you may find that you need to refine, clarify, extend, or narrow your focus. You may need to return to an information search to widen or narrow your search, or even head down a different path, following new ideas related to your topic. No matter how profound and interesting the information you’ve found might be, you may have to GET RID OF some of it. If it doesn’t relate to and support the thesis you’ve chosen, don’t try to cram it into your paper. You may see some gaps where you need additional support for a point you want to make. You may have to do a bit more research!



Part II: THESIS STATEMENT
Developing a thesis requires some preliminary questions. Please answer the following.

1) How can I persuade my readers that my position is of merit?






2) Do I want to emphasize the positive or negative aspects of my subject?







3) Is one aspect of my subject more important or more relevant to my audience than others? If so, what do I need or want to stress in my thesis?






4) If my subject is an event or thing, what caused or created it? Would understanding the cause or a precedent make it easier for my audience to understand my subject?






5) What effects has my subject had or is it likely to have? Are the effects important or unexpected?








6) How important will my topic be in the near and far future?




Part III: WRITE THESIS
The task is to refine your ideas and develop a thesis, which can be “proved” or supported by your research sources. Read through the following list of thesis approaches to see which fits your thinking.

APPROACH EXAMPLE _

Chronology... The rise of the Imagist Movement can be traced over a period of twenty years.
Procedure... Five steps are required to produce liquid oxygen.
Cause/Effect... Economic factors caused deterioration in Sino-Soviet relations in 1950.
Problem... Differing Moslem ideologies make Israeli-Palestinian peace difficult.
Solution... The energy crisis can be solved by solar and nuclear power.
Comparison... Acupuncture is a better anesthetic than malothane.
Similarity... TV and motion picture writing are similar in several respects.
Difference... Marriage rites differ among Far Eastern, Middle Eastern, and Western families.
Relationship... Hemingway’s life experiences influenced his work.
Analysis... Three major issues are related to the crisis in North Korea.
Pro... Kennedy’s handling of the Cuban missile crisis was good foreign policy.
Con... Four medical theories oppose radical mastectomy in breast cancer.
Category... Several ethnic populations in American grew during the past ten years.

RESEARCH CHECKPOINT: A well-written thesis statement, usually expressed in one or two sentences, is the most important part of your entire paper. It should both summarize for your reader the position you will be arguing or topic you will be explaining and set up the pattern of organization (usually three distinct points you will prove through evidence and analysis of that evidence) in your paper.

Important: A thesis sentence is not a statement of accepted fact; it is the position that needs the research/proof you will provide in your paper.

MY THESIS STATEMENT

Now write your thesis statement in a declarative sentence.
(I believe)_
_

Checklist-My thesis statement:

_ Uses the _ (select from the list above) thesis approach

_ Is not too broad

_ Is not too narrow or technical

_ Can be proved with the material I have found in my research

_ Sets up the way I will organize my discussion with three distinct points or aspects of the topic

_ Points to the conclusion I will draw

_ Is scholarly-the topic is significant and relevant in society today; no celebrities’ or presidents’ biographies please!

___Uses 3rd person point of view (no “I’s” or “we’s” or “me’s” or “my’s” or “ours’” or “you’s” or “yours