How to Write a Thesis
Method #1
Identify the topic of your paper
Relationships between teens and parents
Turn your topic into a guiding question
How does the relationship between teens and their parents change?
Answer your question with a statement
As teens grow more independent, they resent and resist the limitations and expectations their parents impose upon them.
Refine this statement into a working thesis
Conflict between teens and parents presents a difficult but necessary stage in child development.

Method #2
Identify the topic
Relationships between teens and parents
What is your opinion about this topic?
Teen/parent relationships become difficult
Why do you believe this opinion?
Teen/parental relationships grow difficult as teens struggle for independence which results in resentment as parents continue to impose limitations and expectations contributing to conflict within the home.

Method #3
Topic
Why?
Having more than one reason (more than one why) is the road to excellence.
Who?
Most often, you are writing about yourself in CPWAs, but if you use this template for other essays, you will have a different who, sometimes, more than one.
Action
Explanation for action
Better or more complete explanation Think of this as expanding the “explanation for action” in the previous box, giving more detail.

How do you know if your thesis is strong enough?
When reviewing your first draft and its working thesis, ask yourself the following:
  • Do I answer the question?

    Re-reading the question prompt after constructing a working thesis can help you fix an argument that misses the focus of the question.

  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose?

    If your thesis simply states facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it’s possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument.

  • Is my thesis statement specific enough?

    Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If your thesis contains words like “good” or “successful,” see if you could be more specific: why is something “good”; what specifically makes something “successful”?

  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test?

    If a reader’s first response is, “So what?” then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue.

  • Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering?

    If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. It’s o.k. to change your working thesis to reflect things you have figured out in the course of writing your paper. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary.

  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why” test?

    If a reader’s first response is “how?” or “why?” your thesis may be too open-ended and lack guidance for the reader. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning.

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