How to Write a Thesis Statement for a Research Paper and Stay Original

The mechanics of writing a thesis statement are pretty basic. The real challenge is coming up with an original idea. Let’s start with the creative process first. There are many ways of breaking out of a rut in thinking. You have found this one. Don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis. Try this now.

Take 10 minutes to brainstorm topics you have studied. Do not censor yourself. If you stop writing before the ten minutes is up, ask yourself what else you have studied and keep writing.

Get twenty 3 x 5 cards and two different colors of pens.

On ten cards, write a noun or noun phrase that relates to a subject you have studied. In an American History class, your subjects might be:

On the other ten cards, write questions that come to mind when you look at the list above such as:

Mix up the cards and randomly draw out two with different colors of ink.

Read two cards at a time until you find something that really interests you.

Write a question combining the two parts.

Think of at least three possible reasons that might answer the question.

Use your possible answers to write your thesis statement.

Your thesis statement has two parts. First you write what you plan to argue, and then you write how you intend to prove it.

If one or more of your reasons is not supported by your research, then change your thesis statement to reflect your research.

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