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REL / WGS 313: Marriage Across Cultures: Selecting a Thesis

Getting Started: Selecting a Topic and Thesis

Selecting a thesis statement
Research papers aren’t just a regurgitation of all the information you uncover about a particular topic. Instead, they examine an area where there is disagreement or uncertainty about it, with the goal of proving a point. This is the thesis statement of your paper.

After identifying a subject of your paper, you will examine information about an area of interest written by experts in that field as articles and books. You’ll notice that there is a conversation taking place about this area. Your goal is to identify within these conversations an area of uncertainty or unknown. You will develop a hypothesis about this area, which your paper will adopt as its thesis statement; it is the goal of your research paper to use information in this conversation to demonstrate that your thesis statement is valid.

Some information you uncover may seem not to support your paper’s thesis statement ; your research paper should identify this information and explain why it does not undermine the thesis statement your paper presents.