Remember, not all writing requires a thesis. Some research papers follow different formats, and you’ll need to remember to focus on a key idea. However, if your research paper requires a thesis statement or some kind of focusing sentence, now is a good time to develop at least a working thesis.
Once you have some working knowledge of your topic, it can be helpful to make notes or use your writing journal to jot down several potential thesis ideas. Read them out loud and ask yourself if they are meeting the requirements of a good thesis statement you have learned about in this section. To help you review, take advantage of the Thesis Checklist from the Writing Process area.
Once you have settled on one or two potential thesis statements, share your notes or your journal with your professor and / or classmates to get some feedback. Your thesis may change, but developing a working thesis at this point can help keep you focused as you dig into what can sometimes be a large amount of research.
Remember, a good thesis really says something about your topic. Once you have your working thesis, it’s a good idea to take the thesis self-check quiz to help you remember the key elements of a good thesis. Does your thesis have all the elements?