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CP United States History Research Paper  

Your task is to select an event that you find interesting and demonstrate an understanding of its cause(s) and its influence of the development of United States History.
Last Updated: Jan 13, 2012 URL: http://oakschristian.libguides.com/ushistory Print Guide RSS Updates

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United States History Research Paper

Your task is to select an event that you find interesting and demonstrate an understanding of its cause(s) and its influence of the development of United States History. 

 

Tips for Writing a Good Thesis

The University of Wisconsin at Madison

The Department of History 

Teaching and Writing Center

Tips for Writing a Good Thesis

  • Find a Focus: Choose a thesis that explores an aspect of your topic that is important to you, or that allows you to say something new about your topic. For example, if your paper topic asks you to analyze women’s domestic labor during the early nineteenth century, you might decide to focus on the products they made from scratch at home.
  • Look for Pattern: After determining a general focus, go back and look more closely at your evidence. As you re-examine your evidence and identify patterns, you will develop your argument and some conclusions. For example, you might find that as industrialization increased, women made fewer textiles at home, but retained their butter and soap making tasks.

 Strategies for Developing a Thesis Statement

Idea 1. Write a sentence that summarizes the main idea of the essay/paper you plan to write.

Main Idea: Women's labor in their homes during the first half of the nineteenth century contributed to the growth of the national economy. 

Idea 2. Spend time "mulling over" your topic. Make a list of the ideas you want to include in the essay, then think about how to group them under several different headings. Often, you will see an organizational plan emerge from the sorting process.

Idea 3.Use a formula to develop a working thesis statement (which you will need to revise later). Here are a few examples:

A. Although most readers of ______ have argued that ______, closer examination shows that ______.

B. ______ uses ______ and ______ to prove that ______.

C. Phenomenon X is a result of the combination of ______, ______, and ______.

These formulas share two characteristics all thesis statements should have: they state an argument and they reveal how you will make that argument.  They are not specific enough, however, and require more work.

Refine, Refine, Refine

As you work on your essay, your ideas will change and so will your thesis. Here are examples of weak and strong thesis statements.

  • Specific thesis: "At the end of the nineteenth century French women lawyers experienced misogynist attacks from male lawyers when they attempted to enter the legal profession because male lawyers wanted to keep women out of judgeships."

 

Remember -- if in doubt, talk to your instructor.

Thanks to the web page of the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s Writing Center for information used in this handout. See http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/ for further information.

 

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