All good thesis statements begin with a research question(s).
- What is it that you want to know about your research topic?
- Start broad, then focus your question(s) as you develop your topic, locate sources, and read arguments and information.
- Your thesis will change depending on the focus of your research question.
- Before you arrive at a focused thesis statement try creating a draft or open thesis. A draft thesis should state your general idea, but not yet reflect how you intend to support that idea.
- Broad Topic: Death penalty
- Initial Research Question(s): Is the death penalty fair? Should there be a death penalty?
- Topic Development - Narrowing Topic: economic aspects, racial aspects, political aspects, moral/ethical aspects
- Focused Question(s): Does a defendant’s socioeconomic status influence the verdict in a death penalty case? Are low income minorities more likely to receive a death sentence than others who commit the same crime?
- Draft or Open Thesis: Poverty and race may too often play a role in death penalty cases.
- Focused Thesis (Answer to Focused Research Question): The death penalty should be abolished, because it is unfairly applied to minorities and the poor.
Adapted from Palm Beach State College's Writing a Thesis Statement Guide