Created by East Tennessee State University Library
Writing a thesis statement
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.