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You need a good thesis statement for your essay but are having trouble getting started. You’ve focused on a topic--high school cliques--which is a smart move because you’ve settled on one of many possible angles.You may have heard that your thesis needs to be specific and arguable, but still wonder what this really means. Imagine you’re writing about John Hughes’s film is a romantic comedy about high school cliques. But the claim is weak because it’s not yet arguable.Now explain how you will extend this scholar’s argument to explore an issue or case study that the scholar doesn’t address fully. If your assignment asks you to do research, identify a gap in another scholar’s or a group of scholars’ research.
Tip : Asking “how” or “why” questions will help you refine your thesis, making it more arguable and interesting to your readers. The film uses the romance between Samantha, a middle-class sophomore, and Jake, an affluent senior, to reinforce the fantasy that anyone can become wealthy and successful with enough cunning and persistence.
It helps to understand why readers value the arguable thesis. Your readers will bring a set of expectations to your essay.
The key is to be alert to what strikes you as strange, problematic, paradoxical, or puzzling about your object of study.
If you can articulate this and a claim in response, you're well on your way to formulating an arguable thesis in your introduction.
They want to see the writer challenge commonplaces—either everyday assumptions about your object of study or truisms in the scholarly literature.
In other words, academic readers want to be surprised so that their thinking shifts or at least becomes more complex by the time they finish reading your essay.
) What does this commonplace interpretation leave out, overlook, or under-emphasize? What larger questions does this paradox or contradiction raise for you and your readers? If your assignment asks you to do research, piggyback off another scholar's reserach.
Summarize for your reader another scholar’s argument about your topic, primary source, or case study and tell your reader why this claim is interesting.
Tip: your introductory paragraph will probably look like this: You can test your thesis statement’s arguability by asking the following questions: Is my thesis about my primary source or case study, or is it about the world?
If it’s about the world, revise it so that it focuses on your primary source or case study.