From Thesis Statement to Paragraph

Use this guide to sort out your thinking about your thesis-driven paper.  It will help you put together the elements of a thesis statement  and move from that thesis statement to a plan for body of the paper.  As always, Peer Writing Consultants in the Writing Center are ready to help you with any stage of your project

 

Developing A Working Thesis Statement

The content in square brackets gives you an example of the information you need for each prompt. 

  1. Topic:  [Solar Energy]
  2. What’s your question/intriguing problem?  [Should the government step in to support solar energy development in the United States?]
  3. What’s your answer/solution?  [The government should support companies in developing solar energy]
  4. What are the compelling reasons readers should embrace your answer/solution?  [Solar energy is clean and renewable; it will help us reduce greenhouse gasses; the need is too vast to be met by private industry on its own]
  5. Put 4 & 5 together for your thesis statement [Although it is clean and renewable, the development of solar energy poses problems too overwhelming for industry alone to solve.  Therefore, the government’s financial and scientific power should support companies to supply the nation’s future energy needs.]

Now You: 

  1. Topic: 
  1. What’s your question/intriguing problem? 
  1. What’s your answer/solution?
  1. What are the compelling reasons readers should embrace your answer/solution? 
  1. Put 4 & 5 together for your thesis statement

 

Planning the Middle of Your Paper

The reasons that support your main point become the building blocks for the body of your paper.  While high school writing may have taught you to write one paragraph per reason, it may take more than one paragraph per reason for more complicated topics. 

Compelling Reason #1 (Topic Sentence):

Evidence (List all the facts, quotations of expert testimony, analysis about facts and testimony, related to compelling reason #1).  Consider whether you need more than one paragraph to develop your reason convincingly. 

Thinking Otherwise:  Examining compelling reason #1 and evidence for it, what doubts or counterarguments might readers raise?  (Consider where and how you can refute counterarguments and/or make concessions). 

Compelling Reason #2 (Topic Sentence):

Evidence (List all the facts, quotations of expert testimony, analysis about facts and testimony, related to compelling reason #2).  Consider whether you need more than one paragraph to develop your reason convincingly. 

Thinking Otherwise:  Examining compelling reason #1 and evidence for it, what doubts or counterarguments might readers raise?  (Consider where and how you can refute counterarguments and/or make concessions). 

 

And so on!  Use the content on the following page as a template to keep growing your plan for as many good reasons as you have for supporting your argument. 

Compelling Reason # __ (Topic Sentence):

Evidence (List all the facts, quotations of expert testimony, analysis about facts and testimony, related to compelling reason #__).  Consider whether you need more than one paragraph to develop your reason convincingly. 

Thinking Otherwise:  Examining compelling reason #1 and evidence for it, what doubts or counterarguments might readers raise?  (Consider where and how you can refute counterarguments and/or make concessions).