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ANTH/WGST 420/520: Kinship and Marriage

Research Guide for ANTH 420/520

Strong Thesis Statements

A thesis statement clearly identifies the topic being discussed, includes the points discussed in the paper, and is written for a specific audience. Your thesis statement belongs at the end of your first paragraph, also known as your introduction. Use it to generate interest in your topic and encourage your audience to continue reading. Strong thesis statements:

  • State the essay's subject -- the topic that you are discussing
  • Reflect the essay's purpose -- either to give your readers information or to persuade your readers to agree with you
  • Include a focus -- your assertion that conveys your point of view
  • Use specific language -- avoids vague words and generalizations
  • May (but don't have to) state the major subdivisions of the essay's topic

Developing Thesis Statements

To develop a thesis statement about your site, do some exploratory research and ask yourself questions about your topic like: 

  • What interests me about this topic as I learn more about it?
  • How does the topic relate to the larger themes discussed in this course?
  • What are the major debates and disagreements over the topic you are studying?

Ask Dr. Wellman for feedback on your thesis statement.

Picking Your Topic IS Research

Once you've picked a research topic for your paper, it isn't set in stone. It's just an idea that you will test and develop through exploratory research. This exploratory research may guide you into modifying your original idea for a research topic. Watch this video for more info:

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