Saskatoon Public Schools

Navigating the Research Highway:
Everything You Need to Know About Doing Research
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Final Product
Thesis  Statement
Essay Planning
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 Recording  Information
Referencing  Sources
Criteria for  Evaluating  Sources
Thesis Statement
Regardless of what your final product is, after you have chosen your topic, you need to narrow it into a thesis statement.

The thesis is the central idea of your assignment. When you construct a thesis statement, you have identified the main purpose of your assignment. In fact, if you ask yourself - "What is the main point of this assignment?" - your answer will resemble your thesis statement.

A strong thesis must be specific and sharply focused. A thesis statement that is too general may include so many ideas that it can never be dealt with properly. One way to ensure that you have a clear and sharply focused thesis is by asking yourself two questions with respect to your topic:

What about it?       So what?

Example 1

Topic: Moose Jaw

What about it? Moose Jaw is a city with a history of Chicago gangsters.

So what? Moose Jaw's history is very interesting and draws tourists.

Thesis: Because of its aggressive promotion of its interesting history, Moose Jaw has a booming tourist industry.

Example 2

Topic: Canadians

What about it? Canadians have participated in many peacekeeping activities.

So what? We are admired by other nations.

Thesis: Canada's reputation as a peace keeping nation has earned her the admiration of many nations worldwide.

It is important to be able to recognize and to write a good thesis statement. If your thesis statement is fuzzy, it may be poorly thought out and may not answer the question "So what?"

When you want to make your point on an issue, remember: 


In an essay, the thesis is the last sentence in the introductory paragraph.

Here's how to construct the rest of your essay.

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