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Theses and Research Questions

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Simple Thesis Statements
Pronged vs. Multifaced Thesis Statements
Lenght and Location
Using the Prompt's Language


Thesis Statements 

A thesis statement conveys the main point or argument of your paper and indicates how your ideas are organized in your essay. The writer’s goal when creating a thesis statement should be to tell the reader what to expect in their paper by clearly stating their ideas and how they will be supported throughout the paper. A strong thesis statement should be specific, debatable, and supported by the content of the essay.  



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A simple thesis statement is usually 1 sentence and identifies a main idea with supporting information. 

 Mallory Ortberg retells a classic Andersen’s story The Little Mermaid to prove the heroine, in her quest to reclaim her power in today’s world, needs to kill the prince.  

Pronged vs. Multifaceted  

 A pronged thesis statement has one main idea and lists multiple themes or supporting information. This type of thesis statement is commonly taught and helps with paragraph organization. 

 Ancient civilizations arose from the domestication of plants and animals, the diversification of established religions and philosophies, and the cross-cultural exchange of ideas and goods through world trade. 

A multifaceted thesis has a complex structure and uses verbs to describe the relationship between main ideas. This type of thesis statement is preferred by professors and is often more than one sentence  

Historical stories, whether myth or truth, should not be eliminated from the timeline of the American revolution; they provide an alternative perspective to patriotism whilst bringing historical justice to the untold stories of colonial women during the revolutionary war. Exaggerated, potentially fictionalized narratives of the revolutionary era should not be analyzed in terms of whether they are “true” or “false” but rather how they support the larger known truth of women’s involvement in America’s revolution. 

Length and Location

The length and location of a thesis statement can differ based on your instructor’s preference and the type of writing assignment. Since the length of a thesis statement can be 1 or more sentences, you want to make sure that no matter the length, that you are addressing the prompt, making a claim or stating an idea, and demonstrating how your paper will be organized. 

The most common position for a thesis statement is at the end of an introduction paragraph; however, a thesis statement can be located anywhere within an introduction paragraph.  

Using the Prompts Language

When using the prompt’s language, you are taking part of the question or topic you are responding to and using it in your thesis statement. Adding part of the prompt to your thesis can make it easier to identify your thesis in the introduction paragraph. Instructors have different preferences for this style of thesis statement, so it is advised to check with your instructor if you are unsure if you should use the prompts language in your thesis statement. 

Prompt: What are some ways that Moroccan women subverted patriarchy and cultivated feminist consciousness? 

Thesis Statement: Mernissi, in Dreams of Trespass, insists Moroccan women cultivated their feminist consciousness and subverted patriarchy through storytelling, theater, and the power of words.

Research Questions

research question is the question that you want to answer with your research and can be used to guide the research and writing process. A research question should be specific, arguable, and allow you to explore a topic.  

How does consistent exposure to temperatures above 90°F effect fruit production in orange trees?