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We all bring important past experiences and beliefs to our interpretations of texts, objects, and problems.You can harness these observational powers to engage critically with what you are studying.
Next, explain what important aspect this scholarly representation misses or distorts.
Introduce your particular approach to your topic and its value. If your assignment asks you to do research, bring in a new lens for investigating your case study or problem.
For example, how does the film represent high school cliques in a surprising or complex way? As we’ve just seen, a strong thesis statement crystallizes your paper's argument and, most importantly, . It goes beyond merely summarizing or describing to stake out an interpretation or position that’s not obvious, and others could challenge for good reasons.
How does the film reinforce stereotypes about high school groups and how does it undermine them? It’s also arguable in the literal sense that it can be , or supported through a thoughtful analysis of your sources.
What might intelligent readers think at first glance?
(Or, if you’ve been given secondary sources or have been asked to conduct research to locate secondary sources, what do other writers or scholars assume is true or important about your primary source or issue? Identify and describe for your reader a paradox, puzzle, or contradiction in your primary source(s).) 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 : 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.Here are some possible ways to introduce a conceptual problem in your paper’s introduction. Challenge a commonplace interpretation (or your own first impressions).How are readers likely to interpret this source or issue?Summarize for your reader how a scholar or group of scholars has approached your topic.Introduce a theoretical source (possibly from another discipline) and explain how it helps you address this issue from a new and productive angle.This is why it seldom makes sense to start a writing project by articulating the thesis.The first step is to articulate the question or problem your paper addresses.