Thesis

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Introduction to the Thesis Statement: American History
A thesis expresses the judgment of someone who has thoughtfully examined a body of evidence on a topic.  It is an informed and debatable statement that is the foundation of any effective expository writing or research project.  A thesis statement makes a claim or expresses a point of view that others might disagree with.

Thesis statement = topic + debatable point of view (based on evidence)

A five-point scale is often used in social research. Here’s a continuum for understanding what a thesis statement is.

No Judgment                                                        Thesis                                                            No Evidence

Fact---------------------Self-evident-----------------------Thesis-------------------------Risky------------------------Pure                         statement                      statement                              judgment                      opinion

Explanation and examples of each point on the scale:

Fact:  a statement that is easily proven by quick check with a reputable source. * Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave.
* The US entered World War I in 1917.

Self-evident judgment: a statement that involves some conclusion based on facts, but is so well accepted or so easily proven that it is hardly worth debating.  The proper reaction to such a statement might be “Yeah, so what? Everyone knows that!”

* Harriet Tubman’s work on the Underground Railroad required tremendous courage. * Trench warfare conditions in World War I were horrible.

Thesis:  a statement that expresses a judgment based on a substantial body of evidence.  It is followed by an essay that presents the evidence in an organized and persuasive way.

* The success of the Underground Railway is due to individuals like Harriet Tubman and the wide-spread nature of the Abolitionist Movement in the North. * The entrance of the US into...
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