an Angle • Assignment • Internet
A thesis is the controlling idea of a paper. For an informative
essay, the thesis identifies your focus.
For example, if
you research identity theft, you will find
information on many aspects of the topic:
In a 3–5 page paper, you cannot begin
to cover all angles
on your topic. Your thesis identifies
the angle you will cover. This
helps you focus your research,
as the example below shows. A
thesis also lets readers know
what to expect; if your focus
is on the emotional impact of
identity theft, readers cannot
complain that you don't cover
ways to avoid becoming a victim.
What is identity theft?
|How can people protect
||Identity theft is a fast-growing
by thieves who
use stolen personal
types of fraud,
of credit, driver's
and medical identity.
||To protect themselves against identity
guard their personal
and learn how
to fight back.
Three common types of identity
• credit identity theft
• driver's license identity
• medical identity theft
Three ways consumers can protect
• knowing how identity thieves
• guarding their personal
• learning how to fight back
How do I develop a working thesis?
a working thesis, follow
- Read your sources and take brief notes on
- Brainstorm interesting ideas from the articles,
using techniques such
as freewriting, questioning,
- Generate a research question by completing
this sentence: I want
to know why/how/what....
- Generate a thesis, which is the answer
to your research question.
- Be sure that your thesis is not a
question (Is identity
theft a problem?), but
a statement (Identity
theft is one of the fastest
For a more detailed
how to generate a thesis, see The KU Handbook
for Writers, pp.
Why is my first thesis called a working
Your ideas about your topic may change
as you continue to work on your essay.
You might discover a new angle
that is more interesting than
the one you first chose. Your
first thesis may boring, so you may have
to look for an approach that will give
readers new information. You
may even learn something that
causes you to change your thinking about
a topic. As your
thinking changes, your thesis
may also change.
How will having three main points help
me write my paper? As you do your research, you can
concentrate on sources that give you
statistics, examples, reasons, and opinions
to support each point. You can
ignore material that is not related to
your main points. (See The KU Handbook
for Writers, pp. 60-64.) As
you write your draft, you can
expand each of the bullet points
in the Content section into a
full paragraph. (See The KU Handbook
pp. 107-110, for a more detailed explanation.)
Three main points can also be expanded into a
book. For example, in Why
Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of
School Shooters, Peter
three types of shooters: psychopathic,
psychotic, and traumatized.
What are the requirements for the CM102
Unit 3 assignment?
- Follow rubric for
Unit 3 Project
(on KU-ACE) if you are
comfortable using 1-2-3
- If you prefer to organize by making
or writing about your
topic, discuss alternatives
essay with your instructor.
- Your purpose is to identify the focus of
your paper and the
main points you plan
Why should I take time to make a plan?
Researchers have found that those who make a plan
before writing generally produce
higher quality work. In fact,
in the workplace might use
up to 40% of their time on a
writing project to plan.
If you prefer to just start writing, you can still
use that method. Go ahead and
start writing as usual. Then,
when your ideas start to gel,
pause long enough to identify
your main point and the ideas
that support it. Then you can jump
back into your writing.
Internet Resources for Developing a Thesis Statement
Developing an Informative Thesis
Organizing an Essay