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Which is a good description of how you know the candidate?

The key to developing the skill of restating other people’s ideas in your own words is to develop your own repertoire of words that can be used in academic writing. Below is a list of some words that can be used to introduce an author's ideas, grouped by approximate meaning:

If not, don't change your paper right away; see if you can revise the thesis statement to meet the needs of your essay. If you can't change the thesis, then change the essay.

These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing.

Example of a non-debatable thesis statement:

Click  to see what we think is the thesis sentence of this essay.

As it stands now, this thesis is a bit weak because the writer is asserting that it is their opinion or what they think. To make it into an argument or claim, the writer must be taken out of the sentence.

There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. First, what is included in the category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use, recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes), or all uses of medication in general? Second, in what ways are drugs detrimental? Is drug use causing deaths (and is the author equating deaths from overdoses and deaths from drug related violence)? Is drug use changing the moral climate or causing the economy to decline? Finally, what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Does the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above, yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate.

Example of a debatable thesis statement:

The Thesis and the Sentence Outline - Perimeter College File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat Example Sentence Outline: “Get on the Mat: Yoga for Fitness”.

Wales was an advocate of what is generically termed "openness" online. An "open" online community is one with few restrictions on membership or posting-everyone is welcome, and anyone can say anything as long as it's generally on point and doesn't include gratuitous ad hominem attacks. Openness fit not only Wales's idea of objectivism, with its emphasis on reason and rejection of force, but also his mild personality. He doesn't like to fight. He would rather suffer fools in silence, waiting for them to talk themselves out, than confront them. This patience would serve Wales well in the years to come.

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Another example of a debatable thesis statement:


Example of a thesis that is too broad:

From (2011). UW-Madison Psychology Professor Martha Alibali et al. present empirical research on how children use physical gestures to acquire mathematical problem-solving knowledge. Notice the clarity of expression in the first paragraph's topic sentence: the writer provides sufficient set-up to prepare readers for the data which comes at the end of each paragraph.

Example of a narrow or focused thesis:

The first step in changing the working thesis into a strong, independent claim is to cut "I believe that" from the beginning of the sentence. Let us use the original working thesis from the previous section as an example:

This doesn't have to be at the beginning of the sentence:

In this example the topic of drugs has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the detriment has been narrowed down to gang violence. This is a much more manageable topic.

A thesis statement defines the scope and purpose of the paper.

Hmm….Still sounds a little weak. Although the writer is now void from the statement, there is still doubt in this claim. This is where diction becomes important. The key is to use words that make the claim stronger and more assertive. Taking out the passive voice in the statement will add strength to the statement.

Lazar (2006) describes the delicate balance of survey design:

From a September 2006 , by Marshall Poe, describing Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia, and collaborative knowledge. Notice how the first sentence introduces a philosophical issue that the body sentences define and link to both Wikipedia and Wales's own personality.

The number of questions depends greatly on…

We predicted that participants in the gesture-allowed condition would be less likely than participants in the gesture-prohibited condition to generate the parity strategy, because the availability of gesture would promote use of perceptual-motor strategies instead. This was indeed the case; the proportion of participants who used the parity strategy on at least one trial was .74 in the gesture-allowed condition and .91 in the gesture-prohibited condition, _2(1, N = 85) = 4.17, p = .04 (Fig. 1). Once they generated the parity strategy, most participants (89%) used it on all subsequent trials.

a song!" shouted some of the others.

This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just the amount of money used but also how the money could actually help to control pollution.

The work of Chi, Pirolli, and Pitkow (as cited in Lazar, 2006)

This credit appears in two places: within the body of the assignment (the in-text citation) and at the end of the assignment (in the reference list). For every in-text citation there should be a matching entry in the reference list, and vice versa.

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