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Developing a Thesis


Developing a strong thesis or central claim is a challenge, involving both critical thinking and effective communication skills. Most of the resources below pertain to written assignments, but the principles are readily adaptable to oral presentations intended to advance an argument or point of view.

Developing a thesis - Harvard University
A handout for students from the university's Writing Center

Thesis statements - George Mason University
A handout for students that includes examples of both strong and weak statements, as well as a brief discussion of disciplinary differences in the treatment of thesis statements

Characteristics of a compelling thesis statement (Microsoft Word 46kB Apr10 09) - St. Olaf College
A handout for students describing and illustrating five characteristics of a strong thesis statement: it makes a claim, previews the corroboration, and is comprehensive, clear, colorful, and concise