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The Research Process

Writing a Thesis Statement


Develop a Working Thesis: Now that you have a research question, the answer to that question becomes your working thesis. 


After you have previewed some potential sources and gathered information, you are ready to work with the main question you have about your topic—your research question.


Research Question

Colleges and employers screen applicants using social media

Is it right for employers and college admissions staff to use social media as a means of screening candidates?

Preliminary Working Thesis
“Colleges and employers should not access the social media accounts of qualified applicants.”

This thesis states the topic but is less clear about the argument the student plans to make. The thesis also lacks specifics, and does not hint at the case the paper will make about the subject.

Revised Working Thesis:

“Colleges and employers who access the social media accounts of qualified applicants should disclose their practices, especially to minors.”

A good working thesis makes a comment or claim about the topic. The thesis should present a single idea that will unify your writing, and in your final draft it should guide readers through your paper. And so, your working thesis should take into account the supporting information you’ve gathered.


Research Question

Legalizing medical marijuana

What effects does legalizing medical marijuana have on adolescent drug use?

Video game violence and school shootings

What is the connection between violent video games and school shootings?

Texting while driving

What measures can be taken to stop texting while driving?