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Home » Module 3 Unit 1: Planning your essay » Constructing a working thesis - page 3/4
Unit 1: Planning your essayUnit 2: Structuring paragraphsUnit 3: Introductions & conclusionsUnit 4: Writing persuasivelyUnit 5: Writing cohesively

How do I form a working thesis statement?

A thesis is the result of a lengthy thinking process. Forming a thesis should not be the first thing you do after reading an essay assignment.

As you have seen in the previous section, before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and synthesise evidence, look for possible relationships in your source material (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships. You can use a synthesis grid to do this.

Once you have done this, you will probably have a basic or main idea, an argument that you think you can support with evidence but that may need adjustment along the way. This is a working thesis statement.

Look at the completed synthesis grid on reading development in young children.

In the notes, this student has six sources. All of them stress the importance of interacting, sharing and talking when reading to young children. The differences lie in what type of social interaction they consider to be useful.

By comparing the sources in the synthesis grid, the thesis can be narrowed down, as it seems that most of the current approaches to reading development do believe that reading should be a social experience.

Therefore, a possible thesis statement might be:

While learning to read is a shared social experience, successful reading development in young children is dependent on both the quality and quantity of different interaction available.

This is a working thesis that can be refined later if necessary.