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Distance Learners: More Writing Help

This guide outlines library services and resources for distance learners at the Lyman Beecher Brooks Library

Know if Your Topic is Too Narrorw or Too Broad

 

Too Broad (Click Here)

  • How is COVID-19 treated?
  • Will tablet computing replace the need for laptops?

Too Narrow

  • How much has the popularity of Harry Potter improved the reading scores of second graders in Virginia?
  • At what point in time will the need for nurses in pediatric wards outpace the graduation rates from nursing schools?

Just right

  • In what ways have online communities changed the nature of support systems available for people with Attention Deficit Disorder?
  • How has mountaintop removal mining in western Kentucky impacted the migratory habits of the local bird population?

 

Writing Centers

NSU Writing Center

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Write Your Thesis Statement

What is a thesis statement?

  • A thesis statement comes at the beginning of your paper. 
  • It is a statement that answers your research question.
  • The statement is supported throughout your paper with examples and evidence.

 

What makes a good thesis statement?

  • It takes a position, or advances an opinion.
  • It is specific, not too broad, but not too narrow. (See: LibGuide Advanced Library Research Techniques)
  • It is an arguable statement; there is room for discussion or disagreement.
  • It provides focus and generates interest in the reader.

Three Examples:

 

Taking a Position -

Poor (doesn't take a position):

  • I'm going to write about the high rate of suicide and depression in transgender adolescents.

Improved (takes a position):

  • The standard story of binary gender in our society creates a hostile environment for gender variant adolescents, as demonstrated by high rates of depression and suicide.

 

Specificity

Poor (very general):

  • Europe is a great place to visit.

Improved (more specific):

  • World travel is an important element to a well-rounded college education.

 

Arguable

Poor (not much here to argue with):

  • Exercise is good for the elderly.

Improved (specific position that can be argued):

  • Exercise, combined with antidepressants, is more effective in reducing depression in older adults given the prevalence of treatment-resistant depression in late life.