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What Do You Want The Reader To Learn? - Refining Your Thesis

Now that you've drafted the essay, it is time to check your thesis. Has it changed or stayed the same since your research plan? Is it clearly debatable? Have you stated it in language that is appropriate to its complexity and that clearly reveals your informed opinion toward the topic? To clarify your thesis, complete this sentence:

"After writing this draft, I now believe________."

Now compare this sentence to your first or tentative thesis and revise it as necessary. You may discover that you have a topic which is more complex than you originally imagined, that your research has taken you into an unanticipated direction, or that you've uncovered a whole new, more exciting issue. All to the good! Just make sure your thesis now reflects these changes in understanding that you have developed through the research process.

A thesis statement for a longer research paper usually consists of several sentences. For a reader to accept your opinion, you should also lay out the plan of development for the essay, including scope, subtopics, and the order in which they will be presented.