Creating a Working Thesis
Generating ideas for an essay can feel challenging. Even when a list of potential topics is provided, you will need to consider what aspects of, or point of view on, the general topic you will develop. For topics that have been assigned (or that you choose from a list), you may be expected to modify or mold the topic into something that is your own.
At this early stage, you want to develop a working thesis statement to guide your research, reading and writing. It is unnecessary to generate a definitive thesis statement or argument at this point as your ideas are likely to evolve.
A useful strategy when creating a working thesis is to develop some driving questions to guide your research. Begin by considering course themes or issues relevant to your assignment. Examine these and then pay attention to questions that come to mind.
What would you like to know about the topic?
Click the button below for an example of driving questions in developing a working thesis.
Working Thesis Driving Question
In using the theme of environmentalism and the topic of recycling, here are a few driving questions to consider:
- What does Toronto do with disposed electronics?
- What environmental risks exist with electronics?
- Are these environmental risks being taken into account?
A working thesis based on these driving questions could be: Toronto should expand recycling programs for discarded electronics.
In using the theme of reproductive rights and the topic of child rearing, here are a few driving questions to consider:
- What impediments exist for working parents?
- What access to daycare exists in Ontario?
- Is daycare affordable for parents who really need it?
- What is available in other provinces?
- Should government be involved in providing affordable daycare?
A working thesis based on these driving questions could be: Ontario should provide access to affordable daycare similar to what is available in Québec.