Inquiry Stages and the Thesis Statement Cindy Cruz-Cabrera


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Inquiry Stages and the Thesis Statement Cindy Cruz-Cabrera

  1. 1. Inquiry Stages and the Thesis Statement based on the works of Ventura / Lannon Cindy Cruz-Cabrera |
  2. 2. Inquiry Stages
  3. 3. • Asking the right questions • Exploring a balance of views • Focusing on essential views • Achieving adequate depth in your search • Evaluating your findings • Interpreting your findings
  4. 4. Range of Evidence
  5. 5. Surface Level • Used for general consumption • Skims only the surface of an issue • Easy to digest and understand but detailed • Popular media • Quoted from “Tech Writing”
  6. 6. Second Level • Made for moderately informed to highly specialized persons • Focuses on practice rather then theory • Information is accurate but reflect bias • Trade, business and technical publications • Quoted from “Tech Writing”
  7. 7. Deepest Level • Based on theory and practice • Latest studies and debates • Professional journals • Government sources • Quoted from “Tech Writing”
  8. 8. How Do I Formulate a Thesis Statement?
  9. 9. Discovering a Topic • Narrowing Down the Topic • Formulating a Thesis Statement SUBJECT > TOPIC > Thesis Statement
  10. 10. SUBJECT: USC Elections TOPIC: Apathy toward candidates Low voter turnout Indifferent students Thesis Statement: Student apathy is revealed by the general attitude of students toward the USC elections.
  11. 11. SUBJECT What problem, situation, or issue would I like to study?
  12. 12. TOPIC What aspect of this problem, situation, or issue interests me most?
  13. 13. ISSUE: what is it exactly? • a problem • usually in the form of a question • that leads to a formulation of several competing solutions as a means of addressing a specific problem
  14. 14. Finding Issues to Write About • Think about issues that can be resolved in a number of ways. • Think about issues that can be answered concretely – one that can be proved in a clear and consistent way. • Whatever the issue is, state it as a question in a way that suggests “how” it can be answered.
  15. 15. Finding Issues to Write About • Think about issues that can get you started as soon as possible. • Be careful about the terms you use in phrasing your questions as well as your answers. “Abortion is immoral / illegal.” • Think about issues which you relatively know about. It is your “feel” for the subject that will sustain your interest and provide clues on where to start.
  16. 16. Thesis Statement • The answer to your chosen issue is ultimately what your thesis statement should say • Your thesis statement should be a stance that is: • SPECIFIC • UNAMBIGUOUS • NON-CONTRADICTORY • CRITICAL
  17. 17. Thesis Statement CLAIM OF FACT Can I connect this issue to any probable cause or effect? • answers a “what” question • need not rely on objective or scientific data • may be based on criteria or standards that can be verified by some systematic procedure
  18. 18. Generating Claims of Fact • What claims of fact are controversial? • Which claims of fact are debatable, or simply false? • Is there any one way of finding out whether it is true or false?
  19. 19. Thesis Statement CLAIM OF POLICY Can I suggest a specific course of action to remedy or solve the problem, situation, or issue instead? • Answers a “how” question • Proposes a course of action, next step or solution
  20. 20. Generating Claims of Policy • What should be done about the situation in order to promote these values? • Is the policy the best one? For whom? • In what way does it solve the problem?
  21. 21. Thesis Statement CLAIM OF VALUE Can I explain how the problem, situation, or issue should be viewed? • expresses a quality based on judgment • Seeks to show that something is right or wrong, good or bad
  22. 22. Generating Claims of Value • Do the following claims of fact promote what is right or good? • What values and interests should be considered good and why? • Do these values compete with others, and if so, which ones are more important, and why?
  23. 23. Relating Issues to Thesis Statements
  24. 24. • Choose an issue that you have something to say about. • After coming up with a list of ideas, analyze the different claims that each statement or idea makes. • Formulate a single claim based on an immediate concern that you feel has to be addressed. • Ask some analytic questions, like “What do the facts say or reveal about these concerns? Are such concerns justified or not?” to help sort out kinds of information to support claims
  25. 25. References • On Your Own: Doing Research Without Plagiarizing by Eloisa Ventura • “Tech Writing” chapter-7.html