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Thesis Development and Study Skills for the Social Sciences



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  • 1. Thesis Development and Study Skills in Social Sciences
    John Holzinger
    Natasha Laraway
  • 2. What is a Thesis?
    It’s the main idea and point that the writer is trying to convey in an essay.
    The thesis can be one to two sentences.
    Your thesis needs to be strong enough that it can be proven through your writing throughout your essay.
    It needs to be simply worded yet explains your complex position.
  • 3. Why do you need a Thesis?
    A thesis is necessary because it provides structure and order to the rest of the paper.
    It explains to your reader two things:
    1. Topic
    2. The writer’s opinion
    A good thesis aids the reader in understanding the basis of your paper
  • 4. Thesis Strategies
    Write a preliminary thesis statement
    Change and revise your preliminary statement and curtail it to be more precise
    Continue to revise this statement until a final and well encompassing thesis is created.
  • 5. A Good Thesis Statement…
    Clearly suggests an essay’s direction, emphasis, and scope.
    Is neither too broad nor too narrow.
    Usually argues a point of view.
    Is concise.
    Is specific, not vague.
    Is strong.
  • 6. Good Questions to ask about your Thesis
    1. Is it clear what the project will be about?
    2. Is it arguable? Is there something that has to be proven?
    3. Can I prove what I am stating in my thesis?
    4. Is there only one main idea?
    5. Does this fully answer the question asked and is my opinion developed?
  • 7. Research
  • 8. Scholarly Journals, Magazines, Newspaper articles
  • 9. Websites related to your social science class
    Philosophy: - stanford encyclopedia of philosophy - Squashed philosophers
    Political Science:
    CIA Factbook
  • 10. Websites related to your social science class
    Anthropology - American Anthropological Association
    Psychology - American Psychological Association
  • 11. Studying for the Social Sciences
  • 12. How is studying for the Social Sciences different than other subjects?
    Math, science, etc = memorization, application, (i.e. memorizing the formula to the Pythagorean theorem and how to use it in your homework)
    The social sciences are like a combination of memorization and critical thinking.
    Memorize: key terms, key concepts
    Critically think: how does this affect me, the world, and those around us?
  • 13. Studying a social science:
    assigned texts
    the key terms and key concepts
    supplementary sources for things you do not understand
    what you have learned to the real world, think outside the box, talk to people about what you have learned and what you feel about it
  • 14. General tips:
    Develop a system of study – flash cards, acronyms, etc
    Plan time for studying - have a set time, at a set day, for a limited amount of time.
    Work on the hardest assignments first
    Keep up with reading and assignments
    Study with a group – make friends, study with people, especially for a test
  • 15. Exam tips
    Sleep well the night before—do not try to stay up all night cramming.
    Avoid energy drinks
    Eat a good breakfast
    Get to class early—this allows you to relax before the test, briefly study with classmates, and be 100% ready
  • 16. Test anxieties/study troubles
    Problems you encounter while studying or taking tests?
  • 17. Study tricks
    What are some of your tricks for studying for a social science course?
  • 18. Questions?
  • 19. Thank you 