A topic question asks a relevant and important question about the topic that is answered in an essay or research paper.
The topic question can be what other writers have already considered, but answered with a new spin.
Topic: Roe vs. Wade
Possible Topic Questions: (1) What are the negative/positive effects of the Supreme Court's 1973 ruling? (2) What effect would overturning the federal court's ruling have on teen pregnancy rates? (3) What effect did the decision have on its litigants?
Although these questions have been addressed by thousands of writers, there are still unexplored options.
The topic question can be formulated by the writer. When deciding to answer a question, be sure to explain why it is an important question.
Topic: Personal Finance
Possible Topic Questions: (1) What effect does bankruptcy have on pre-school children? (2) How does investing at a young age shape children's attitude about different jobs? (3) What effect does religion have on paying off debt?
A thesis statement is a complete sentence that contains one main idea. This idea controls the content of the entire essay. A thesis statement that contains sub points also helps a reader know how the essay will be organized. Look at the introductory paragraph on the following slide. See if you can identify the thesis statement and sub points .
Good thesis statements often express a writer’s opinion or attitude on a particular topic. This makes the thesis statement more specific and requires the writer to explain or prove his/her opinion in the essay. Look at the examples in the following slide.
In thesis statements, you should avoid using statements like, “ This essay will discuss… ” or “ I’m going to write about… ”. Try to write a thesis statement that captures your reader’s attention without announcing your main topic and stating the obvious. Look at the example on the following slide.
PowerPoint Presentation by Ruth Luman: Modesto Junior College.
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