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Writing a History Paper: Developing a Thesis Statement

Developing a Thesis Statement

Usually papers have a thesis, an assertion about your topic. You will present evidence in your paper to convince the reader of your point of view. Some ways to help you develop your thesis are by:

  • stating the purpose of the paper
  • asking a question and then using the answer to form your thesis statement
  • summarizing the main idea of your paper
  • listing the ideas you plan to include, then see if they form a group or theme
  • using the ponts of controversy, ambiguity, or "issues" to develop a thesis statement


If you're having trouble with your thesis statement, ask your professor for help or visit the Student Academic  Success Center: Communication Support.
Your thesis may become refined, revised, or changed as your research progresses. Perhaps these sites may be helpful:

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Sue Collins
Sue Collins
Senior Librarian
109E Hunt Library
4909 Frew St.
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh PA 15213
Currently Working From Home and working part-time
Subjects: History, Reference