Chapter 9: Towards the Well-Researched Paper
Take your own two-storey thesis and come up with a potential third storey. Remember that your third storey may, at this point, be a little less specific than you would like it to be, though that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try for as much specificity as possible.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Look back at the questions posed in your prompt. Have you answered some of them? All of them? If you haven’t answered some of them, why are these answers missing? Can you revise your third storey to address them?
- Are you having a hard time coming up with a third storey? If so, you may need to look back at your first and second storeys. Are they specific enough? Does your second storey provide you with a genuine argument? Is a certain vagueness in your approach making it difficult to identify the meaning of your argument?
- Does your three-storey thesis give you something concrete to discuss? Can you imagine the discussion going on for eight double-spaced pages? Can you imagine concentrating on your central document on every one of those pages instead of quickly abandoning it and moving towards a more general and opinion-based discussion?
By the end of this exercise, you should have an initial three-storey thesis. It will not be perfect. It will, and must, change as you continue to work on the essay. However, it will give you a starting point, a sort of base camp from which to venture out as you continue to explore.