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So it's been a long time since I've done a research paper. I wanted to see if someone could help me put my topic into a thesis statement. I have a bad way with wording things. IThe topic is to choose someone I believe to be a great leader in history and why. I chose Abe Lincoln. If anyone wants to help that'd be great.

To be a real thesis statement, you need not only a topic (in this case, Abraham Lincoln), but also your opinion or position about him as a leader in history. Here are some possibilities:

One of the greatest leaders in American history is Abraham Lincoln.

One of the greatest leaders in all human history is Abraham Lincoln.

Then, once you have decided on your thesis statement, including your opinion/position about your topic, you will know what kind of information you are looking for in your research, as well as how you will plan and write your paper.

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Here are some examples of poor and redone thesis statements, quoted from Diana Hacker's book, A Writer's Reference (see below):

"Too factual:
The first polygraph was developed by Dr. John A. Larson in 1921.
Revised:
Because the polygraph has not been proved reliable, even under the most controlled conditions, its use by private employers should be banned.

"Too broad:
Many drugs are now being used successfully to treat mental illnesses.
Revised:
Despite its risks and side effects, lithium is an effective treatment for depression.

"Too vague:
Many of the songs played on station WXQP are disgusting.
Revised:
Of the songs played on station WXQP, all too many depict [women] crudely, sanction [physical violence], or foster gang [membership]."

"In the process of making a too-vague thesis more precise, you may find yourself outlining the major sections of your paper, as in the preceding example, which prepares the readers for a three-part criticism of the songs played on WXQP. This technique, known as blueprinting, helps readers know exactly what to expect as they read on. It also helps you, the writer, control the shape of your essay."

[quoted from p. 13 of the following book: Diana Hacker. A Writer's Reference. Boston: Bedford Books, 1995.]

LEO Thesis Statement
http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/thesistatement.html

How to Write a Thesis Statement
http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/wts/thesis.html

Paradigm Online Writing Assistant: Thesis & Support
http://www.powa.org/thesis/index.html

Lynch, Guide to Grammar and Style -- T
http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Writing/t.html
(Scroll down a bit for the section on the thesis statement.)

IPL Teenspace: A+ Research & Writing
http://www.ipl.org/div/aplus/step5.htm
Harvard: thesis statements
http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~wricntr/documents/Thesis.html

Getting an A on an English Paper
http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/EngPaper/

=)

Okay, this is your lucky day. I happed to get an A on my ten page reach paper on the Egyption after life, for World Civ/History116 fall quarter. I also wrote a position paper for Eng102 that quarter: American's Should Know Their History.
I got an A on that as well. Lincoln's Gettysburg address was a main supporting arguement for my thesis. So I even know a little on the subject. Don't mind my spelling and punctuation, that is what revising and re-revising is for.
Here's a tip. Make sure you revise your essay at least three times before turning it in. Strive to make it perfect. That's how you get an A.
Also try not to start sentences with conjunctive words and adjectives: the, and, one, he, she, then. All those words at the start of a sentence can interupt the flow.
Okay, feel free to copy these exactly. You wrote them, I just fancied them up a little.
Abraham Lincoln, a once wise and inspirational leader to the people of this great nation, has become one of the most greatly admired historical figures of all time.
Oh and...a good transitional sentence just came to me.
President Lincoln's many accomplishments in office, including his nobel efforts to unite this country , have secured a permanent place for him in the history books.
Or
History is full of great men who acomplished world changing goals, but the name Abraham Lincoln stands out from them all.
Transitional
As sixteenth president of the United States, Lincoln united a vast and separated land under a full banner of stars and stripes.
OR
Uniting a country, and instilling hope in a separated people, Abraham Lincoln's time as the sixteeth of the United States made him one of the most admired men in history.

Or
Leading a devided country into a strong independant nation, President Abraham Lincoln inspired unity in his people, stopped inhumanity and built the foundation for the free society we live in today.
Or
Great adrmiration is held for passionate and brave Abraham Lincoln; standing in the midst of pain, blood and death, President Lincoln inspired hope and clearity.
Or
History was made by our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln, when his vision of a united land, a free people governed by democracy, and end to slavery was made a reality.

Okay, I think I probably gave you quite a bit to work with. Some are good solid Thesis statments, other's are good transitional or supporting sentences. I really enjoyed helping, I'm temporarily out of college, so its nice to remind myself that I can still do the work.
If you have anymore problems I'd be happy to help.

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  1. waht

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