Developing a Thesis Statement

Converting your Preliminary to a Final Thesis

Converting from a preliminary to a final thesis is the last step. You've come a long way. It's shorter, but still bulky. Let's set the first few sentences aside and tweak the last to see what happens.

Final Thesis Statement: With production capabilities in the oil producing nations maxed at their current levels, and increased competition from China to import that oil, the current debate between environmentalists and corporate America over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is going to ratchet up a decibel or two. And the environmentalists are going to be hard-pressed to win the argument.
An Even Better Final Thesis Statement: Environmentalists are likely to lose ground in the current debate over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as oil producing nations struggle to meet the increased demands of an emerging industrial China competing for limited supplies in the global oil market.

Okay. There you have it, a final thesis statement. The preliminary statement has been honed down and tightened up. And guess what? The sentences that were set aside, as well as all the others you have worked on during your revision, aren't a waste. They, or any combination of them, might make an excellent opening paragraph. You may want to include some version of your original research question, also. It's a great way to get started:

Plausible Opening Paragraph: China, currently the second largest consumer of petroleum products in the world, is poised to become the largest. Projections indicate that it will be importing as much as two-thirds of its nation's requirement by 2025. Regardless of the reasons for this-and there are many-global resources are limited as international demand soars. How will this affect the current debate between environmentalists and corporate America over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge?
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