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Developing a Tentative Thesis

The thesis statement of an essay is to your argument paper what the topic sentence is to the paragraph: a guide, a control--a single promise. It indicates the subject, the approach, and the limitations of your topic. It also suggests your position, your attitude, and a commitment to the subject. It conveys the sense that your subject matters, that you have a stake in it. Rather than say, "Advertisers often use sexist ads," tell us something we don't know. Perhaps you could shed new light on an old subject: "Although long criticized for their sexist portrayal of women in TV commercials, the auto industry is just as often guilty of stereotyping men as brainless idiots unable to make a decision." The first statement stimulates "Ho hum," the other "Oh, yeah? I'd like to know more about that."

The thesis statement is your promise to the reader and to yourself.

For today's assignment, please focus a tentative thesis by first deciding on a specific audience and a specific purpose.

Your specific audience:
Your specific purpose:
Your tentative thesis: