Developing A Tentative Thesis Statement
My Topic: what do all religions have in common?
Welcome to ENG2209! You have entered this course with a solid background on what makes up a quality essay. Now you will take that learning to another level because you will be required to do more extensive research, which will allow you the opportunity to really explore a topic in a whole new way and with greater depth.
This week you will be choosing a topic and developing a tentative thesis statement. When choosing a topic, it is important to choose one that is debatable, relevant, and supported by credible, scholarly research. (Remember, a minimum of 4 of your sources must be scholarly. See the syllabus for more details.) It is helpful to choose a topic that you are passionate about and interested in; however, be sure that you choose a topic that allows you to be objective. Sometimes if we choose topics that trigger highly strong emotions, we lose the ability to reason at the best of our ability. Thus, as a word of caution, be careful with this and remain self-aware. Be sure to receive your instructor’s approval on your topic as well.
This week you will begin your research, and you will complete two library assignments that will help you find the best resources for your topic. Please contact the course librarian for questions with your library research.
Important Course Information
- All assignments are due at midnight on the day assigned. Thus, Day 4 is always Thursday, and Day 7 is always Sunday.
- All weekly resources are linked in the course schedule of weekly overview pages. All documents are also located in a weekly documents folder on the course home page.
- Do not hesitate to contact your instructor with any questions. Do not struggle in silence. Always ask!
- Check your Northwestern email on a regular basis. Read all emails/ announcements from your instructor.
- As you draft your thesis statement, remember that it is the heart of your research paper, so be sure to closely follow the guidelines given for this week’s assignments. A well written thesis statement can save you time and energy in the long run because it will help to set up the entire structure of your paper. Always feel free to contact your instructor with questions.
Outcomes of the Week
- WO-1. Choose a legitimate argumentative research topic (CO 1).
- WO-2. Locate and evaluate sources (CO 2 & 4).
- WO-3. Develop a tentative thesis statement (CO 1, 4 & 5).
Course Orientation due Day 4 at midnight
- Review Getting Started in Your Course
- Complete the Understanding Plagiarism Presentation and Quiz
- Complete Student Responsibilities Exercise (complete as final step of Course Orientation)
- Post your introduction to the Introductions Forum
Due Day 4
- Read Wood, Chapters 1 and 6
- View Guidelines for Topic Selection (5:29)
- Access the Finding a Topic Library Guide or review the Potential Topics List document for possible topics
- Read Topic Guidelines document
- Complete Possible Topics assignment
- Possible Topics Assignment File
- Complete Library Assignment #1
- View Sample Essay “Stadium Subsidies”
- Read English Department Grading Standards
Due Day 7
- Read Wood, Chapter 3
- Read Constructing a Tentative Thesis Statement Handout
- View Creating a Tentative Thesis Statement (4:45)
- Submit Tentative Thesis Assignment
- View Finding the Best Sources (10:35)
- The information from this presentation is also presented in the “ Finding the Best Sources ” document.
- Complete Library Assignment #2
Optional Learning Resources
- Online Library Research Tutorials
- Personal Argument Style activity (Wood, pp. 22-23, 3.a.)
- Personal Argument Style (OPTIONAL)
- Personal Argument Style Assignment (OPTIONAL)