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Working Thesis

As you locate sources and take notes, you will also want to begin thinking of a
working thesis for your paper. You have already written a proposal about the issues
you wish to explore, and some of you may already have a thesis forming. It will be a
bit longer before you have refined your thesis, but try thinking through this process to
help focus your reading and note-taking.


You have already asked yourself broad questions for your proposal paper.
What interests me in the paperback and the general assignment guidelines?
What bothers me about the material or ideas? What would I like to explore



Revisit the Quick Access Compact and The Norton Field Guideuse the
index for various pages on thesis. Remember these tips about thesis:
It should not be an announcement (This paper will discuss . . .)
It should not be a statement of fact or the obvious (Rebecca Skloot
explains that the cells of Henrietta Lacks contributed greatly to
It should not be a broad generality (African Americans were the victims
of discrimination and ethically questionable medical practices.)
It should not just list a set of topics (Ethical abuses in biomedical
research included a range of research studies, including the Tuskegee
syphilis study, the crimes against humanity that led to the Nuremburg
trials, and scams like the immortal chicken heart.)
Focus your question on a debatable issue. Refer to They Say, I Say to
understand engaging in the discourse or conversation. You need a part
(subordinate clause) of the sentence to account for the they and the main
part of the sentence for the I, or your actual position. Here is an exercise
to trace your thought processes and construct the thesis:

Practice Exercise:

1. I think Id like to write about how rental loans negatively affect the working poor.
2. Im gathering sources for my working bibliography, so Im trying to see if anyone is
discussing the different view points of rental loans, and if they help or hurt the working poor.
3. Ive started to notice controversy on my chosen topic. The two basic positions seem to be:

View #1 (pro): This position completely supports rental loans because it provides things the
working poor cannot afford upfront, and is an overall beneficial solution.

View #2 (con): This position thinks rental loans are harmful for the working poor, and only dig
them deeper into poverty.

4. My position in this debate is that rental loans are harmful for the working poor, because of the
high interest fees and potential for loan predators when payments are late. I think rental loans
only attribute to the working poors poverty.
Im ready to write a working thesis. It needs to have a clause conceding the other viewpoint
followed by your position. Use action verbs related to argument in both clauses (not talks
about or says). Fill in this Template:

5. (While, Although) + (other sides topic)being able to buy unaffordable items with rental loans
+ (opposing viewpoint or stance)may seem like a beneficial solution for the working poor , (your
topic)rental loans + (your position)negatively affect the working poor in the long run.

6. Here it my working thesis (copy item #5 without the template words):
While being able to buy unaffordable items with rental loans may seem like a beneficial solution
for the working poor, rental loans negatively affect the working poor in the long run.