After you identify your topic for Paper #2, the next step is to figure out how to move from a topic to a strong thesis statement.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say your topic is how Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing” is connected to recent rash of suicides of New York City yellow cab drivers.
This is still just a topic. You need to identify a specific point of view or angle on this topic so that you don’t wind up writing a paper that is very broad. A strong thesis statement leads to a strong paper.
Here are three examples of thesis statements stemming from this topic. Which one is the strongest?
In Walt Whitman’s poem “I Hear America Singing,” the speaker writes about jobs. This is an economic issue that affects New York City cab drivers today.
In Walt Whitman’s poem “I Hear America Singing,” the speaker writes about jobs that enable men to earn a good living. Yellow cab drivers today can’t do that.
In Walt Whitman’s poem “I Hear America Singing,” the speaker writes about jobs that were common in the nineteenth century but they aren’t common now. This reminds me of the recent rash of suicides by New York City cab drivers, since news articles have focused on the drop in value of taxi medallions and increased competition by apps like Uber and Lyft. Yellow cab drivers aren’t singing, but mourning the loss of their livelihood.
Which of these will lead to the strongest paper and why? We will spend time in class talking about thesis statements.