Use Evidence and Analysis to Support a Thesis

Your topic sentences indicate the major areas of support foryour thesis, and the guide sentences indicate the general courseof development you plan to take within each paragraph. Still, thejob of composing your paper is far from complete. While you'veopened up your main idea to expose its parts, you have yet to getdown to giving the specifics, the precise details that will helpyour reader feel the full weight of your thought. You must showthe foundation of specific evidence that your general ideas arebuilt upon. The following suggestions for paragraph developmentwill help you coax forth the details that will make your writingsolid and substantial.

refute – argue against the presented thesis or evidence in support of the thesis.

Your main “claim” for your paper - This is what you are trying to to prove. Your thesis must take a position that genuinely can be argued from more than one side. It should be factual. It should not be so broad that it cannot be adequately supported in the scope of your paper not so narrow that it cannot support a full analysis.


Taking Notes to Support Thesis and Arguments

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As you develop your thesis statement, you also identify a number of main ideas or reasons why your thesis is true. Each of these reasons is called a main idea or support thesis. Your major thesis states what you will prove in your whole paper, while your support thesis states what you will prove in each paragraph or section. Each paragraph (or set of paragraphs for longer papers) is organized around one of your main ideas:


This thesis focuses on the idea of social corruption and the device of imagery. To support this thesis, you would need to find images of beasts and cannibalism within the text.But the bigger questions persist. If the gospels are constructed to serve the earthly purposes of converting or supporting the beliefs of specific audiences, how can they also be considered as true? After doing a great deal of sketching, the student posits that perhaps the differences and contradictions are precisely what communicates the texts' truth to its audience of believers. After all, if the truth of a supreme being is beyond human grasp, then perhaps it requires a many-voiced or polyglossic narrative. With this idea in mind, the student produces a paper that not only details the variances across the texts, but offers a claim about why an audience of believers are not deterred by the differences. It is this claim that serves as the umbrella idea, synthesizing the student writer's various observations and ideas.