Writing a Research Paper
Purpose and Thesis

Purpose and Thesis

Stating your purpose will help you to narrow your topic. Express your purpose in one sentence.

For example, if you choose capital punishment as your topic, your purpose could be to show that capital punishment should be reinstated in Canada.

 My purpose is to show that capital punishment should be reinstated in Canada.

Your thesis statement will derive directly from your purpose.

Therefore, your thesis statement could be that capital punishment should be reinstated in Canada.

 Capital punishment should be reinstated in Canada.

You now have a focus for your paper; it will deal strictly with the reasons for the reinstatement of capital punishment.

Therefore, other material, such as the history of capital punishment, will not be relevant. As you conduct your search for material, you will focus strictly on the reasons for the reinstatement of capital punishment.

For more information on writing a thesis statement, see Writing a Thesis Statement.

For more information on writing a title for your research paper, see Writing a Title.


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