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REL 205: Religion in America (Professor Nickel, Spring 2024): Note-taking and Writing

How to Write a Thesis Statement

A good thesis statement will convey at least 3 things: 

  1. The topic of the paper 
  2. A specific claim about that topic 
  3. A list of reason(s) why that claim is correct.

A thesis will almost always be the last sentence of the first paragraph of your paper. 

A thesis statement can be revised at any time in your writing process! If you are halfway through your paper and realize that your sources don't agree with your claim, write a new claim that matches the sources rather than trying to force sources to agree with you. And if you don't know what your thesis should be, try getting your outline written first, and then writing the thesis afterwards. 


How to Correctly Summarize, Paraphrase, and Quote

Planning Ahead

  • How to Take Effective Notes for Faster, Better Writing: