One of the most difficult parts of writing a strong paper is crafting a clear, interesting thesis statement. If your topic is parents, don't drift on accepted ideas such as, parents should model good behavior or parents love you even when they make mistakes. A strong thesis statement on parents should be specific to your paper -- the single argument your paper rests upon. Though many people write thesis statements before finishing the rest of their paper, consider revising your thesis to fit the rest of your paper after you're done writing your points.
Jot on a note card the idea you want to write your paper about. Since your thesis statement is going to deal with parents, the main idea of your paper should focus on parents. Don't worry about narrowing it down too much in the beginning.
Start researching. If you're writing from academic studies, take notes and write down citations. When you find a piece of evidence you want to include in your paper, write the main idea that evidence will support on a separate piece of paper, labeled "topic sentences". Write a note next to each topic sentence, explaining how it relates to your idea for writing an essay about parents.
If you're writing from personal experience, do a mental inventory of the experiences you want to write about on a piece of paper. Separate them by the topic sentences they'll support. It's okay to come up with topic sentences as you do your research and inventory. Continue linking evidence back to the main thesis idea of your parents.
Write a rough thesis statement based on your topic sentences and the evidence or experiences you've gathered. Once you've created a sufficient statement, write the rest of the paper, linking together evidence to support your topic sentences. Each topic sentence should be a piece in the puzzle that shows how your statement about parents is true.
Read the paper. Read the parental thesis statement again. Ask yourself whether it supports everything you've argued in the paper. When arguing about nature versus nurture, for example, crafting a thesis statement that supports nature while your evidence supports nurture, makes your thesis weak. If it doesn't fit, review the thesis so it better aligns with your fleshed out argument in your paper, since the paper is the result of the evidence about parents and the experiences with parents you've gathered.
Determine whether your thesis statement is taking a position. Weak thesis statements merely state a fact, like: Parents who own race cars are more likely to raise children who have car accidents. Saying that "Parents who own race cars raise their children to be more risk taking and, as a result, the children engage in risky behavior, leading to largely non-fatal car crashes before the age of 20", offers the reader a chance to make an argument.
Check for specificity in your thesis statement. Saying that "Good parents make good choices" isn't interesting or detailed. Saying that "Good parents emphasize nutrition, exercise and social interaction" is a good opening that gives the reader a road map to your argument, since it shows you'll be discussing the effects of parental influence nutrition, exercise and social interaction.
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