Assessment: Topic and Working Thesis

Time to commit!   By now you’ve explored several ideas, and probably ruled out a few easily.  Now, though, I’m asking you to pick one particular topic to use for the final research essay project.  You can change your mind later, if you’d like–but will have to get permission from me to do so.

For this assignment, I’d like you to do the following:

  • Identify which particular topic you’ve decided on
  • Describe a specific controversy that exists within this topic. Identify what the sides are (and there may be more than just 2 sides), and why each believes what it does.
  • Define what side you agree with, and why.
  • State the overall claim that you want your essay to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt. (This will be your working thesis, and it’s welcome to change as you progress in later weeks.  It’s okay to start simple, for now, and build in more complexity later.  I suggest looking at the Thesis statement websites in this module to get started).


A (Silly) Sample:

I have decided to focus on Cheezits for my research project.  There are a number of serious controversies when the matter of cheese-flavored snack crackers is discussed, but I’d like to focus specifically on how they compare with their primary rival, Cheese Nips.  Supporters of Cheese Nips believe their product to be superior because of the flavor, nutritional value, and cost; supporters of Cheezits use the same criteria to claim the better product.  I personally find Cheezits to be preferable in every way, but primarily when it comes to taste.  Cheese Nips taste oily to me, and leave a bad taste on my tongue, while the taste and texture of Cheezits is a perfect consistency.

Cheezits are a better food product than Cheese Nips.