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Chapter 6

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Ryerson University
Social Sciences and Humanities
SSH 205
Scott Clark

SSH 205: Chapter 6 The Evolving Thesis • Thesis is a claim about the meaning of some feature or features of your subject • Thesis focuses inquiry, providing a principle of selection that makes some evidence more relevant than other evidence • Static thesis provides organization but sacrifices thinking, contrast, the evolving thesis both prompts and organizes your thinking • You must recognize that a working thesis will only be relatively adequate • Evidence complicating your thesis is good • Contradictory evidence allows you to evolve your these A. Re-creating the Chain of Thought • Prewriting: Exploratory drafting and note taking you do before you begin to compose the first draft of your essay • Working thesis  Confirming evidence  Complicating evidence  Revised Thesis  Repeat the process • Camera lens analogy • Relationship between the thesis and the subject it seeks to explain: lens affect how we see the subject (evidence we select and questions we ask about the evidence), the subject we are looking at also affects how we adjust the lends • If lens is insufficiently sharp, you are not likely to see much in your evidence Moving Through a Series of Complications 1. Formulate an idea about your subject a. This working thesis should be some claim about the meaning of your evidence that is good enough to get you started 2. See how far you can make this thesis go in accounting for evidence a. Use the thesis to explain as much of your evidence as it reasonably can 3. Locate evidence that is not adequately accounted for by the thesis a. Look actively for evidence 4. Ask “So What?” about the apparent mismatch between the thesis and selected evidence a. Explain ho
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