Your thesis should express the main idea of your paper without listing all of your reasons or outline your entire paper. It should be a simple statement, rather than a list of support; that’s what the rest of your paper is for!
To draw a parallel, a lawyer researches and reads about many cases and uses them to support their own case. A scientist reads many case studies to support an idea about a scientific principle. In the same way, a history student writing about the Vietnam War might read newspaper articles and books and interview veterans to develop and/or confirm a viewpoint and support it with evidence.
An outline will help you organize your thoughts before you dig into the writing process. Once you’ve developed your thesis statement, think about the main points you’ll need to present to support that statement. Those main points are your sub-headings. Now, organize your thoughts and information under each sub-heading.
APA format is used by researchers in the social sciences field, and requires in-text citations as well. It ends the paper with a “references” page, and may also have section headers between body paragraphs.
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