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!
When you outline your main ideas, putting them in a specific order is important. Place your strongest points at the beginning and end of your essay, with more mediocre points placed in the middle or near the end of your essay.
Who would be reading this paper, should it be published? Although you want to write for your professor or other superior, it is important that the tone and focus of your paper reflect the audience who will be reading it. If you’re writing for academic peers, then the information you include should reflect the information you already know; you don’t need to explain basic ideas or theories. On the other hand, if you are writing for an audience who doesn’t know much about your subject, it will be important to include explanations and examples of more fundamental ideas and theories related to your research.
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, writing your introduction first may be more difficult to accomplish than starting with the meat of your paper. Starting by writing the main points (focusing on supporting your thesis) allows you to slightly change and manipulate your ideas and commentary.