I believe the two most important sentences of an NHD project are the THESIS. The thesis statement is the nerve center of the project – everything flows from it. A strong thesis sets the tone for a legitimate argument supported by claims, evidence, and reasoning. A strong thesis projects the theme and clearly announces “THIS PROJECT ROCKS!”
To begin developing this skill, we began by writing a 50 word summary of our topic. 50 word summaries force students to be concise and consider their word choice, not to mention informally organizing their research for the first time. Here are a few examples:
Next is the working thesis document. We call this a working thesis, as the final statement will evolve a few times before it’s done. An NHD thesis statement needs 4 things:
- Clearly state your topic
- State the parameters of your topic
- Connect your topic to the theme
- Be an argument
This is not easy and will take several edits to get right. Even then, as student historians continue to become experts on their topic, requiring them to revisit their thesis.
Students will need a working thesis by Thursday, 1/18.