Narrowing a Research Topic into a Thesis Statement and Introduction (English III Research)
Click on Position , and then click on More Layout Options. The Layout dialog box should appear. Under the Horizontal section, click the Absolute Position bubble. Change the point value to 9. Make sure to select Column from the drop-down menu across from this point value.
Placement of Thesis Statements
Under the Vertical section, click the Absolute Position bubble. Change the point value to 6. Make sure to select Paragraph from the drop-down menu across from this point value. Under the Distance from Text section, change all of the point values i. Under Height , click on the Absolute bubble and change the point value to 1. Under Width , click on the Absolute bubble and change the point value to. Click on Shape Outline and select No Outline from the drop-down menu. Click on the Table Tools Layout tab that appears at the top of the screen.
Then click on the Repeat Header Rows button. After creating a table and populating it with data, you may want to adjust the spacing of the text and cells to make the data fit better. If the text is double-spaced , change it to single-spacing. Already, your table is taking up less space in the document and lines of data are easier to ready. However, you still want to separate rows of data from each other by adjusting the cell spacing :. Here's what it looks like without the gridlines showing -- the rows of data have more separation and are easier to read:. In this version of the table, the columns have been adjusted so that the data fits better and is more spread out, but Column 5 still has some odd extra space on the right-hand side.
To fix this, select all the cells in Column 5, open Cell Options, and adjust the Right margin to 0 zero. This provides just enough room for the data to spread out a little more.
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This is a very handy tool when you have a table with lots of data, but need a little extra room for the data to spread out. To see them:. On the next line, use the font style Table title for the title. Table titles typically use Headline Style Capitalization and can be single-spaced.
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You must use the Table title font style so that you can automatically populate your List of Tables. This is a huge time saver for you. Use RegText to add a Note beneath the table. Notes can be single-spaced to help differentiate them from the rest of the text. Be sure to view the examples on this page and format your tables like them, using vertical and horizontal lines sparingly.
Just scroll down to the instructions for creating page numbers. Faculty Resources Feedback! Schedule Appointment. Copyright Since a thesis is legally classified as a publication, care must be taken not to violate copyright laws. Table note if any appears below each table. Tables fit within margins. Tables are cleanly formatted, with the least number of horizontal and vertical lines to separate main elements.
If a table spans multiple pages, the word continued appears on the last line of the table before the break — this goes for each page where a break occurs. Each table is referenced in the text leading up to it.
Proper thesis placement
Do not place a table in the middle of a sentence. Complete the sentence, then insert the table. Experience counts - there's no way around it. As a student, you are not yet an expert and therefore don't generally have the luxury of beginning your writing tasks with a definite thesis in mind. Once you choose and devote time to a major field of study, however, you will gain experience.
In the meantime, you'll have to do more work than the professional to prepare yourself for writing a paper. But let's assume that you do have an area of expertise, that you are in your own right a professional albeit not in academic matters. We'll assume that you understand your nonacademic subject - say, backpacking - and have been given a clear purpose for writing: to discuss the relative merits of backpack designs. Your job is to write a recommendation for the owner of a sporting-goods chain, suggesting which line of backpacks the chain should carry.
The owner lives in another city, so your remarks have to be written.
Learn about the elements of a successful essay conclusion.
Since you already know a good deal about backpacks, you may already have some well-developed ideas on the topic before you start doing additional research. Yet even as an expert in your field, you will find that beginning the writing task is a challenge, for at this point it is unlikely that you will be able to conceive a thesis perfectly suited to the contents of your paper. After all, a thesis statement is a summary, and it is difficult to summarize a presentation yet to be written - especially if you plan to discover what you want to say during the process of writing. Even if you know your material well, the best you can do at the early stages is to formulate a working thesis - a hypothesis of sorts, a well-informed hunch about your topic and the claim to be made about it.
Once you have completed a draft, you can evaluate the degree to which your working thesis accurately summarizes the content of your paper. If, however, sections of the paper drift from the focus set out in the working thesis, you'll need to revise the thesis and the paper itself to ensure that the presentation is unified.
You'll know that the match between the content and thesis is a good one when every paragraph directly refers to and develops some element of the thesis. Begin with a Subject and Narrow It Let's assume that you have moved from making recommendations about backpacks your territory to writing a paper for your government class your professor's territory. Whereas you were once the professional who knew enough about your subject to begin writing with a working thesis, you are now the student, inexperienced and in need of a great deal of information before you can begin begin to think of thesis statements.
It may be a comfort to know that your government professor would likely be in the same predicament if asked to recommend backpack designs. He would need to spend several weeks, at least, backpacking to become as experienced as you; and it is fair to say that you will need to spend several hours in the library before you are in a position to choose a topic suitable for an undergraduate paper. Suppose you have been assigned a ten-page paper in Government , a course on social policy. Not only do you not have a thesis - you don't have a subject!
Where will you begin? First, you need to select a broad area of interest and make yourself knowledgeable about its general features. What if no broad area of interest occurs to you? Don't despair - there's usually a way to make use of discussions you've read in a text or heard in a lecture.
The trick is to find a topic that can become personally important, for whatever reason. For a paper in your biology class, you might write on the digestive system because a relative has stomach troubles. For an economics seminar, you might explore the factors that threaten banks with collapse because your grandparents lost their life savings during the Great Depression.
Whatever the academic discipline, try to discover a topic that you'll enjoy exploring; that way, you'll be writing for yourself as much as for your professor. Some specific strategies to try if no topics occur to you: Review material covered during the semester, class by class if need be; review the semester's readings, actually skimming each assignment. Choose any subject that has held your interest, if even for a moment, and use that as your point of departure. Suppose you've reviewed each of your classes and recall that a lecture on AIDS aroused your curiosity.
Your broad subject of interest, then, will be AIDS. At this point, the goal of your research is to limit this subject to a manageable scope. Although your initial, broad subject will often be more specific than our example, "AIDS," we'll assume for the purposes of discussion the most general case the subject in greatest need of limiting.
Inserting Figures - Thesis and Dissertation - Research Guides at Sam Houston State University
A subject can be limited in at least two ways. First, a general article like an encyclopedia entry may do the work for you by presenting the subject in the form of an outline, with each item in the outline representing a separate topic which, for your purposes, may need further limiting. Second, you can limit a subject by asking several questions about it:.
These questions will occur to you as you conduct your research and see the ways in which various authors have focused their discussions. Certainly, "the civil rights of AIDS patients" offers a more specific focus than does "AIDS"; still, the revised focus is too broad for a ten-page paper in that a comprehensive discussion would obligate you to review numerous particular rights.
So again you must try to limit your subject by posing a question. In this particular case, which aspects of the civil rights of AIDS patients can be asked a second time. Six aspects may come to mind:. Any one of these aspects could provide the focus of a ten-page paper, and you do yourself an important service by choosing one, perhaps two, of the aspects; to choose more would obligate you to too broad a discussion and you would frustrate yourself: Either the paper would have to be longer than ten pages or, assuming you kept to the page limit, the paper would be superficial in its treatment. In both instances, the paper would fail, given the constraints of the assignment.
So it is far better that you limit your subject ahead of time, before you attempt to write about it. Let's assume that you settle on the following as an appropriately defined subject for a ten-page paper:. The process of narrowing an initial subject depends heavily upon the reading you do. The more you read, the deeper your understanding of a topic. The deeper your understanding, the likelier it will be that you can divide a broad and complex topic into manageable - that is, researchable - categories. Identify these categories that compose the larger topic and pursue one of them.
So reading allowed you to narrow the subject "AIDS" by answering the initial questions - the who and which aspects. Once you narrowed your focus to "the civil rights of AIDS patients," you read further and quickly realized that civil rights in itself was a broad concern that also should be limited.
In this way, reading provided an important stimulus as you worked to identify an appropriate subject for your paper. Make an Assertion Once you have identified the subject, you can now develop it into a thesis by making an assertion about it. If you have spent enough time reading and gathering information, you will be knowledgeable enough to have something to say about the subject, based on a combination of your own thinking and the thinking of your sources. If you have trouble making an assertion, try writing your topic at the top of a page and then listing everything you know and feel about it.
Often from such a list you will discover an assertion that you then can use to fashion a working thesis.
Related proper thesis placement
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