Name _______________________________  Period _____  Date _______________


Narrowing Your Topic

Directions:  Complete the graphic organizer below. Copy and paste this page into your own document. Delete the example topics and subtopics and insert your own. You can find narrower topics, subtopics, and main points by skimming through your sources - especially tables of contents of books and subheadings in articles. You may add boxes if you need them.


Below is an example for the thesis, "The three characters in The Crucible most responsible for the deaths in Salem are Abigail Williams, Tituba, and Judge Danforth."



 (Example: The Three Characters in The Crucible Most Responsible for the Deaths in Salem)


(Example: Abigail Williams)


(Example: Tituba)


(Example: Judge Danforth)












Formulating a Thesis Statement (Controlling Idea) 

  1. Think of three or more questions that you have about your topic to which you hope to find answers during your research. List your research questions below.

Examples: Who were the three characters most responsible for the deaths in Salem?  Would the deaths have occurred without Abigail? Without Tituba? Without Judge Danforth? What evidence against these characters can be found? How many sources provide the information. Will I have enough information to write several pages to meet the required length of the assignment?









  1. What one sentence will control your research?  A good thesis statement includes your specific subject + your position/feeling + three points you will make about the subject.  
I will prove/show/ explain ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



(Note: This is you working thesis. In your real thesis, you may not use first person "I.")


Working thesis: I will prove that three characters were responsible for the deaths in The Crucible.

Real Thesis: The three characters in The Crucible most responsible for the deaths in Salem are Abigail Williams, Tituba, and Judge Danforth.

2010 Gale Sperry,,  All rights reserved.