Go: daily assignment (thesis)
In response to the following task(s), write an e-mail to me at
with the subject heading Daily thesis.
Although this is labeled as a daily assignment, it does have
the potential to increase your grade on your research paper.
- In your e-mail to me, copy down your thesis from your research paper.
- Assess your thesis. Is it appropriate for a thesis paper?
Does it force you to relate your topic to issues of values?
Does it say something specific that is interesting or surprising?
Is it worth arguing, or is it already self-evident without even
reading the paper? Is the language powerful?
- Draft a new (and better) thesis based on your research topic.
You need not have provided evidence for this thesis in your paper,
nor will you be asked to provide evidence. Think of this as the
thesis you would have written if you had it all to do over again
from the start.
- Lastly, please state what additional research you did on your
topic since you did your presentation a month ago.
Sample theses from last year's fts entitled, "Money"
For this paper, you will select a specific group of people with a common currency, who shares a set of traits such as shared beliefs, historical time, governmental structure and/or geography. You will construct a thesis paper which explores how the currency affects and is influenced by the people's culture.
- (Tulip bubble) The unusual and rapid economic success along
with a weak government led the Dutch to believe they were
invincible, which ultimately gave rise to rash decisions in
the futures market.
Nice thesis: Specific, an interesting cause and effect
relationship. Worth arguing, since it's not at all obvious
that these are the primary causes of the tulip bubble.
- The natural resources of Sweden impacted the currency more
than the political systems running the nation, which
facilitated the disruption of many unions it would be a part
OK thesis. The notion that natural resources mattered more
than politics was worth arguing. The next step, the word
"facilitated" doesn't specify the nature of the cause and
effect all that specifically, so that would need to be
spelled out in a nearby sentence.
In fact, the drive to obtain platinum pieces in Everquest
has created a cycle that produces both in-game and real-life
benefits, but also causes a dangerous, nearly debilitating
addiction to the game among those who play it.
What makes this thesis good is that Everquest is a big game,
and platinum pieces is only one goal. So the student had to
argue that this particular goal trumped the others.
The currency in Germany caused a psychological effect on the
people ultimately allowing Hitler to rise to power.
This thesis is weaker. The words, "pschological effect,"
are too vague, and the work "allowing" is a bit weak. These
are sufficiently non-commital that it's hard to imagine an
Security of property has become an all important issue in
the United States; therefore with the proper security
implementations, digital money could become a mainstay
currency of large and small transactions negating the use of
This is a less interesting thesis. There isn't much
surprise, and it's not that bold a prediction. To make this
paper compelling, the author will need to provide very
strong evidence that people will be eager to give up paper
money. But once such a paper is written, the thesis can be
strenghened to identify how and why this transition will
The perception of currency influenced societal instability
in the Weimar Republic; equally it can account for the
societal stability of modern day Germany.
It's this last clause that is surprising here.
The Bank of International Art Money (BIAM) and its currency
have brought a greater interest to Danish art and culture
than the Danish Golden Age of Art ever did.
This thesis is reasonably simple (in terms of cause and
effect), but it's quite surprising. One wonder how the
author is going to convince the reader that a major historic
time period is less important than this recent curiosity.
(Beannie baby and tulip bubbles.) The connection between
these two fads is that people of the time traded the product
as if it was currency, and that both fads ignited some
pretty strange behavior in the community.
Theis thesis is weak because the relationship between the
two ideas isn't very compelling. So, they were both
fads... so what.