Your research has spiraled into unexpected realms – there are countless books stacked along your desk, forming precarious towers; there are endless online sites saved to your browser, each offering the precious details now needed; and your notes are flung across the room, without order or reason (there’s no time left for organization. You’ve become overwhelmed). And this… was not meant to happen. A paper was to be easy: it called for a singular thesis and an unassuming page count. You’ve instead composed an epic, with a sprawling purpose and infinite evidence to support it. Your professor should be pleased, you think.
He won’t be.
Academic writing is meant to prove a specific argument. When that argument becomes too complicated, however, it loses all power. It can’t be understood. It is instead convoluted – which makes the reading experience a tedious one.
It is important then for each writer to narrow their thesis and maintain a less intimidating approach. By doing so, they gain:
One: Quicker proof. Intentions should be straightforward. This is not merely to make them simpler to shape; but it also to make them simpler to support. When details are streamlined to a solitary idea, they can then be more conclusively researched and answered.
Two: Reading ease. Your paper is not meant to be experienced by only you. It’s instead to be judged by your peers. When a thesis is too broad, it can confuse others and leave them uncertain of what they are meant to be reading. Absorption then becomes difficult.
Three: Stronger sources. When a paper wanders over new details – an excess of points and possibilities – it becomes reliant then on obscure sources. Credit is too often given to unrecognizable texts and scholars, leaving readers without a sense of familiarity. This can be a concern.
A thesis must be kept simple and direct. It cannot encompass a variety of notions. It must instead be without pretense.