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Composing an appropriate thesis claim is particularly important because the thesis helps readers identify the purpose of your paper.
Most SSU students do compose clear thesis statements. In the composition program's study of all English 096 (now 0096)exit exams written during Fall 2005, researchers found that 84% of the essays included a clear thesis claim. However, some of these thesis claims were problematic because the papers did not live up to the promises made by the thesis claims.
Problematic thesis statements are often written by students who compose thesis statements before drafting any other parts of their papers. Although such "working thesis statements" are often a good starting places, writers frequently shift their topics or ideas as they research and write their papers. Whenever you revise a paper, make sure you consider whether your working thesis is as appropriate as it was when you began exploring your topic.
The Longman Concise Companion warns students: "As your ideas evolve, be ready to modify or change your thesis" (14). The Companion provides additional advice about developing and modifying thesis claims in Chapter 3, section b (pages 13-16).