Writing a Research Paper: Devising a working thesis statement
Once your topic is manageably-narrowed and researched, develop a position or claim you wish to test, or else, a question for which you wish to find an answer. This position, claim, or question is your working thesis statement. It will guide you in your subsequent research and in your selection of the information you will consider in your writing. It will also go far to assist you in organizing the contents of your paper, and in staying focused on its purpose.
In the sample case, the thesis statement might read "Much of the public debate on Ebonics displays misinformation about what exactly a dialect is. Misinformation propagated by North American newspapers, alone, includes unjustified negative value judgements and the belief that Ebonics is simply slang."
And now, using the notes you have taken, and with this working thesis statement as your guide, you should be ready to draft a working outline.