I am writing a research paper on the history of Ebonics. I'm having trouble writing a thesis statement that will help me structure the rest of my essay.  I want to discuss the history of Ebonics,...

I am writing a research paper on the history of Ebonics. I'm having trouble writing a thesis statement that will help me structure the rest of my essay.  I want to discuss the history of Ebonics, why studying it is important, why it is relevant today and why it's subject to so much controversy. I know there's a thesis statement in the above information somewhere, I just need further assistance putting it together so I can create room to expand in my essay.

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is most likely more than one way to get a thesis out of the ideas that you are discussing, but I will suggest one thesis that would allow you to incorporate all of these topics and expand upon them.  If I were writing this paper, my thesis would be something like “Ebonics is relevant today for the very reasons that make it controversial.  It is relevant today because of the forces that led to the creation of Ebonics and the attitudes of many Americans towards those forces.”

In my view, Ebonics came into existence because of the institution of slavery and because of the racial injustices that came after the end of slavery.  I would argue that Ebonics is controversial largely because so many Americans do not want to acknowledge the lasting ways in which slavery and racial injustice have impacted African Americans.  They prefer to see things like Ebonics as signs of black social pathologies, not as results of injustice. 

If I had this thesis, I could expand on all of the topics you mentioned.  I could discuss the history of Ebonics when talking about the forces that led to its creation.  I could discuss the controversy over Ebonics and the relevance of Ebonics while arguing (as the thesis does) that the two are connected.  I could discuss why studying Ebonics is important as part of a larger argument that we need to pay more attention to the reasons why African Americans face various obstacles to success today.