How should I start a thesis statement for my history course that's studying Coming of Age in Mississippi?  

Expert Answers
kcoleman2016 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In part, this question would have a lot to do with what the prompt is for the assignment. Typically, a thesis statement for school would be an argument that attempts to respond to a question asked by the teacher. However, it is possible that you have received an assignment for which you simply have to develop a thesis. In either case, I'll give you some tips on developing a thesis statement and some major foci for this piece of literature around which you could build a thesis statement. 

Constructing a Thesis Statement

A thesis is a one-two sentence statement that presents your argument. Your argument is what you seek to prove over the course of your paper. Therefore, everything in your paper should be directly or indirectly related to ensuring that people agree with your thesis; the evidence you choose should be able to support your thesis, and your analysis should use the evidence to explain exactly how or why you are correct. 

That being said, many people struggle to ensure that their thesis statements are actually argumentative; the majority of students tend to simply write statements, which are facts and don't need to be proven. The best way to combat this tendency is to include the word "because" in your thesis; this automatically creates a cause-effect argument that you must prove throughout the rest of your essay. 

Major Foci of Your Piece

The major foci, concepts, or ideas of any piece of literature are known as its themes. In this piece, the major themes are: 

  • Race and Racism in America
  • Gender Roles and Gender Identity
  • Intersectionality (How different parts of a person's identity interact with one another to form that unique person)
  • Social Justice and Civil Rights
  • Change
  • Colorism in the African American Society