I'm writing a short research paper on Hiroshima and the Atomic Bomb.  I'd like to write about Obama's visit to Hiroshima May 2016.  I can't think of a good thesis sentence Could I discuss if his speech had any effect on nuclear weapons in the US and the world even though it's only been about 4 months since it happened?  Should I compare his speech to the Pope's visit in 1981?  I'm not sure where to go with this.  I want to write about Obama's visit, but I'm just unclear of what my thesis could be.  Help!

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The first thing you want to consider is whether you are writing a paper about the US bombing of Hiroshima or about Obama's decision to visit Hiroshima. These are really two distinct topics (the bomb, after all, was dropped before Obama was born). 

Next, you need to consider the genre...

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The first thing you want to consider is whether you are writing a paper about the US bombing of Hiroshima or about Obama's decision to visit Hiroshima. These are really two distinct topics (the bomb, after all, was dropped before Obama was born). 

Next, you need to consider the genre of your paper. An expository paper generally does not have a thesis, as it simply recounts information. An argumentative paper is the type of paper that has a thesis statement. The thesis is the point which the paper is arguing. A good thesis is a point where there are plausible arguments on both sides of the question. You could not argue about the date the bomb was dropped, for example, as there is a single correct answer (August 6, 1945). 

Your idea of comparing and contrasting the Pope's speech to Obama's has good potential. You might argue the thesis that many of the differences between their speeches could be attributed to the difference in their positions, with one being the leader of a world religion and one being the leader of a nation with constitutionally mandated separation of church and state. 

 

 

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