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Can you help me write a thesis statement about the Black Plague?

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Without knowing what particular direction you would like the paper to take, I can only offer broad advice in terms of how to format the thesis. A thesis is generally a one sentence statement. Often, teachers like the thesis placed as the final sentence of the first paragraph. Regardless of format or placement, the thesis functions the same way. It is a statement that guides the writing process and alerts readers to what the paper is going to be about. During the writing process, always be asking yourself about whether or not the current information relates to the thesis.

As for the actual format of the thesis, you can go with two typical formats. The first is a statement/support/support/support format. The thesis will make a claim and give up to three supporting pieces of information. For example: "The Black Plague could have been avoided through better hygiene, more effective food disposal, and . . . "

The other standard thesis format is a point/counter-point statement. This format is composed of a dependent clause making one argument followed by an independent clause making a counter-argument. For example: "Although the Black Plague was devastating to human populations, some good did come as a result of it."

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In order to write a good thesis statement, you have to know what your paper is going to say.  You do not start with a thesis statement and then go from there.  So, you are going to need to have some thoughts as to what your paper will say.

Does your paper topic tell you to write about any specific aspect of the Black Death or are you just writing about any aspect of it?  If you have the leeway to write about whatever you want, you might consider some of the following topics:

  • Why the Plague spread so quickly.  You could have a thesis then that would be something like "The Black Death spread as quickly as it did because Europe was becoming richer and trade was more widespread."  In that case, you'd be talking about how something good (prosperity and trade) ended up hurting Europe.
  • What the impacts of the Plague were.  You could have a thesis like "Because of how many people died, seemingly randomly, in the Black Death, people's religious convictions were shaken."

There are other possibilities, but the point is that you have to figure out what your topic will be and then write a statement that briefly tells what you will argue in your paper.

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