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Student Question

What is a good introductory thesis for a paper on racial and socio-economic bias in standardized testing? 

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Your introductory thesis statement depends on what the main point of your paper is and the audience to whom you are writing. A paper for a first-year composition course should aim to have a clear general argument for a lay audience, while a paper for an education course should show your knowledge of some recent research in the field. A post-graduate paper needs to focus on some very narrow issue and be supported by original research and detailed knowledge of the field.

If you are writing a paper for a general writing course as opposed to a course within the education curriculum, you should probably take a stance that evidence of racial and socio-economic bias in standardized tests should make us reduce our reliance on this sort of testing.

If you are completing an assignment in an education course, you should narrow your thesis to make an argument about the effect of this sort of bias on some specific population, such as students of a specific background applying to universities in a specific state. 

For a post-graduate course, you would need to make a claim on a narrower, more sophisticated topic, such as how "differential item functioning" on the SAT proves evidence of racial bias independent of students' general academic proficiency.

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