Step-By-Step Development of a Research Paper
"Langston Hughes and the Invention of the Blues Poem"

Step 4: Write a Thesis Statement and a Title

Luke evaluated his notes to make sure that all his information filled the scope of his paper. As he looked through his notes to gauge their usefulness, Luke kept his audience and purpose in mind. He knew that his audience would be his teacher and classmates. His purpose was to analyze and evaluate Langston Hughes's invention of blues poetry.

Luke's next job was to draft a thesis statement for his paper. He experimented with these statements:

  1. It seems to me that Langston Hughes may probably be considered the inventor of blues poetry.
  2. Did Langston Hughes really invent the blues poem?
  3. Langston Hughes was a poet of great range and versatility.
  4. One of Hughes's most original contributions to American literature was the blues poem.

Luke eliminated the first three items as wordy, tentative, or overly general. He decided to use the fourth item as his thesis statement.

For a title, Luke chose a simple, straightforward phrase that revealed his topic and his narrowed focus: "Langston Hughes and the Invention of the Blues Poem."