Writing a History Day Thesis A thesis is an argument or a hypothesis – the main point of your work • Should relate to the theme • Should use primary sources to back it up Takes a stand on a topic Incorporates the theme • Actions and legacies Clear statement Strong focus Importance of person or event A person can read JUST IT and know WHAT YOUR WHOLE PROJECT IS ABOUT! Go back to your research questions • Your thesis should answer one or more of those questions Decide which one seem most interesting to you Think about how it relates to the theme Use the thesis statement hand-out The following slide has some thesis statements – your job will be to rank them in order of weakest to strongest • Be prepared to explain your justifications This paper is about the status of African Americans after the Civil War After the Civil War, many freed African Americans believed that their children would have substantially better lives and greater opportunities than they had had as slaves. However, their hopes for their children were not fulfilled; in the 1880s, the lives of most African Americans were not much better than those of their once-enslaved parents. After the Civil War freed African Americans faced many challenges but also had opportunities. A. The Civil War was a conflict. B. The world had never seen a military conflict such as the American Civil War. C. The political compromises over the issue of slavery were the direct causes of the conflict that led to the American Civil war. D. The Civil War was a conflict between the North and South. E. The conflicts of race, politics, economics and morality defined the American Civil War. F. The Civil War was a conflict between North and South that ended in a compromise.