Day 19: How can you evolve your working thesis today?

This post is from the 30-day reflective writing series I made for Academic Writing Month (November 2018). For background on the series and links to all the videos, visit this page. To turn on subtitles: On a computer, hover at the bottom of the video window to make the row of icons appear; click on the “settings” icon (which looks like a cog), and select “Subtitles.” On a phone, the “subtitles” icon is in the bottom right corner of the screen.


  • Today, revisit your working thesis statement: your one-sentence distillation of the point of your argument, as you currently understand it. Write down this working thesis and think about how you can push it a little closer to becoming the final thesis statement that will appear in your finished manuscript.

  • One option is to write down the antithesis (opposite claim) and imagine all the ways someone might support this antithesis; or, write down an adjacent (similar but different) thesis, and imagine whether this might be closer to your final thesis than what you currently have. With either of these approaches, you are prodding at your existing working thesis and playing with possibilities for how to evolve it. A working thesis can evolve by becoming stronger or more moderate, broader or narrower, or simply shifting in focus.

  • The evolution of your working thesis is something to keep in mind over the course of your writing project, as you periodically reflect on what point you’re making and how best to express it in distilled form.

Posted on November 18, 2018 and filed under #AcWriMo, reflection questions.