How to Go From Spark to Thesis in Three Easy Steps
As a writer, you probably have a pretty good idea what subject you want to write about, even if you haven’t come up with a specific angle or started writing.
Maybe you’re supposed to be writing a post about writing, or maybe you’re supposed to be writing about research or social media. You might even be asked to write about something fun, something that ties in pop culture with your industry.
But all of those subjects aren’t ideas. They are broad and unwieldy, impossible to really cover in a single post.
For example, if you were to write about writing, what would you write about?
You could write pages and pages on diction and syntax alone, not to mention tips for speed, tips for efficiency, and probably a collection of analyzed excerpts to support your many key points. You could draw in quotes from your favorite authors and apply fictional plot devices to content marketing, and by the time you ran out of things to write about, you’d have a disjointed novel or two on your hands and probably a year less of your life.
Not very efficient, right? But I’m sure we’ve all been there.
What you need is a workable thesis statement.
A thesis statement is an opinion or theory asserted about a single, restricted topic. Your job as a writer is then to prove or support this opinion throughout the remainder of the piece.
Coming up with the right thesis can be difficult. Follow these three steps to transition from spark to thesis in your content writing without getting burned.
1. Restrict your topic
Make absolutely sure you aren’t trying to tackle too broad of a subject at once, and then whittle down your subject even more.
Most of us aren’t writing content marketing novels when we sit down to craft a few helpful blog posts, so it’s important to remember that only so much can be covered in under 1500 words.
Instead of just writing about writing, write about how to come up with a thesis statement in three easy steps, or how to develop a system for writing blog posts more efficiently than ever before, or the questions to ask yourself when you can’t come up with an idea.
The best way to come up with a restricted enough thesis is to pick a subject and then narrow it down from most general to most specific.
1. Writing →
2. How to write a blog post →
3. How to come up with a thesis for a blog post
Keep in mind that creating a restricted thesis is easiest if you’re writing about something you already know about.
2. Unify your thesis
Give your thesis a single main idea. Along with restricting your thesis to a very specific topic, it is important not to attempt to tackle too much at once.
For example, if you’re writing about how to come up with a thesis for a blog post, you don’t need to include an outline of how to incorporate SEO from the idea stage, steps to take, methods to use, a list of tools, and a collection of resources in order to make your point. While all of these ideas could potentially develop into content, you probably will end up not making your point if you try to do them all at once.
Unifying your thesis means determining the exact goal you’re going to accomplish with your writing. In a typical blog post, there should only be one main goal, and it should be extremely clear and focused throughout the piece.
3. Be Specific
Change any ambiguous words so that your thesis is sharp and precise.
Now that you have a restricted and unified thesis, make sure that it is free of any ambiguous language that could potentially make writing your piece unnecessarily difficult.
If you’re offering someone the best process ever, save that sort of language for the headline of your post, not the thesis statement. What are you really offering them? The cheapest method? The most efficient method? The most stress-free method? The most consistent method?
And to be honest, even these words can afford to be made more specific depending on the piece of content. Alter unnecessary superlatives, and make sure that you have a clear idea of exactly what you’re trying to prove with your writing.
Coming up with a workable thesis can be difficult, especially when you need to come up with a constant stream of them, as content marketers often must, but if you keep these three steps in mind, you’ll find that your content writing will get faster and more efficient.
To learn more, check out our blog or LinkedIn page, or follow @ideasbyoz on twitter. If you’re interested in seeing how an innovative software solution to the idea generation bottleneck could work for you, visit our website.