Thesis Ideas and Prompts: Who is Your Audience?

Crafting a quality thesis is one of the most critical stages of any writing assignment. A good thesis can make the rest of the process far easier and more streamlined. In fact, one of the major problems with any paper that isn’t up to snuff is almost always a poorly chosen thesis. But finding the inspiration for a great thesis isn’t always easy. It may be that the subject is so broad that narrowing down a great topic is difficult. It may be that the topic is a narrow one, so finding a thesis that there’s enough to write about is hard. In any case, there are a variety of different brainstorming methods and prompts that can help you find your way around these obstacles. One of these is to consider your audience.

Considering the Audience

Of course, one must always have an audience in mind when creating their thesis, but this prompt requires that you pay special attention to your audience. First, define your audience. How old are they? What is their professional interest in your writing? Don’t include only the obvious—your instructor—but also others who might read your paper. Think about them in detail.

Consider New Perspectives

Now that you’ve defined your audience, start thinking about how their perspectives differ from yours. Try to imagine how they perceive of the topic you’ve chosen, what their assumptions may be, how they might be biased. Consider these ideas in contrast to your own. Jot down any preconceptions your hypothetical audience may have, and whether you agree or disagree with these. Focus in particular on interesting areas where you think your perspective may differ from your audience’s and why. Since you’ve considered several different audience members, think about one perspective you have which might be of interest to all of them, and how you would approach sharing it with each of them.

Shape Your Thesis

Put this perspective into words, taking care to present the idea in a manner which you think each audience member would find intriguing, surprising, or interesting. Consider the different avenues of research and presentation you’ll need to convince each member of your imaginary audience of your ideas.

Draft an Outline

Consider each audience member separately, and consider outlining your paper to cover each of their points of view. This can be a great aid in refining your final thesis.