If brainstorming does not appeal to you, you may prefer to start with the list.
As you research, you will likely have many ideas and a lot of evidence you think may be relevant to your argument.
This can be useful when you come to structure your essay.
After brainstorming, you may like to convert your diagram into a list of reasons.
Beginning thesis: Between 18 women's domestic labor changed as women stopped producing home-made fabric, although they continued to sew their families' clothes, as well as to produce butter and soap.
With the cash women earned from the sale of their butter and soap they purchased ready-made cloth, which in turn, helped increase industrial production in the United States before the Civil War. Write a sentence that summarizes the main idea of the essay you plan to write. Make a list of the ideas you want to include in the essay, then think about how to group them under several different headings.
Your thesis can be a few sentences long, but should not be longer than a paragraph.
Do not begin to state evidence or use examples in your thesis paragraph. If your paper assignment asks you to answer a specific question, turn the question into an assertion and give reasons for your opinion.
They are not specific enough, however, and require more work.
As you work on your essay, your ideas will change and so will your thesis. Your thesis is defenseless without you to prove that its argument holds up under scrutiny.