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What is a preliminary thesis statement?

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A preliminary thesis statement, also known as a working thesis statement, is the initial thesis used to guide an individual's research. A well-written preliminary thesis statement identifies the topic being studied and suggests how the research is to be organized. It is no more than one or two sentences long.

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The purpose of a thesis statement is to give a research topic focus; however, it is important for a researcher to remain flexible and open. Though a researcher may begin with a preliminary thesis statement, as the research develops and information expands, he may alter the final thesis statement to coincide with the changed direction of his research.

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