Today’s video is a Q&A, and one of our subscribers, Navardo, is asking: “How do I write a thesis about this topic?”
And here’s the topic:
“Population density is a very broad concept and has other social and economic factors. Using case studies, discuss the statement in relation to and evaluation of the input of population growth.”
Okay, very interesting question.
So in this video, I want to show you my process – the way I approach going from the professor’s assignment, which is essentially the essay prompt, to a complete thesis statement.
First of all, I want to reword the statement a little bit because I don’t really understand this:
“is a very broad concept and has other social and economic factors”.
I don’t understand what are the other factors. If these are the other factors, then what are the other factors, you know what I mean?
I don’t think this is exactly complete, and Navardo may have sent me some version of the professor’s assignment. So I would like to reword it a little bit.
And here we are:
“Population density is a very broad concept that has certain social and economic implications. Using case studies, discuss the statement in relation to and evaluation of the input of population growth.”
Okay, it’s been a mouthful, but it’s all right.
Number 1: I want to find out what I am really writing about.
Am I really writing about population density?
Well, let’s take a look.
According to this essay prompt, the subject is population density. This is definitely the subject in the first sentence: “Population density is a very broad concept..” and so on.
And the professor is asking you to use case studies and discuss this statement, meaning the statement on population density.
But let me examine something.
If I put population density upfront, then that’s going to be my subject in the essay. Meaning, the whole essay is going to be about population density in a particular country, perhaps.
Now, let me compare population density with population growth. Because population is another part of the essay prompt by the professor.
So what is population density?
Population density is how many people live per square mile in a certain geographic area.
Now, what about population growth?
Population growth is population density in the past, present, and future. Right? Because growth is a process, and a process takes place over time.
We can compare population in the past and in the present and this way we arrive at population growth.
Now, what this means to me is that population density is not the biggest and the most general subject in this essay prompt.
However, population growth seems to be it.
So instead of population density, I’m looking now at population growth as a potential subject for this essay. This is very important because I really want to know what I’m writing about.
Am I writing about population density in a certain country or am I writing about population growth?
Let’s take a practical look.
If I make population density the subject of this essay, and I use the Power of Three, then let’s see what happens.
My section one is going to be about population growth, and then section two about population growth, and section three about population growth.
I’m going to be discussing population density in terms of population growth.
Now, this is not very helpful, is it? It doesn’t tell you much and trust me, it doesn’t tell me much either. It doesn’t help me structure this essay; I don’t really get it.
Let me put population growth into the thesis and make it the subject of this essay.
Now if population growth is my subject, then section one will be about population density in the past, section two about population density in the present, and then in the future.
Now see how that makes sense? It’s so much better.
Why is it better?
It is better because population growth contains population density within itself. In other words, population growth is the most general and the biggest concept in the prompt.
And I’m going to put it up front. I’m going to make population growth the subject of this essay.
Even though the professor is asking to discuss the statement above (population density), it doesn’t matter. Believe me.
If I say simply make population growth my subject, everything is going to fall into place. Let me show you how.
The next step I’m going to take here is to highlight the supporting subjects in this essay prompt.
And what are they?
- Population density
- Social, meaning society
- Economic, which is the economy
- Case studies
- Population growth
We already know that population growth is the main subject of the whole essay.
And the rest of them (population density, social, economic, and case studies) are going to be our supporting subjects.
Now let me represent this graphically a little bit.
The whole essay is about population growth. One supporting subject is going to be population density, then the economy, the society, then finally – case studies.
And by the way, the case studies are going to be the most specific part of the essay. This is the most specific subject here of all the professor has mentioned.
Now let’s see how I’m going to put them all together.
This is the way I go about this process. I don’t necessarily go make all these diagrams. I can make them in my head because I’ve done this for so many years.
But I would advise you to do this on paper. Do something similar with what I’m doing here, but do it on paper.
Or you can even do it graphically, and in a later video, I’m going to show you how to do it using bubbl.us.
But it’s okay, let’s move on.
So let’s create the overall structure.
I’m just going to show you how it works, how all these subjects would work in the overall structure of this essay.
We already know it’s about population growth. And I’m going to use the Power of Three.
I’m going to have three sections.
Now the first section is going to be about population density – let’s say, for example, from 1980 – 2015, in the past.
Next, I’m going to talk about population density in the present, 2016, 2017, whatever it is now.
And next, finally, I’m going to talk about population density to project it for the next 30 years just to make a prediction. That’s what I’m going to be doing in section three.
So this is the overall structure. I’m going to have three sections in this essay, and I’m going to talk about population growth in terms of population density at different times.
Makes sense, right?
Now, let’s take a look at a structure for one of the sections.
Let’s take section one, which we already know is about population density in the past, from 1980 to 2015.
And we’re going to divide it into two parts. Now, what are the two parts?
We’re going to talk about social implications in Part A and about economic implications in Part B. See how this works?
Now, we’re already using more of the supporting subjects from the professor’s essay prompt.
And next I’m going to support these implications. What kind of information am I going to use?
Well, I’m going to use case studies, again mentioned by the professor. And I’m going to put the case studies in both sections: Case studies for section A and section B.
Right? Because the case studies are the most specific pieces of information in this essay.
See how that works?
Now let’s look at the overall structure again.
So, we have an essay about population growth.
We’re going to have three sections: population density in three different time frames.
And our section one is going to be divided into two subsections: social and economic.
And we’re going to use case studies in each of these subsections.
We’re going to do exactly the same thing in section two, and it’s going to show us the comparison of how population density affected the society and the economy in the past and how it is now.
And now we’re really having a very intelligent conversation about population growth and what it’s doing to this country.
And finally, in section three, I’m going to talk again about the society and about the economy, and notice that there are no case studies.
And why are there no case studies? Because the future hasn’t come yet. So there are no case studies from the future. Okay? 🙂
So now that I know all of these, now I know where each of my supporting subjects and my main subjects belongs, I’m ready to write the thesis statement.
And here it is (this is just an example of what it could be):
“Population growth in Country X has resulted in negative social and economic consequences, as a number of case studies show. If population density continues to increase, the country will face a social and economic crisis in the next 20 – 30 years.”
See what I’m doing here? In this thesis statement, I have used every subject mentioned by the professor.
Population growth is my main subject and that’s why I’m putting it up front. I’m assuming you’re going to write about a certain country or geographic area.
Next, “negative social and economic consequences.” I am assuming that population growth is going to result in negative consequences but I could be wrong, and this is just an example of what it would look like.
It could be positive consequences – I would have to do my research. But right now, I’m just showing you how I would go about writing this thesis statement.
Now, of course, I would be writing something like this after I have done some kind of research, after I’ve read a little bit about his this topic, and now I know if it’s negative or positive.
But let’s say I’ve done my research and I have concluded that it is negative, which most likely it is with population growth.
So again, as you can see, I have population growth, I have social, I have economic consequences, and that’s already three subjects from the professor’s prompt. I’m encompassing everything from the professor’s essay question.
“As a number of case studies show,” – I’m going to use case studies to show these consequences.
See how this works?
And finally I’m going to say “if population density continues to increase,” again you see that I’m talking about population density, and that is the final aspect, the final subject that I’m touching on, that I’m discussing in the thesis statement.
So, I’ve covered everything, I’ve covered all my bases, all my subjects from the professor’s prompt.
This is the way I go about it. You may want to watch the video again, maybe once or twice. And I hope that it will really, really help you write your own thesis statement.