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ENG 337 Asian American Literature Class Guide


Welcome! This page is designed to help you with your Asian American Literature research paper. Use this page to learn more about:

If you have any questions about any aspect of your research assignment, please feel free to reach out to me at


Coming up with a thesis statement for a critical literary paper can be difficult, but these strategies should help you in the process. Take some time to brainstorm and look back at readings from the course. Consider the topics that interested you during the class and explore those more fully.

There are a plethora of strategies for brainstorming: free writing, concept mapping, etc. The links below highlight each strategy, so you can find the one that fits with your mode of thinking.

Whatever your strategy don't forget to review what your professor has asked for you to do, so you can make sure that your topic is appropriate for the assignment.

Focusing a Topic

Assignments often are written with a subject in mind but are often too broad to work as a single topic for your project. You still need to choose a unique aspect of that subject in which to specialize your research. To do this you may want to:

  • Look at class notes: is there anything that has been discussed in class that has piqued your interest?
  • Review your readings: what important points have been brought up in the works that you can expand on?
  • Look beyond your class notes: is there an Asian American writer that you're interested in that you didn't discuss in class but would like to explore further?

Below are some additional resources to get you started.

Writing Your Thesis Statement

Once you know what you would like to discuss within the primary work, try to write your thesis down in one or two sentences. Thesis sentences should be clear, concise, and specific. The Bridgewater College Writing Center has this to say about thesis statements:

In general, academic writing requires a thesis statement. A thesis statement is often considered to be part of an argumentative text, any paper that takes a position on something, that is, a paper that makes a claim. One way to think about the thesis statement is that if you boiled your whole case down to a single statement, that statement would be your thesis. A thesis statement typically identifies your topic and embodies your attitude toward your topic. Most writing assignments will require you to take a position on a topic, and most college professors expect to find a clear statement of that position, almost always in your introductory paragraph. 

For more information on writing thesis statements, see the Bridgewater College Writing Center resources website.