Before you start working on the categorization and evaluation exercises, you should revisit the progress of your working thesis. In chapter eight, I began the discussion of the antithesis essay by encouraging you to first take a moment to take stock of the current version of your working thesis. It’s important to embark on research projects with some sense of where you’re going, and the main advantage and goal of a working thesis is it establishes a direction for you to pursue your research.
As I’ve also said before, your working thesis will almost inevitably change a bit as you work your way through the process of research writing and the exercises in this book. You begin in one place with some sense of direction about what you want to research, but when you start gathering and examining your evidence and as you work through the exercises, it’s important to be willing and able to change directions. In other words, a working thesis is where you start your research project, but it isn’t necessarily where you end your research project.
Either as a short writing exercise or with a group of your peers, consider once again the evolution of your working thesis. Where did it start out and how has it changed to what it is now? What sparked these changes in your working thesis and your point of view on your topic? If your working thesis has not changed yet, why do you think this is the case? If you did revisit your working thesis at the beginning of chapter 8, did the antithesis essay project (also in Chapter 8) make you reconsider your working thesis again? Why or why not?