Dear Thesis Doctor,
I worked a little bit on developing my new crux, and this is what I have so far:
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey is regarded as an important spark in starting the American counterculture, an inherently secular movement. But the novel is full of Christian imagery and pushed forward by the Christ-like sacrifice of McMurphy more so than anything else; is Kesey’s work, thought to be a secular bible of sorts, actually driven mostly by McMurphy’s actions as a Christ figure?
I would love if you could take a look at this and let me know if you think I should start jumping ahead from here or if I should work on fine tuning it further.
This thesis is a good start. It takes the form of a crux by crossing a commonly held assumption with contradictory evidence from the novel. You can strengthen your crux by fortifying it against the zombies who run rampant in the current formation, feeding on all the passive voice.
To fend off the zombies, bring in some living, breathing people and concrete reference points. Instead of generalizing that the American counterculture is “an inherently secular movement,” give some precise historical context for this movement. Find an expert who says that it’s secular. You may find it difficult to find an expert on American counterculture, since that category is so broad. Why not narrow your focus to the Beats? Were the Beats a secular movement? I know they were interested in Eastern religion, but I’m not an expert. It shouldn’t be too hard to find an expert, though.
While we’re chasing zombies, which ones think One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a “secular bible of sorts”? The notion of secular bible doesn’t contradict the assumption that American counterculture is secular, so this idea undermines your crux. Why not simply ask whether, with all its Christian imagery, the novel is actually delivering a Christian message?
Although you have a crux, its articulation “appeals to vague authority,” a logic flaw identified by Ali Almossawi in An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments as when “an idea is attributed to a faceless collective”:
By eliminating passive voice and introducing relevant, specific authorities, you will achieve a strong crux.
Dr. Felix Thesis