Wimpy humanities paper writing: It is the prototype of the thesis. The thesish might become your thesis statement with some tweaking, but it is definitely not there yet. A work in progress, it is often defined by the stuff you come up with or that somehow winds up in your paper. This way, your thesis cannot really be contradicted by mountains of way more researched and erudite material that you never thoroughly read.
"What's your thesis, Nick?"
"Oh dewd, I don't have one yet. I just got this thesish which changes every time I research a new article."