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How to Write a Thesis Statement Guidelines for the Thesis Challenged Best if viewed in Slide Show View.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Write a Thesis Statement Guidelines for the Thesis Challenged Best if viewed in Slide Show View."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Write a Thesis Statement Guidelines for the Thesis Challenged Best if viewed in Slide Show View

2 The Map A thesis statement (TS) is a guide map to your entire paper. A thesis statement (TS) is a guide map to your entire paper. It provides a mini-summary of the papers content. It provides a mini-summary of the papers content. It allows the reader to know in advance how the paper is organized. It allows the reader to know in advance how the paper is organized. It lets the reader know why he/she should care. (The So What?) It lets the reader know why he/she should care. (The So What?)

3 Express Yourself The thesis statement expresses the main ideas of your paper and previews the answer to the question or questions posed by your paper. The thesis statement expresses the main ideas of your paper and previews the answer to the question or questions posed by your paper.

4 What Can A TS Do For You? Helps you start drafting. Helps you start drafting. Helps keep you focused. Helps keep you focused. Helps to narrow your subject to a single, central idea. Helps to narrow your subject to a single, central idea. Serves as a point of reference if changes occur. Serves as a point of reference if changes occur.

5 Two Main Parts A Thesis Statement generally consists of two main parts A Thesis Statement generally consists of two main parts Your topic, and then the analysis, explanation, or assertion, that youre making about the topic. Your topic, and then the analysis, explanation, or assertion, that youre making about the topic. Topic Assertion

6 Two Main Parts Topic Topic Analysis Explanation Assertion Part 1Part 2

7 To Do List Make a concise assertion about your topic. Make a concise assertion about your topic. Limit the statement to only one idea. Limit the statement to only one idea. Make the assertion specific and significant. Make the assertion specific and significant.

8 To Do List At least imply your purpose. At least imply your purpose. Unify the statement so that the parts relate to each other. Unify the statement so that the parts relate to each other.

9 A Thesis Statement Gone Wrong

10 This new product brought in over $30,000 last year. This is a statement of fact without an assertion. This is a statement of fact without an assertion. Whats the significance of the products success. (The So What?) Whats the significance of the products success. (The So What?)

11 A Thesis Statement Gone Wrong Before: This new product brought in over $30,000 last year. Before: This new product brought in over $30,000 last year. After: This product succeeded because of its innovative marketing campaign, including widespread press coverage, in-store entertainment, and a consumer newsletter. After: This product succeeded because of its innovative marketing campaign, including widespread press coverage, in-store entertainment, and a consumer newsletter.

12 General Examples of Award Winning Thesis Statements

13 General Examples Show that essays purpose is to explain. Show that essays purpose is to explain. Show essays organization. Show essays organization. Show that essays purpose is to persuade. Show that essays purpose is to persuade.

14 Purpose to Explain The following examples of thesis statements announce that the essays purposes are mainly to explain about their subjects. The following examples of thesis statements announce that the essays purposes are mainly to explain about their subjects.

15 Pecking Order in an Office Two months working in a large government agency taught me that an offices pecking order should be respected. Two months working in a large government agency taught me that an offices pecking order should be respected. Topic: Offices pecking order Assertion: Should be respected

16 Web Distribution of Music Because artists can now publish their music directly via the Web, consumers have many more choices than traditional distribution allows. Because artists can now publish their music directly via the Web, consumers have many more choices than traditional distribution allows. Topic: Consumers Assertion: Have many more choices

17 What Public Relations Does Although most of us are unaware of the public relations campaigns directed at us, they can significantly affect the way we think and live. Although most of us are unaware of the public relations campaigns directed at us, they can significantly affect the way we think and live. Topic: Public relations campaigns Assertion: Affect the way we think and live

18 Organization The following example on preventing juvenile crime clearly predicts the organization of the essay. The following example on preventing juvenile crime clearly predicts the organization of the essay.

19 Preventing Juvenile Crime Juveniles can be diverted from crime by active learning programs, full-time sports, and intervention by mentors and role models. Juveniles can be diverted from crime by active learning programs, full-time sports, and intervention by mentors and role models. Topic: Juveniles Assertion: Can be diverted from crime in three ways

20 Persuasion The following example on federal aid to college students announces that the essays main purpose is to convince the reader of something. The following example on federal aid to college students announces that the essays main purpose is to convince the reader of something.

21 Federal Aid to College Students To compete well in the global economy, the United States must make higher education affordable for any student who qualifies academically. To compete well in the global economy, the United States must make higher education affordable for any student who qualifies academically. Topic: Affordable education Assertion: Must be made available to any qualified student in the U.S.

22 Checklist Questions

23 Does the statement make a concise assertion about your topic? Does the statement make a concise assertion about your topic? Is the assertion limited to only one idea? Is the assertion limited to only one idea? Is the assertion specific and significant? Is the assertion specific and significant?

24 Checklist Questions Does the statement at least imply your purpose? Does the statement at least imply your purpose? Is the statement unified so that the parts relate to each other? Is the statement unified so that the parts relate to each other?

25 Specific Examples of Thesis Statement Types

26 Three Specific Types of Thesis Statements Analytical Analytical Expository (Explanatory) Expository (Explanatory) Argumentative Argumentative

27 Three Specific Types of Thesis Statements Analytical Analytical Compare/Contrast essays Compare/Contrast essays

28 Analysis Essay In an analytical paper, you are breaking down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluating the issue or idea, and presenting this breakdown and evaluation to your reader. In an analytical paper, you are breaking down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluating the issue or idea, and presenting this breakdown and evaluation to your reader.

29 Analysis Essay An analytical thesis statement will explain: An analytical thesis statement will explain: What you are analyzing. What you are analyzing. The parts of your analysis. The parts of your analysis. The order in which you will be presenting your analysis. The order in which you will be presenting your analysis.

30 Analysis Questions What did I analyze? What did I analyze? What did I discover in my analysis? What did I discover in my analysis? How can I categorize my discoveries? How can I categorize my discoveries? In what order should I present my discoveries? In what order should I present my discoveries?

31 Analysis-Example An analysis of barn owl flight behavior reveals two kinds of flight patterns: patterns related to hunting prey and patterns related to courtship. An analysis of barn owl flight behavior reveals two kinds of flight patterns: patterns related to hunting prey and patterns related to courtship.

32 Analysis-Example A reader could expect that the paper will provide an explanation of the analysis of barn owl flight behavior, and then an explanation of the two kinds of flight patterns. A reader could expect that the paper will provide an explanation of the analysis of barn owl flight behavior, and then an explanation of the two kinds of flight patterns.

33 Three Specific Types of Thesis Statements Expository (Explanatory) Expository (Explanatory) Illustrative essays Illustrative essays Explicative essays Explicative essays Descriptive essays Descriptive essays

34 Explanation Essay In an expository paper, you are explaining something to your reader. In an expository paper, you are explaining something to your reader.

35 Explanation Essay An expository (explanatory) thesis statement will tell your audience: An expository (explanatory) thesis statement will tell your audience: What you are going to explain to them. What you are going to explain to them. The categories your are using to organize your explanation. The categories your are using to organize your explanation. The order in which you will be presenting your categories. The order in which you will be presenting your categories.

36 Explanation Questions What am I trying to explain? What am I trying to explain? How can I categorize my explanation into different parts? How can I categorize my explanation into different parts? In what order should I present the different parts of my explanation? In what order should I present the different parts of my explanation?

37 Explanation-Example The lifestyles of barn owls include hunting for insects and animals, building nests, and raising their young. The lifestyles of barn owls include hunting for insects and animals, building nests, and raising their young.

38 Explanation-Example A reader could expect that the paper will explain how owls hunt for insects and animals, build nests, and raise their young. A reader could expect that the paper will explain how owls hunt for insects and animals, build nests, and raise their young.

39 Three Specific Types of Thesis Statements Argumentative Argumentative Persuasive essays Persuasive essays Argumentative essays Argumentative essays Cause/Effect essays Cause/Effect essays

40 Argumentation Essay In an argumentative paper, you are making a claim about a topic and justifying this claim with reasons and evidence. In an argumentative paper, you are making a claim about a topic and justifying this claim with reasons and evidence.

41 Argumentation Essay This claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. This claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation.

42 Argumentation Essay This claim must be one that someone could possibly disagree with because the goal of the paper is to convince the reader that your claim is true based on your presentation of your reasons and evidence. This claim must be one that someone could possibly disagree with because the goal of the paper is to convince the reader that your claim is true based on your presentation of your reasons and evidence.

43 Argumentation Questions What is my claim or assertion? What is my claim or assertion? What are the reasons I have to support my claim or assertion? What are the reasons I have to support my claim or assertion? In what order should I present my reasons? In what order should I present my reasons?

44 ArgumentationExample Barn owls nests should not be eliminated from barns because barn owls help farmers by eliminating insect and rodent pests. Barn owls nests should not be eliminated from barns because barn owls help farmers by eliminating insect and rodent pests.

45 ArgumentationExample A reader could expect that the paper will present an argument and evidence that farmers should not get rid of barn owls when they find them nesting in their barns. A reader could expect that the paper will present an argument and evidence that farmers should not get rid of barn owls when they find them nesting in their barns.

46 Review Checklist

47 Checklist Questions Does the statement make a concise assertion about your topic? Does the statement make a concise assertion about your topic? Is the assertion limited to only one idea? Is the assertion limited to only one idea? Is the assertion specific and significant? Is the assertion specific and significant?

48 Checklist Questions Does the statement at least imply your purpose? Does the statement at least imply your purpose? Is the statement unified so that the parts relate to each other? Is the statement unified so that the parts relate to each other?

49 Works Cited

50 Most of the information provided in these slides was plucked (either word-for-word or paraphrased) from Purdue Universitys Online Writing Lab. Most of the information provided in these slides was plucked (either word-for-word or paraphrased) from Purdue Universitys Online Writing Lab. Visit the website for more information: Visit the website for more information:

51 Works Cited Most of the information provided in these slides was plucked (either word-for-word or paraphrased) from The Little Brown Handbook, 8 th ed. Instructors Annotated Edition. Most of the information provided in these slides was plucked (either word-for-word or paraphrased) from The Little Brown Handbook, 8 th ed. Instructors Annotated Edition. Authors: H. Ramsey Fowler, Jane E. Aaron, and Janice Okoomian Authors: H. Ramsey Fowler, Jane E. Aaron, and Janice Okoomian Visit the website for more information: Visit the website for more information:


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