What is a Thesis Statement? A thesis is a much more sophisticated topic sentence. It answers a question but also provides reasons for why that answer is correct It organizes the paragraph or essay It is the first sentence in a paragraph response It is the last sentence in the Introductory Paragraph in a multi-paragraph essay
A Good Thesis Statement should… Be able to stand alone Tell the reader exactly what you will be arguing/explaining in the paper Set up the order and organization of the paper (Be a roadmap for your paper) Include ALL main points you will be discussing Answer the questions HOW or WHY Not be too general or in the form of an announcement (In this paper I will argue…)
Thesis Statement Format CLAIM + CONTROLS (usually 2-3) Controls are reasons WHY your claim is correct or methods of HOW your claim is done
Example Thesis Statements The poet paints a visual for the reader by using imagery, metaphors, and similes. Connell creates a dark and anxious mood in “The Most Dangerous Game” through the literary elements of figurative language and setting.
Example Thesis Statements Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy because it has a tragic hero, that character has a tragic flaw, and he brings about his own downfall. America should have year-round schooling because students in these schools have higher standardized test scores and do not “burn out” easily.
Argument vs. Explanatory An argument thesis is DEBATABLE Someone could argue against you You support it with research and evidence, but the claim is not necessarily 100% PROVEN with data or evidence It is still an opinion (a well-supported opinion, but still an opinion)
Argument vs. Explanatory Explanatory writing is based in fact and proven evidence or data It is NOT debatable Someone cannot argue against you You are providing information or explaining a topic and demonstrating how proven evidence shows the claim to be true/accurate
Argument vs. Explanatory Most literary analysis is argument because people can analyze things differently, and most literature is open to interpretation Science Essays tend to be more explanatory, but you could have an argument question as well History could be both
Words to Look For… Words that show value are always going to hint that it is argument writing –Important –Best –Worst –Most –Least –Effective
Words to Look For… Words that show opinion are going to hint at argument writing –Should –Remember that most literary analysis is argument, because your interpretation might not be the same as someone else’s
What Follows a Thesis Statement? Thesis Statement Control 1 –Provide Evidence to Support –Explain Evidence Control 2 –Provide Evidence to Support –Explain Evidence Does this look familiar???
Providing Evidence What is the difference between controls and evidence? Where can evidence come from? –Quote from the literature –Research –Data from a lab, Math Equations –Polls, Interviews –Textbooks –Observations (especially scientific)