Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

The Thesis Statement. What is it? The “main idea”?

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "The Thesis Statement. What is it? The “main idea”?"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Thesis Statement

2 What is it?

3 The “main idea”?

4 Then how is it different from a title? An announcement? A statement of fact?

5 Not a title, right? “Kenya’s many challenges” is not a thesis.

6 Not an announcement “My paper is about the many challenges facing Kenya today” wouldn’t be a very good thesis.

7 Not a statement of fact, right? “Kenya’s capital is Nairobi” wouldn’t be a good thesis sentence either.

8 So if it’s not a statement of fact, a title, or an announcement, what is it?

9 Thesis Definition One or two sentence distillation of the entire paper that is argumentative (i.e., has a point of view), provides the main idea of the paper, hints at the audience and the structure. (yes, that should be in your notes!)

10 That’s a lot! Indeed it is a lot for one sentence to do. That’s why many thesis statements are long and complicated compound/complex sentences with dependent clauses. Rarely will you be able to write a thesis as a simple sentence.

11 Labor Intensive That’s also why the thesis is the most fussed-over, written and re-written (and re-re-written) sentence of the whole paper. It’s carrying a lot of baggage.

12 Break it down! Let’s break down our definition of a thesis and look at its component parts (often known as analyzing).

13 “…distillation of the entire paper…” Think Mark’s Mom’s gravy.

14 “…argumentative (i.e., has a point of view),…” Hardest part of this to get. Even if the paper is not an argument, the thesis does take a point of view. A long established fact doesn’t NEED a thesis. In fact, let’s get rid of that troublesome term and just say that it “has a point of view” Think about the “Duh Test”

15 “hook” This argumentative nature is sometimes called a “hook” or an “organizing principle” It’s a way of looking at the information you’ve collected.

16 Gun control is an issue today. (not argumentative—my niece would say “a-duh!”) Gun control is the single most divisive issue in American politics today. (argumentative; has a point of view. A reasonable person could disagree with me and say that it was Obamacare, not gun control.)

17 “People have different views about abortion.” (DOESN’T have a point of view; my niece would say, “A-duh, Unckie Mark” “Viewpoints regarding abortion tend to line up along religious lines” (HAS a point of view; a reasonable person could disagree with this thesis…they could state that views line up along gender lines, or even region)

18 “The abortion debate is heated.” (No POV. Kaitlyn says, “A- duh, Unkie Mark”) “The abortion debate in the United States is so passionate because it involves a clash of our two most basic beliefs— respect for life and self-determination” (HAS a POV…a reasonable person could disagree and say that other aspects of it—women’s right to control their own bodies is what makes the debate so passionate.)

19 “….hints at the audience….” Think shorthand term. Don’t put your whole audience profile in the thesis. That’ll make the thesis twenty pages long!

20 “…hints at...the structure…”

21 Sample Thesis Statements Look at the following and tell me whether or not they make strong thesis statements. If they don’t make a strong thesis, which one of our “rules” do they violate?

22 My paper is about the Chicago Cubs.

23 “The Chicago Cubs’ chances this year”

24 The Chicago Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908.

25 The Cubs are loved by many baseball fans, despite not having won a championship in over one hundred years.

26 The Cubs will be better this year.

27 Long suffering Chicago baseball fans will be pleased to learn that the Cubs will be better this year.

28 Long suffering Chicago baseball fans will be pleased to learn that the Cubs will be better this year because of the maturation of key young players, some intriguing free agent acquisitions, and because Rick Renteria will be more comfortable as the team’s manager than was his predecessor, Dale Sevum.

29 This is a lot of work! Isn’t there a way to make this easier?

30 What, like “Thesis Lite”? Maybe. Take out a pen and a clean sheet of paper.

31 1 Write down a short hand expression for the every day, run of the mill, not too bright people who know a LITTLE about you’re the controversy over your topic (but not what you know)

32 2 Pick one of the following terms Think Believe Assert Posit Maintain

33 3 Think of the common way #1 thinks about the controversy surrounding your topic (not what you’ve come to think about it since you’ve done all this research). Remember: stick to talking about controversy, not what to do about it.

34 4 Shorthand way of referring to those REALLY in the know about your controversy.

35 5 The controversy that you’re working on.

36 6 Your slant on the controversy. Your hook, organizing principle or POV Again, it’s important to remember: not what to do about it, but about the nature of the controversy itself.

37 7 Sub topic one

38 8 Sub topic two

39 9 Subtopic three.

40 10 Apply Thesis-O-Matic

41 Although most(1) (2) (3), (4) know that (5) is actually (6) because of (7), (8), and (9).

42 Although most casual baseball fans believe the home run is the best part of the game, true students of America’s pastime know that the low scoring pitchers duel is actually the most exciting contest in all of sports because of the importance of the bullpen, the significance of team speed and defense, and central role of managerial strategy plays in determining the outcome.

43 Let’s break it down

44 Normal, everyday, run of the mill knuckleheads Although most casual baseball fans believe the home run is the best part of the game, true students of America’s pastime know that the low scoring pitchers duel is actually the most exciting contest in all of sports because of the importance of the bullpen, the significance of team speed and defense, and central role of managerial strategy plays in determining the outcome. (normal, everyday run of the mill knuckleheads)

45 What those knuckleheads think Although most casual baseball fans believe the home run is the best part of the game, true students of America’s pastime know that the low scoring pitchers duel is actually the most exciting contest in all of sports because of the importance of the bullpen, the significance of team speed and defense, and central role of managerial strategy plays in determining the outcome.

46 Shorthand expression for your audience Although most casual baseball fans believe the home run is the best part of the game, true students of America’s pastime know that the low scoring pitchers duel is actually the most exciting contest in all of sports because of the importance of the bullpen, the significance of team speed and defense, and central role of managerial strategy plays in determining the outcome.

47 Topic Although most casual baseball fans believe the home run is the best part of the game, true students of America’s pastime know that the low scoring pitchers duel is actually the most exciting contest in all of sports because of the importance of the bullpen, the significance of team speed and defense, and central role of managerial strategy plays in determining the outcome. Topic

48 POV on Topic (argumentative) Although most casual baseball fans believe the home run is the best part of the game, true students of America’s pastime know that the low scoring pitchers duel is actually the most exciting contest in all of sports because of the importance of the bullpen, the significance of team speed and defense, and central role of managerial strategy plays in determining the outcome. POV

49 Subtopic One Although most casual baseball fans believe the home run is the best part of the game, true students of America’s pastime know that the low scoring pitchers duel is actually the most exciting contest in all of sports because of the importance of the bullpen, the significance of team speed and defense, and central role of managerial strategy plays in determining the outcome. Subtopic one

50 Subtopic Two Although most casual baseball fans believe the home run is the best part of the game, true students of America’s pastime know that the low scoring pitchers duel is actually the most exciting contest in all of sports because of the importance of the bullpen, the significance of team speed and defense, and central role of managerial strategy plays in determining the outcome.

51 Subtopic Three Although most casual baseball fans believe the home run is the best part of the game, true students of America’s pastime know that the low scoring pitchers duel is actually the most exciting contest in all of sports because of the importance of the bullpen, the significance of team speed and defense, and central role of managerial strategy plays in determining the outcome.

52 Although most (shorthand for every day, run of the mill knuckleheads) (pick one: think/believe/posit/maintain/assert) (common way of thinking about your focused topic), (short hand and complimentary way of referring to your audience) know that (Focused Topic) is actually (your slant on things; your point of view toward your topic argumentative attitude) because of (sub topic one), (subtopic two), and (subtopic three).

53 Closer to our subject? Now, let’s try the same exercise, but this time we’ll use a current events issue. Let’s use the HOPE Scholarship in Georgia.

54 1. Shorthand…. …expression for average, run-of-the-mill uninitiated folks We’ll use “Georgia voters”

55 2. Pick one of the following: Think, believe, posit, maintain, assert We’ll choose “assert” (I like assert—it’s positive)

56 3. Common way of thinking about controversy We’ll choose, “more political hot air from the Golden Dome in Atlanta…”

57 4. Complimentary way…. …of referring to those in the know. We’ll use “savvy observers”

58 5. Focused topic That’s easy…. We’re using “debate over changes in the HOPE scholarship”

59 6. Writer’s slant or POV Careful here! Don’t argue! Don’t tell us what to do about it; just tell us about the controversy… We’ll use “is a collecting pool for everything that’s wrong with education today” Notice I’m not saying “fully fund HOPE” or “don’t fully fund HOPE” --that would be arguing. I’m just talking about the controversy.

60 7-10 The three or four subtopics…. 7.Grade inflation in the high school system 8.Unequal educations across the state’s disparate educational districts. 9.Race, wealth, and income. 10.Shrinking monetary support for public education.

61 Abracadabra, Alakazam! Apply thesis-o-matic and get…. Although most Georgia voters assert the controversy over the HOPE scholarship is simply more hot air from the Golden Dome in Atlanta, savvy observers know that the controversy forms a collecting pool of everything that’s wrong with education today including: grade inflation, unequal access to education, funding cuts, and even questions of race, wealth, and income.

62 Notice that this thesis talks about the nature of the controversy itself, not what to do about it. That’s the difference between arguing in the paper (which you’re not supposed to do) and having a thesis with a POV (which you are supposed to do).


Download ppt "The Thesis Statement. What is it? The “main idea”?"

Similar presentations


Ads by Google