2 After a brief introduction of your topic, you should state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence. This sentence is the thesis statement and it serves as a summary of the argument you will present in the rest of your paper.
3 What is a thesis statement? Tells the reader how you will establish the relationship and connections within your subject matterIt is a road map for the paper and tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paperDirectly answers the question asked of youIt is usually a single sentence somewhere in your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader.The rest of the paper, the body, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation
4 How do I get a thesis?Writing a thesis is the result of a long thinking processBefore you can write an effective thesis you must collect and organize evidence (in this case your note cards), look for possible relationships between known facts, and think about the significance of these relationships
5 How do I know if my thesis is strong? Do I answer the question?Reread the question prompt and make sure it focuses on the question asked of youHave I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose?Thesis statements that are too vague do not have a strong argument. Avoid words such as “good,” “bad,” successful,” etc.Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test?If the reader’s first response is, “So what?” then you need to clarify, create a relationship, or connect your evidence to a larger issueDoes my thesis pass the “how?” or “why?” test?If a reader’s first response is, “How?” or “Why?” your thesis may be too open-ended and lack guidance for the readerDoes my essay support my thesis specifically and without wondering?If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change*******
6 Prompt: Compare and contrast the reasons why the north and south fought the civil war. Attempt 1The North and South fought the Civil War for many reasons, some of which were the same and some differentReactionSimply restates the question without providing any additional information. It is important that the reader know where you are heading. Ask yourself, “How are they the same?” “How are they different?” Why did they think slavery was right or wrong?
7 Prompt: Compare and contrast the reasons why the north and south fought the civil war. Attempt 2While both sides fought the Civil War over the issue of slavery, the North fought for moral reasons while the South fought to preserve its own institutionsReactionThis is a working thesis. It includes a reason for the war and some idea of how the two sides disagreed over this reason. However, as you work on your paper you may discover new connections and realize that your thesis is too vague.
8 Prompt: Compare and contrast the reasons why the north and south fought the civil war. Attempt 3While both Northerners and Southerners believed they fought against tyranny and oppression, Northerners focused on the oppression of slaves while Southerners defended their own rights to property and self-government.ReactionThis final thesis presents a way of interpreting the evidence and focuses on the significance of the question.
9 Prompt: Write an analysis of some aspect of Mark Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn. Attempt 1Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel.ReactionThis thesis leads readers to think that you will simply provide a general summary of the novel. Your teacher wants you think about why it is such a great novel and asks you to pick a certain aspect of the novel to analyze.
10 Prompt: Write an analysis of some aspect of Mark Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn. Attempt 2In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops a contrast between life on the river and life on the shore.ReactionAlthough you have highlighted an important aspect of the novel it is still too vague. Your reader is thinking, “So what?” What is the point of this contrast and what does it signify?
11 Prompt: Write an analysis of some aspect of Mark Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn. Attempt 3Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain’s Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave “civilized” society and go back to nature.ReactionThe final thesis presents an interpretation of the novel based on a close analysis of its content. However, you must remember to provide evidence in the body of your paper that supports this thesis.