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What is a thesis statement? The MOST IMPORTANT SENTENCE in your paper! www.lawndalehs.org
What is a thesis statement? The MOST IMPORTANT SENTENCE in your paper A road map for the rest of the paper Lets the reader know the main idea of the paper Answers the question: “What am I trying to prove?” Not a factual statement, but a claim that has to be proven throughout the paper
Role of the thesis statement The thesis statement should guide your reader through your argument. The thesis statement is located in the introduction of the paper.
Which thesis statement is the most effective for an argument about the need for V-chips in television sets? Parents, often too busy to watch television shows with their families, can monitor their children’s viewing habits with the aid of the V-chip. To help parents monitor their children’s viewing habits, the V-chip should be a required feature for television sets sold in the U.S. This paper will describe a V-chip and examine the uses of the V-chip in American-made television sets.
How do I Know if my Thesis is Strong? 1. Do I answer the prompt? (If there is a prompt) 2. Have I taken a position others would oppose? Is it arguable? 3. Does my thesis pass the “SO WHAT” test? 4. Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? 5. Does my thesis pass the “HOW or WHY” test?
Choose the best thesis statement from the list below and explain why you feel it answers questions 2, 3, and 5 from the previous slide. The North and South fought the civil war for many reasons, some of which were the same and some different While 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 institutions. While both Northerners and Southerners believed they fought against tyranny and oppression, Northerners focused nobly on the rights of others and the oppression of slaves while Southerners defended only their rights to own property and self-government.
Choose the best thesis statement from the list below and explain why you feel it answers questions 2, 3, and 5 from the previous slide. Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel. In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops a contrast between life on the river and life on the shore. Through 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.
The Goal of Analysis To demonstrate some new understanding of the literary work State this new understanding in the form of an assertion Support your analysis with evidence and commentary.
What’s an Assertion An assertion is an opinion about a general subject, like life, relationships, gender or class that you think the author is making through some element (character, theme, symbol) of the novel
Formula to make an assertion: (author’s name) is making a point about (general subject); the specific point s/he is making is that _____________________. Example: Author John Steinbeck makes a point about the destructive nature of greed in man; the specific point he is making is that placing one’s greedy needs over the more important intangible needs of family can destroy a man’s life.
From Formula to Thesis Revise your assertion statement adding that the author is using the character(s) to make that specific point. Example: Through Kino’s struggles with the pearl, Steinbeck demonstrates that placing one’s greedy needs over the more important intangible needs of family can destroy a man’s life.