Something to Consider… Have you seen something like this before? Does it make sense?
Thesis Statements What do you already know about thesis statements?
Introduction to Thesis Statements A thesis statement: Tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. Is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper. Directly answers the questions asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel. Makes a claim that others might dispute Is usually a single sentence (or possibly more than one) somewhere in your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.
How do I get a thesis? Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading an essay assignment. Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts, and think about the significance of these relationships. How can it be done?— Brainstorming!!!
Brainstorming!! How do YOU brainstorm? Do you brainstorm?
Brainstorming Techniques (http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/brainstorming)http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/brainstorming Freewriting: let your thoughts flow as they will, putting pen to paper and writing down whatever comes into your mind Listing/Bulleting: jot down lists of words or phrases under a particular topic (base this on either the general topic or one or more words from the prompt). 3 Perspectives: Describe it, Trace it, Map it Clustering/Mapping/Webbing: linking up terms or ideas in a “map-like” fashion Charts/Shapes: for the more visually inclined-take terms and ideas and link them up more spatially
Strong Thesis Statements? Once you’ve brainstormed and obtained a “working thesis,” you will then need to see if the thesis is strong! Ask yourself the following questions when seeing if your thesis is strong… Do I answer the question? Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Is my thesis statement specific enough? Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test?
Thesis Statements Use the ideas that feel most useful to you to make your own checklist for thesis statements: Does my thesis address a debatable topic? Does my thesis make a specific claim on a topic? Does my thesis offer a “roadmap” for the reader? Does the thesis contain key words or a central idea? Is the thesis focused enough or complex enough for the assignment? Can I support my thesis with the material available? Does my thesis really reflect my final argument?
Make sure to remember: Your thesis should be both clear and specific. Your thesis should be relevant. Your thesis should be debatable. Your thesis should be original. You should be able to state your thesis as a complete sentence. Your thesis should be appropriate to the assignment. Remember: “Nothing so facilitates good writing as actually having something to say.” ~T.S. Eliot
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