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Just what is a thesis statement? And why do I need to have one?

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Presentation on theme: "Just what is a thesis statement? And why do I need to have one?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Just what is a thesis statement? And why do I need to have one?

2 Thesis statement defined / A thesis statement is a one sentence summary of what the main purpose of your paper is. / It is very specific / It clearly identifies the main purpose fo the paper. / A thesis statement is a one sentence summary of what the main purpose of your paper is. / It is very specific / It clearly identifies the main purpose fo the paper.

3 Specific not General / A good thesis statement is specific / The life of Christopher Columbus has had a lasting impact on the world. / An ineffective thesis statement is too general / Christopher Columbus was an explorer / A good thesis statement is specific / The life of Christopher Columbus has had a lasting impact on the world. / An ineffective thesis statement is too general / Christopher Columbus was an explorer

4 The thesis doesnt just announce the topic / It shows the purpose of the paper / California has a wide variety of interesting geographical features. / No clear purpose / My report is on the state of California. / It shows the purpose of the paper / California has a wide variety of interesting geographical features. / No clear purpose / My report is on the state of California.

5 The thesis is not the title of your paper / Again the thesis declares the purpose of the paper / The giant rock formations of Joshua Tree National Forest are perfect for rock climbing enthusiasts. / Title and Thesis are not synonyms / Joshua Tree National Park is home to many giant rocks. / Again the thesis declares the purpose of the paper / The giant rock formations of Joshua Tree National Forest are perfect for rock climbing enthusiasts. / Title and Thesis are not synonyms / Joshua Tree National Park is home to many giant rocks.

6 So how to I write an effective thesis statement?

7 If the topic is given / All assignments can be turned into a question that needs answering / Example: / Your assignment is - Write a report to the local school board explaining the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth- grade class / All assignments can be turned into a question that needs answering / Example: / Your assignment is - Write a report to the local school board explaining the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth- grade class

8 Example continued / Turn the assignment topic into a question / What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class? / Next write one or two sentences that answer that question / (Hint - you might have wait until youve done the research to actually be able to answer the question.) / Turn the assignment topic into a question / What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class? / Next write one or two sentences that answer that question / (Hint - you might have wait until youve done the research to actually be able to answer the question.)

9 Two possible sentence stems / The potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class are... / Using computers in a fourth-grade class promises to improve... / The potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class are... / Using computers in a fourth-grade class promises to improve...

10 The topic is not assigned / The thesis of your paper should still answer a question about the issue you want to explore. So you need to decide what question you want answered about this issue. / So….. / The thesis of your paper should still answer a question about the issue you want to explore. So you need to decide what question you want answered about this issue. / So…..

11 A good thesis has the following 4 qualities / take on a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree / deal with a subject that can be adequately treated given the nature of the assignment / express one main idea / assert your conclusions about a subject / take on a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree / deal with a subject that can be adequately treated given the nature of the assignment / express one main idea / assert your conclusions about a subject

12 Example / You might be studying nutrition in health class and Americans consumption of sugar is a topic that interests you. / Sugar Consumption is to general a topic / You might be studying nutrition in health class and Americans consumption of sugar is a topic that interests you. / Sugar Consumption is to general a topic

13 Example cont. / Narrow the topic. / Your readings about the topic, however, have led you to the conclusion that elementary school children are consuming far more sugar than is healthy. / So….. / Narrow the topic. / Your readings about the topic, however, have led you to the conclusion that elementary school children are consuming far more sugar than is healthy. / So…..

14 You change your thesis to look like this: / Reducing sugar consumption by elementary school children. / This statement is specific, but it isnt a thesis. It merely reports a statistic instead of making an assertion. / Next take a position - / Because half of all American elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar, schools should be required to replace the beverages in soda machines with healthy alternatives. / Reducing sugar consumption by elementary school children. / This statement is specific, but it isnt a thesis. It merely reports a statistic instead of making an assertion. / Next take a position - / Because half of all American elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar, schools should be required to replace the beverages in soda machines with healthy alternatives.

15 How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One. / 1. A strong thesis statement takes some sort of stand. / 2. A strong thesis statement justifies discussion. / 3. A strong thesis statement expresses one main idea. / 4. A strong thesis statement is specific. / 1. A strong thesis statement takes some sort of stand. / 2. A strong thesis statement justifies discussion. / 3. A strong thesis statement expresses one main idea. / 4. A strong thesis statement is specific.

16 Examples Strong vs. weak / Weak / There are some negative and positive aspects to the Banana Herb Tea Supplement. / Strong / Because Banana Herb Tea Supplement promotes rapid weight loss that results in the loss of muscle and lean body mass, it poses a potential danger to customers. / Weak / There are some negative and positive aspects to the Banana Herb Tea Supplement. / Strong / Because Banana Herb Tea Supplement promotes rapid weight loss that results in the loss of muscle and lean body mass, it poses a potential danger to customers.

17 More examples / Weak / My family is an extended family. / Strong / While most American families would view consanguineal marriage as a threat to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families, like my own, believe that these marriages help reinforce kinship ties in an extended family. / Weak / My family is an extended family. / Strong / While most American families would view consanguineal marriage as a threat to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families, like my own, believe that these marriages help reinforce kinship ties in an extended family.

18 Another example / Weak / Companies need to exploit the marketing potential of the Internet, and Web pages can provide both advertising and customer support. / Strong / Because the Internet is filled with tremendous marketing potential, companies should exploit this potential by using Web pages that offer both advertising and customer support. / Weak / Companies need to exploit the marketing potential of the Internet, and Web pages can provide both advertising and customer support. / Strong / Because the Internet is filled with tremendous marketing potential, companies should exploit this potential by using Web pages that offer both advertising and customer support.

19 Last example / Weak / World hunger has many causes and effects. / Strong / Hunger persists in Glandelinia because jobs are scarce and farming in the infertile soil is rarely profitable. / Weak / World hunger has many causes and effects. / Strong / Hunger persists in Glandelinia because jobs are scarce and farming in the infertile soil is rarely profitable.

20 Sources / e_tpes/thesis.html e_tpes/thesis.html / ets/thesis_statement.shtml ets/thesis_statement.shtml / e_tpes/thesis.html e_tpes/thesis.html / ets/thesis_statement.shtml ets/thesis_statement.shtml


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