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The Thesis Statement. What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement is the most important sentence in your paper – its the idea(s) that everything else.

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Presentation on theme: "The Thesis Statement. What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement is the most important sentence in your paper – its the idea(s) that everything else."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Thesis Statement

2 What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement is the most important sentence in your paper – its the idea(s) that everything else in the paper springs from. A thesis statement makes an arguable claim; its not a fact. A thesis statement tells your readers what your essay will be about. In other words, a thesis statement provides a forecast for the entire essay.

3 Where is a thesis statement? For this class, your thesis statement should appear at the end of your introduction.

4 But what about the last paper? Did it have a thesis? Not really. Although narratives have a main idea, which might be implicit or explicit, they dont always follow the structure of a typical academic paper. We are moving from narrative to analysis – a whole new way of writing. Most of your college writing will be analysis.

5 An analytical thesis… … usually answers the question How? And often also answers the question Why?

6 What does this mean? In analyzing texts, the How question refers to how the author of a text goes about presenting information or stylistic choices to his readers. When you analyze a text, you write about one aspect or element of the text. You ask yourself, How does this author fulfill his purpose in this text?

7 For this assignment One option is to analyze an ad. So you ask yourself: o What is the advertisers purpose? Why does the advertiser do X [whatever youre writing about in your paper]? o Then, how does the advertiser fulfill its purpose? o Then you find specific examples within the ad to prove your point.

8 For example: In the FILA ad on p. 179 What is FILAs purpose in creating this ad? To sell shoes

9 This is analysis! How does FILA (try to) sell shoes? By featuring an attractive, sophisticated, Continental- looking male model in the ad By making the male model stylish yet masculine (well developed pecs and abs are part of the picture) By using a picture of the FILA-wearing model that is several times larger than the regular people By placing the picture of the model above the regular people, as if its something they can aspire to By including regular people in the ad so that consumers can relate NOTE: Whether you believe FILA is successful or not is a different part of the essay. This part is objective analysis of the ad.

10 Your working thesis* might be something like: In this ad, FILA attempts to entice buyers by showing them an ideal that they can aspire to. OR FILA makes a direct connection between sophistication and their new style of basketball shoes in order to attract a wider range of customers. * a working thesis is like a first draft. It has the general idea, but the wording may and probably will change before the final draft.

11 For this assignment Your second option is to analyze an experience. This one is slightly different. Ask yourself: o Have I ever been a celebrity? (this is your claim) OR o Has someone I know well ever been/become a celebrity? o Then, how can I support this fact? o To support the idea that you were a celebrity, you need to find specific examples within the experience to prove your point.

12 For example: Several years ago, I participated in a 100- mile bike ride to raise money for a cause. During that process, I felt like a celebrity – especially on the day of the ride. So, my claim (that I need to prove) is that for one period of my life/one day/etc, I was a celebrity. I need to illustrate for my readers how I was a celebrity.

13 This is analysis! How was I a celebrity? I sent out a letter, like a newsletter to tell my family and friends what I was doing and to ask for donations. I got lots of fan mail and lots of donations. I was famous within my family because I was training for something extraordinary. They talked about me a lot! I was riding for a famous team. The morning of the race, we were on the news (thousands of riders!) and many, many people took our pictures. My sister, nieces, and friends came to the ride. They met me at several different stops, with signs and balloons and whistles. They were my fan club. I was in the newspaper and am probably still on the Internet as a result of the ride.

14 So, I might start simple with my thesis: For one day in 2001, I was a celebrity. OR There was one time in my life when I truly felt like a celebrity, and the experience changed my life.

15 For this assignment Your third option is to analyze a celebritys image that is supported/created by the media. This celebrity should somehow represent an aspect of you (culture, nationality, etc.)

16 First, think of a celebrity who represents you in a good or bad way. For this assignment, Im going to choose Kate Gosselin American, reality TV celebrity I dont know anything about her except what the media has told me To me, she (and women like her) represents reality TV stars who are celebrities for no valid reason - the media made her a star, not her actions or talent As a theater person, that irritates me As an American woman, I find it embarrassing that she represents me to the rest of the world!

17 So, I ask myself: How has the media represented her? I will need to do some digging to see how the media has represented her since she became a celebrity. Good mom? Overwhelmed mom? Divorced mom? Victim? Dancer? Thinker? Not? Irritating, constant presence (like a buzzing insect) Author (who knew?!)

18 Then I ask myself: Why does the media represent her in this way? Who benefits?

19 I might say something like: Despite attempts at establishing credibility, Kate Gosselin is a damaging representation of the average American woman. OR Despite highly publicized failures, Kate Gosselin provides an exemplary example of the modern American woman.

20 Additionally, your thesis statement should meet the following requirements: 1. It should be interesting to your readers. Your brain works differently than anyone elses. Show us a point of view or a perspective we might not have considered before.

21 … and … 2. It should have precise and specific wording. Try not to use the same words everyone else will use (good, well, bad, etc.). When youre writing your working thesis, put vague words in parentheses. Once you have settled on your idea, go back and refine.

22 Last but not least Understand that your thesis statement might, and probably will, change as you draft and revise. Oftentimes when we are writing, our ideas becomes clearer or sometimes even shift to a slightly different interpretation. THIS IS OKAY.

23 Any questions?

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