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What is a thesis statement?

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Presentation on theme: "What is a thesis statement?"— Presentation transcript:

1 What is a thesis statement?

2 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 Key Concept: A definition of a thesis statement is offered in this slide. The facilitator may choose to emphasize to students the difference between a claim that has to be proven and a statement of fact. Click mouse to reveal answers to the question.

3 Role of the thesis statement
The thesis statement should guide your reader through your argument. The thesis statement is generally located in the introduction of the paper. A thesis statement may also be located within the body of the paper or in the conclusion, depending upon the purpose or argument of the paper. Key Concept: This slide discusses the role of the thesis statement in the paper. Thesis statements are often located in the introduction, thereby setting up for the reader the claims of the argument. However, theses may also be located in the body paragraphs or in the conclusion, depending upon the writer’s purpose, audience, topic, and mode of argument. Activity: Additionally, the facilitator may also wish at this point to discuss strategies for constructing a thesis statement for a current class assignment.

4 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. Activity: The facilitator may ask students to identify the most effective thesis statement from the three listed examples. The first example, while a well-phrased informative sentence, offers a factual statement rather than an argumentative claim that needs to be proven. The third example also fails to provide an effective claim about the value of the V-chip. The second example is the strongest argumentative thesis; it clearly articulates the writer’s position on the issue and suggests that the writer will proceed to prove this claim throughout the rest of the paper.

5 How do I Know if my Thesis is Strong?
Do I answer the prompt? Have I taken a position others would oppose? Is it arguable? Does my thesis pass the “SO WHAT” test? Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? Does my thesis pass the “HOW or WHY” test?

6 In your Journal 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.

7 In your Journal 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.

Using the information you have learned in this PowerPoint, create a thesis for a paper on the following essay prompt: [Bilingual Education] As part of a proposed educational initiative in your state, local school districts are responsible for providing required courses in both English language and Spanish language in order to increase the success of their programs. Because your state has a large population of Spanish speakers, the state education department believes that teaching these students in their first language will help them learn better and more quickly. Because of the limited budget, however, the local school board is concerned that they may not be able to provide the additional teachers or training needed for this program. They fear that they will lose state funding and accreditation even though 90% of the district's students pass their achievement tests on the first try. What is your position on this issue? Write an essay stating your view, and supporting it with three convincing reasons. Remember to address the viewpoint of the opposition.


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