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Writing a thesis statement

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1 Writing a thesis statement
History and Language Arts Informational Essay

2 What it is and Why You Need it
A Thesis Statement is… A Thesis Statement is needed because… A Thesis Statement is a sentence in the introduction of your paper that tells your reader what you are writing about and why. It is a clear, brief statement of the position you will defend in your paper. It is an answer to a question you raise in your paper. It does not announce a topic. Readers need a road map to follow to help them through your essay. The thesis provides readers with a clear statement about what you are writing about and why its is important.

3 Where do I start? Think about your thesis statement as the answer to the question you are exploring in your paper/essay. Review the information you have collected about your topic and ask yourself the following questions: What am I claiming about my topic? What are the reasons I have to support my claim? In what order will I present my reasons?

4 Finding it in Your Materials
Use your graphic organizer. In order to write your thesis statement, you must have completed your graphic organizer labeled Paragraph 1: Introduction. This information includes: A hook A topic sentence The details/reasons you will discuss A concluding sentence

5 Step 1: Forming the Question
Almost all assignments, no matter how complicated, can be reduced to a single question. Write a question that asks about the most significant thing concerning your topic. If you get stuck, take a close look at your assignment. What are you supposed to write about? Example: If your assignment is to write an essay about the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth grade classroom, your question might be: What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth grade classroom?

6 Step 2: Answering the Question
After you form your question, your next step is to write a 1-2 sentence answer to your question. Your answer should include your reasons/details that support the claim you are making about your topic. Example: The potential benefits of using computers in the fourth grade classroom are…

7 Finding it in Your Materials 2
What information from my graphic organizer will help me complete the 3 steps to a thesis statement? Your topic sentence can be restated as a question to help you form your thesis statement. Your details should be included in your answer to the question, which is your thesis statement. The hook and concluding sentence will be combined with your thesis statement to build an effective introductory paragraph.

8 Step 3: Your Thesis is Completed
Congratulations! The answer to your question is your THESIS STATEMENT. To test your THESIS STATEMENT, make sure it meets the following requirements: Does it make a point and accurately reflect your claim and topic? Does it pull together and state your main ideas (details/reasons)? Is it specific to your topic? It is focused on one main idea/claim only? Does it answer: Who, What, When, Why, Where, or How? (who or what are you writing about?, why is it significant?, where is happening, does the location have any significance? How is it relevant?)

9 What’s Next? Now that you have your Thesis Statement you can be sure that readers will be able to understand what it is you are writing about. However, there is more to your introduction than your thesis statement. You also want to draw the reader into your paper--get them interested--so they keep reading after the first paragraph. You also need to conclude your introduction in a way that prepares or sets your reader up for what is to come in the body of your paper.

10 The Hook Your HOOK is what gets your readers’ attention.
In order to find your hook, think about what you find most interesting about your topic. Is there a shocking fact or statistic you can share, an interesting story, how about posing a question, or defining a term, what about using details to paint a picture? If this sounds familiar, it should! These are examples of the different types of introductions we learned about. Use your INTRODUCTION FLIP CHART to help you.

11 Finding it in Your Materials 3
Use your Introduction Flip Chart. You can use one of the types of introductions from your flip chart as your hook. TIP: For this essay, try one of the following: A Shocking Fact Paint a Picture Summarize the Situation Provide Background Pose a Question

12 Putting it Together Your introductory paragraph should include the following in this order: Your HOOK. This should consist of several sentences. Your THESIS STATEMENT. This should be one sentence. Your CONCLUDING SENTENCE. This should be one sentence that wraps up the introduction, briefly stating the important points that the reader will encounter as they continue on with the paper/essay.

13 Moving On… If you have written an effective introductory paragraph, you readers will be interested enough to read the rest of your paper and will understand it because your thesis will guide them as they discover details that prove your point about your topic. Do not disappoint readers! Write well-supported body paragraphs that fully explain your reasons and prove your thesis.

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