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The thesis statement of a paper is like the topic sentence of a paragraph; it helps you control the direction of your writing. Your thesis is not your topic – “Mending Wall”– but what you want to say about it (In “Mending Wall,” Robert Frost uses diction, imagery, and syntax to stress his concerns about the unnatural barriers society creates.) Ask yourself, “In one sentence, what is the point the poet wanted to make?” The answer to the question is your thesis statement.
Your thesis statement must include the theme of the poem with the main poetry devices used to support it. Ex: Through the use of imagery and symbolism, Robert Frost was able to create a multi-layered poem reflecting on human perseverance. The title of the poem (in quotation marks and first words capitalized ) and the poet’s name must be included somewhere in your introductory paragraph – just not in the first sentence.
How do I structure my thesis statement? Include a definite statement: Select a position in your thesis statement that you can argue wholeheartedly. Avoid vague and wishy-washy language that will leave your readers guessing about your interpretation. Also, do not use “safety phrases” such as I think, I believe, and in my opinion. A thesis stem (or thesis beginning) that uses definitive language might look like this: In “Harrison Bergeron,” Vonnegut criticizes the government by……
A thesis statement should: Create parameters and outline your essay There are many ways you can create parameters in your thesis in order to insure structure in your essay. A typical parameter would be the “three-point thesis statement” in which you pick three literary elements used in the poem. However, this may make you feel as though you are limited to creating a five paragraph essay. Typically, you want more than one element, to ensure you have enough depth in your paper. For this assignment, attempt to focus on 2-3 (maybe 4) elements.
Literary Analysis Thesis Statement Examples Sample prompt: How does Kurt Vonnegut use literary elements to criticize the government in the short story, “Harrison Bergeron”? Too broad: Vonnegut criticized the government in many ways Too narrow: Vonnegut shows that Harrison deserves to be treated fairly, not like he is a freak. Off topic: Vonnegut was also critical of too much government control in several novels he wrote. Strong thesis: In “Harrison Bergeron,” Vonnegut criticizes the government through the use of indirect characterization, irony, and external conflict.
Introductions & Conclusions
Introduction Paragraph should be attention getting – interesting. must include your thesis statement. do not include specific information from your main points. Start broad – end narrow Your 1 st sentence should be an attention getting broad statement about the theme. Do not mention anything specific about the poem or the poet in this sentence You last sentence of this paragraph is your thesis statement. You need to have at least 1 or 2 middle sentences that transition from broad to specific
Introduction Paragraph: Thesis statement Use a word or two from your thesis and intro line to create the middle sentences. Attention getting introductory sentence. 123
Example: In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, fate is responsible for the demise of the pair’s love and their lives. Each day thousands of choices are made, both good and bad. This held true for Romeo and Juliet as well; however, regardless of their choices their ultimate demise was predetermined. If a man’s character is his fate, then what role, if any, does choice play in one’s destiny? Thesis Attention getter Broad statements with details from the thesis
Next come the body paragraphs…. Start with your “weakest” point and end your paper with your “strongest” point. Each paragraph should be about a different element of poetry found with the poem. Each paragraph needs to have a transition sentence – connecting (transitioning) from one paragraph to the next. Create a sentence that bridges the point you were just making with the one you are about to make. * Look at the essay structure guideline sheet I gave to you to see more helpful structure tips for your body paragraphs.
Conclusion Paragraph should reflect but not copy your introduction. do not include specific information from your main points. Start narrow – end broad The 1 st sentence will be a re-phrasing of your thesis statement. Your last sentence should be a memorable broad statement about the theme – similar to the 1 st sentence of your introduction You need to have at least 1 or 2 middle sentences that transition from specific to broad
Conclusion Paragraph: Final punch – last chance to leave an impression. Broader statement – again, reflecting the introduction Thesis statement reflected but NOT COPIED 123
The star-crossed lives of Romeo and Juliet were determined before they were born. When one’s life is ultimately ruled by the stars, choices made along the way often times only delay the inevitable Whether it’s the pair’s meeting that was destined or it was their demise that was unavoidable, their ultimate fate was decided regardless of the choices that they made. Example:
- Basic shape of an essay
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