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Easy Steps to a Great Thesis

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Presentation on theme: "Easy Steps to a Great Thesis"— Presentation transcript:

1 Easy Steps to a Great Thesis

2 A thesis statement can be:
The answer to a question that you have posed The solution for a problem you have identified A statement that takes a position on a debatable topic

3 General Tips about Thesis Statements
A statement that contains the essay’s topic and point(s) Gives the reader an idea of what the essay will be about Usually comes at the end of the introduction Most thesis statements are only one sentence Must be a complete sentence Everything in the essay must support the thesis. Introduction paragraph should follow this format: Attention getter (commonly known as a “hook”) Introduce the topic State the thesis

4 Your introduction paragraph should follow this format:
Attention getter (commonly known as a “hook”) Geoffrey Chaucer is considered by many to be the “Father of English Poetry.” If it weren’t for Geoffrey Chaucer, we might all be speaking French today. It was the year 2017 and nearly everyone I’d graduated from high school with was dead…well sort of. Introduce the topic Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is widely respected for its realistic portrayals of ordinary people and its social commentary. Geoffrey Chaucer’s characters reveal much about themselves in the tales they tell. My squad and I were holed up in an abandoned warehouse for the night, and since none of us was going to get any sleep, we decided to tell stories to pass the time. State the thesis The Pardoner is revealed by the narrator and himself to be as ugly and unattractive on the inside as he is on the outside. Chaucer’s disgust at the hypocrisy and corruption of the Church comes through loud and clear in his “General Prologue.” As the squad leader I would decide what order the stories would be told in, and there were only two requirements: the story had to be completely true or entirely false.

5 What are the Roles of a Thesis?
1. It can assert an argument, explain a topic, and/or analyze an issue. 2. It is specific in presenting the writer's position. 3. It limits both scope and topic of the paper. 4. It captures the reader's interest and focuses that interest on the topic.

6 Kinds of Thesis Statements: Persuasive*
A persuasive paper makes a claim based on opinion, evaluation, or interpretation about a topic and proves this claim with specific evidence. Persuasive thesis example: High school graduates should be required to take a year off to pursue community service projects before entering college in order to increase their maturity and global awareness. *If you have been asked to argue a point or choose a side on an issue, this is likely the type of thesis you will use.

7 Kinds of Thesis Statements: Analytical*
An analytical paper breaks the topic down into parts, examines each part, and determines how each part relates to the whole topic. Analytical thesis example: An analysis of the college admission process reveals one challenge facing counselors: accepting students with high test scores or students with strong extracurricular backgrounds. *If you have been asked to analyze a topic, issue, or reading, this is the type of thesis you should use.

8 Kinds of Thesis Statements: Expository*
An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience. Expository thesis example: The life of the typical college student is characterized by time spent studying, attending class, and socializing with peers. *If you have been asked to narrate a story or explain a process, this is likely the type of thesis you will use.

9 Ways of Constructing Thesis Statements: The List (Essay Map)
Contains the essay’s topic, point, and three supporting reasons Example: “To reduce the number of highway fatalities [topic and point], our country needs [purpose=persuasive] to enforce the national law that designates twenty-one as the legal minimum age to drink, set up check points on major holidays, and take away licenses from convicted drunk drivers [three reasons].”

10 Ways of Constructing Thesis Statements: The Umbrella
Contains essay’s topic, point, and alludes to reasons why the reader should believe you. Do not directly state the supporting reasons, but instead allude to them. Example: “Although thought to be humane and necessary, animal testing [topic] for medical and cosmetic purposes does not live up to it’s promises [point and reasons].” Do NOT use language like, “There are many reasons people don’t like chocolate ice cream.”

11 Thesis Don’ts Announce your thesis: “In this essay, I am going to tell you about the Wife of Bath and how she relates to the tale she tells.” Confuse your reader: Just make sure that the topic and point are clear. Cannot be a fact: Doesn’t allow you to prove anything because it’s already factual. Don’t be vague: Words like “good,” “bad,” “right,” and “wrong,” don’t convey specific meaning. Cannot be a question: “Don’t you think animal testing is inhumane?” Does not give the point of the paper. Leaves it open for readers to fill in the blank.

12 Creating a Thesis Statement
1. Determine essay’s topic (what you’re talking about) Example: Pixar’s film Up 2. Determine what kind of paper you are writing and what kind of thesis statement you need to use: analytical, persuasive, or expository. Example: Persuasive=It’s not really a “kid” movie. 3. Determine the way you will construct your thesis: list or umbrella? 4. Put it all together! Example: Pixar’s most recent film, Up, should not be considered a “kid” movie because its character conflicts and main theme of loss are too complex for children to understand.

13 Activity: Create Thesis Statements
Based on the topic below, create an umbrella or list type thesis statement: Make sure to include the topic, point, and possibly reason(s) in each of the statements. Topic: Being a successful DHS student Be prepared to share!

14 Possible Thesis Statements
List: “Though DHS may offer rigorous courses, each student can be successful [topic+point] as long as they study, receive tutoring, and meet with their teachers [reasons].” Umbrella: “DHS can be a challenging school, but all students can be successful [topic+point].”

15 General Prologue 1 The character of the Pardoner in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales is as ugly and unappealing on the outside as he is on the inside. One need only examine the Wife of Bath’s description by the narrator in the General Prologue and by herself in the Prologue to her tale to realize that she is one of Chaucer’s most complex characters.

16 General Prologue 2 One need only look at his depiction of the clergy in the General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales to realize that Chaucer believed the Church was full of hypocrisy and corruption. Three characters from the General Prologue especially reinforce Chaucer’s view that the medieval Church was full of hypocrisy and corruption: the Pardoner, the Summoner, and the Monk.

17 The Pardoner’s Tale 1/2 The plot, character’s and setting of Chaucer’s “The Pardoner’s Tale” all work together to reinforce the idea that money is the root of all evil. Geoffrey Chaucer’s personification of Death and use of irony throughout the story make it the most popular of The Canterbury Tales.

18 The Wife of Bath’s Tale 1 If one examines her own experiences and beliefs with regard to marriage, it is easy to understand why the Wife of Bath tells such a tale. One need only examine the Wife of Bath’s character to realize her tale merely reinforces her own beliefs about men and marriage. The Wife of Bath’s tale is merely an extension of her past experiences with and personal beliefs about men and marriage.

19 The Wife of Bath 2 The Wife of Bath’s Tale uses many of the characteristics commonly found in fairy tales to make its point. The “happily ever after ending” of the Wife of Bath’s tale isn’t the only fairy tale device she uses in her story to convey her beliefs about marriage.

20 Federigo’s Falcon Write your own frame story:
Characters – list and briefly describe (who) Setting – time and place (when and where) Duration – how many, what order Situation/Motivation – (why are they telling stories) WARNING: This is not a prompt for weak or inexperienced writers!

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