Presentation on theme: "Thesis Statements How do I write one of those anyway?"— Presentation transcript:
Thesis Statements How do I write one of those anyway?
What it is: A thesis statement is the single, specific argument that sets up your essay. A good thesis statement is not simply an observation, a question, or a promise. It includes a topic, a precise opinion, and reasoning. So it belongs in the first paragraph!
Steinbeck clearly foreshadows the outcome for George and Lenny with the death imagery in the first chapter. Topic: Steinbeck’s use of the foreshadowing technique Precise Opinion: the technique is clear and effective Reasoning Blueprint: the first chapter contains death imagery that foreshadows Lenny’s demise. The rest of the paper will establish the truth of this claim, and provide details that add up to support the truth of the thesis statement.
What a thesis statement isn’t! Or how it all goes terribly wrong
Tragic Example # 1: The question as the thesis Can Lenny’s death be predicted early in the story? This is a question, not a statement. It's fine to sit down at the keyboard with the intention of writing a paper to answer this question, but before you do, you need to: a.Already know the answer, and b.Convert this to a statement in the drafting process.
Tragic Example #2:Metatext (talking about what you’re talking about) This paper will examine the first chapter of Of Mice and Men to determine if it contains foreshadowing. This still doesn't say whether the author plans to argue for or against the effectiveness of the foreshadowing, nor does it make an argument about the function of the foreshadowing.. This paper will examine Unnecessary! I already know it’s your paper
How to Build a Thesis Statement If you build it right, the rest of the paper is cake.
Here are 3 Formulae [Something] [does something] because [reason(s)]. Because [reason(s)], [something] [does something]. Although [opposing evidence], [reasons] show [Something] [does something].
The Parts of the Thesis This is the best part – where it will all make sense!
A thesis statement has three parts the limited subject,limited subject the precise opinion,precise opinion and the blueprint of reasons. blueprint of reasons
Limited Subject YES: Steinbeck clearly foreshadows the outcome for George and Lenny with the death imagery in the first chapter. The limited subject tells the reader exactly on what, or whom the paper focuses. The specific topic (foreshadowing) and chapter (first chapter) from the example, is the limited subject of the thesis statement. NO: Throughout the story, Steinbeck uses a great amount of detail and imagery. The subject (detail and imagery) is too general, and no argument is being made about it. This states a fact.
Precise Opinion The precise opinion gives your answer to an implied question about the subject. A good precise opinion is vital to the reader's comprehension of the goal of the essay. Your opinion should be non-obvious, and it should be possible for a reasonable person to disagree with you Steinbeck clearly foreshadows the outcome for George and Lenny with the death imagery in the first chapter.
Blueprint of Reasons Steinbeck clearly foreshadows the outcome for George and Lenny with the death imagery in the first chapter. A blueprint is a plan. It lets the builder know that the foyer will be here, the living room will be to the east, etc. The blueprint of an essay permits you to see the whole shape of your ideas before you start churning out whole paragraphs: each paragraph will address a detail of the blueprint (a specific example of imagery here). In the blueprint, the author signals an intention to support the precise opinion.
Thesis: Old School If your thesis statement introduces three reasons, the reader will expect a section on reason 1, a section on reason 2, and a section on reason 3. Steinbeck clearly foreshadows the outcome for George and Lenny with the deathly imagery of the dried leaves, ash pile, and stone rabbits, in the first chapter.
Big Kid Thesis Statements There is no list here! But, a thesis statement amounts to nothing if the paper is not completely focused on that main point. Blueprinting helps create the coherency of the entire essay, which makes it a necessary part of the thesis statement. Steinbeck clearly foreshadows the outcome for George and Lenny with the death imagery in the first chapter.
The blueprint determines the shape of your paper Informed by this blueprint, the reader expects to encounter one section (a paragraph or more) devoted to subtopics. Each section will address a different example or aspect of the topic, such as: Various examples of death imagery; Various comparisons between the first chapter and the outcome, etc. Steinbeck clearly foreshadows the outcome for George and Lenny with the death imagery in the first chapter.
Got it now??? A thesis is an argument or an opinion that sets up the rest of your paper. Got no thesis? You got summary!
Citation Thesis Statements: How to Write Them 22 Sep 2006 modified by Dennis G. Jerz 17 Oct 2000;Dennis G. Jerz originally written by Nicci Jordan, UWEC Junior http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/academic/thesis.htm