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Notes on Thesis/Claim Statements
It is your main claim that you are going to prove in your essay. All your evidence (quotes and summaries) and ideas MUST support this statement. It needs to have a limited topic and a blue print or the three main ideas or points you are going to discuss. Do not use “I” in this statement. State it like a fact: Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz, is an example of a strong, determined character because she never gives up, displays courage in frightening situations, and looks for the good in other people. All topic and conclusion sentences MUST connect back to this statement.
Outline Notes All writing is phrases EXCEPT: the thesis/claim statement and the topic and concluding sentences Paragraphs are numbered using Roman Numerals: 1=I, 2=II, 3=III, 4=IV, 5=V For every A there MUST be B and for every 1 there MUST be a 2
Harvard Outline I. Introduction *Motivator (hook, attention getter)
I. Introduction *Motivator (hook, attention getter) *Background Information *Transition and Thesis/Claim Statement (complete sentence) II. Transition and First main point – Topic Sentence (complete sentence) A. Transition with first supporting idea 1. Set up quote - when did it happen or who said it Evidence (citation – line number) 3. Connect the quote to the topic – how does this quote prove your idea? B. Transition with second supporting detail Set up quote - when did it happen or who said it Evidence (citation – line number)3 3. Connect the quote to the topic – how does this quote prove your idea? C. Transition with third supporting detail 3. Connect the quote to the topic – how does this quote rove your idea? D. Transitions and concluding Sentence (complete sentence) III. Transition Second main point (same as II) IV. Transition Third main point (same as II) V. Conclusion *Transition and Topic Sentence (complete sentence) *Reworded Thesis *Summarize essay’s overall message
Notes on Introductions:
You need to have ALL of the following in your introduction: A Motivator. Attention Getter, or Hook DO NOT start with a question Motivators should be 3 to 5 sentences long Motivators should NOT discuss Odysseus – start broad and narrow the topic Use one of the types of motivators on your handout Background Information Include the author and title of the work (background) Define a modern or classic hero Thesis or Claim Statement MUST have a clear thesis/claim statement with a blueprint Introduction should be 6 to 7 sentences long.
Notes on body paragraphs:
Use transitions or segways at the beginning of each body paragraph and between each example. (see your handout) There should be clear topic and concluding sentences that tie to your claim statement. Be careful not to tell the story. All verbs should be in present tense (makes not made, goes not went) Evidence should be in chronological order within each paragraph. Do NOT use 1st or 2nd person (I, you, we, our, us, etc). Do NOT use contractions (can't, don't, etc) Look at your word choice - no slang words (stuff, wanna, gonna, kid, thing, awesome, guys, etc.) Do not use trite phrases (This essay is going…, These are some examples of…, I’m going to tell you…, this quote shows… etc) Make sure you explain the CONNECTION of the quote to the thesis/claim statement (How is the quote supporting your idea?) When typing The Odyssey, it should be italicized only – no underline
Conclusion Notes Must start with a transition or transitional phrase – DO NOT use “In conclusion” be creative Briefly summarize the main point(s) of the essay Restate your thesis without being repetitive Tie back to your motivator It needs to be longer than two or three sentences Do not bring in any new ideas Should have a sense of closure These two may be combined
MLA Format Notes The whole essay should be double spaced
Font is 12pt. Times New Roman The following information goes in the upper left hand corner: Name Teacher’s name Class title Date Title is centered, also in 12 pt font. DO NOT underline or bold it Have a clever title – NOT The Odyssey Use 1 inch margins First citation should include the author’s last name (Homer 689). All other citations are just the page number (709). All pages need your last name and the page number in the top right hand corner. ex. Drain 2
Example: Smith 1 Suzie Smith Mrs. Drain Freshman Literature December 25, 2025 A Hero in Disguise
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