The Thesis Statement A Road Map for Your Essay ESSAY Introduction Thesis Statement Body Paragraph #1 Body Paragraph #2 Body Paragraph #3
Introduction Thesis Statements After you have brainstormed and you have some main ideas of what you would like to write in your essay, you can begin thinking about writing a thesis statement. What’s a thesis statement????
Definition Thesis Statement A thesis statement is a complete sentence that contains one main idea. This idea controls the content of the entire essay. Additionally, a thesis statement contains subpoints which help the reader know how the essay will be organized.
Psychologists have argued for decades about how a person’s character is formed. Numerous psychologists believe that one’s birth order has the greatest influence. Birth order can have a significant impact in the formation of a child’s character because of one’s relationship with parents, relationships with others, and one’s ideas about responsibility as an adult. Thesis Statement Another Example The thesis statement contains the main idea that controls the content of the essay. Subpoints in the thesis or nearby help the reader know how the essay will be organized
Key Features Thesis Statement states the main idea of the essay in a complete sentence. states an opinion or attitude on a topic. It doesn’t just state the topic itself. is usually at the end of an introduction. includes subtopics. It has a set format or formula (called a three point thesis) that consists of: Opinion/claim because reason a, reason b, and reason c.
Key Features Main Idea in a Complete Sentence Since the thesis statement is the main statement for the entire essay, it should express a complete thought and be a complete sentence. The thesis statement is asserting an opinion or idea, so it should not be a question. Look at the following examples to see how they can be made into thesis statements.
Key Features Main Idea in a Complete Sentence The sport of cross-country running. Why do I want to be a teacher? This is not a complete sentence. The sport of cross-country running has allowed me to get in better shape because my heart rate is increased, I have dropped weight, and I can run longer. Being a teacher is a great profession, because it allows me to work with students, be creative, and learn. This is a question, not a statement. Thesis Statement
Key Features Location Readers like to know what an essay will be about near the beginning of the essay rather than at the end. This is why the thesis statement is generally found at the end of the introductory paragraph.
Good thesis statements express a writer’s opinion about a topic. This makes the thesis statement more specific and requires the writer to explain or prove his/her opinion in the essay. Look at the following examples. Key Features States an Opinion or Attitude
An Opinion or Attitude Another Example Cancun is a popular vacation spot in Mexico. This would not be considered a good thesis statement, because it is only expressing a fact. It doesn’t reflect the writer’s opinion or attitude on Cancun. This thesis statement doesn’t give the writer very much to explain or prove in his/her essay. Cancun is one of the best vacation spots in Mexico because of its comfortable climate, proximity to some well-known archeological sites, and beautiful resorts. This thesis statement is much better because it expresses how the writer feels about Cancun. This thesis statement requires the writer to explain how and why going to Cancun is a good choice for visitors.
You make your thesis statement more specific by including subtopics or supporting ideas. By doing this, you give your reader a clear idea of what will follow in the body paragraphs of your essay. Key Features Subtopics
Key Features Subtopics The large influx of people to California has had major effects on the state. No subtopics are named in this thesis statement. The large influx of people to California has had major effects on the ability of the state to provide housing, electricity, and jobs for all residents. subtopic #1 subtopic #2 subtopic #3
Practice Exercises Now, you are ready to practice what you’ve learned. Using ONE of the two following prompts, create a thesis statement. When you have finished, and someone near you has also finished, turn to them and share your thesis statement. Have both you and your partner included all the items on the checklist? Thesis Statement Checklist: It has a main topic that includes… Subtopics It states an opinion or attitude It is in the correct format: ___________ because _____,_____, and ________.
Practice Prompts Work on creating a thesis statement for ONE of the following prompts independently. It must be in the four point thesis format. Research indicates that our society has become more violent. Crime is on the rise in both urban and rural areas. Many adults are convinced that popular movies and video games encourage young people to become violent. Do you agree or disagree with the opinion that modern movies and/or video games have contributed to the rise of violent crime in the United States? Persuade the reader to support your point of view, supporting your position with specific reasons and examples. Due to potential problems, many school systems have adopted a policy that bans cell phones on school grounds. However, some parents have provided these items out of concern for safety. Do you agree or disagree that cell phones should be banned on school grounds? Write an essay in which you convince the reader of your opinion, supporting your position with specific reasons and examples.
Turn to a partner: First make sure your partner’s thesis statement has all four checklist items: It has: the main topic subtopics states an opinion or attitude Is in the correct format: ___________ because _____,_____, and ________.
ON YOUR OWN Look at your position on Hamlet as a man of action or inaction and your reasons for why you think so. It must be in the three point thesis format