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ENG 101: Thesis Statement

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Cindy Gaffney

on 13 June 2013

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Transcript of ENG 101: Thesis Statement

The Thesis Statement Journey
Introductory Paragraph
States the main idea of the essay in a complete sentence.
Usually is written near the end of the introductory paragraph
It contains the main topic [limited subject]and lists the points that will be discussed in the body of the essay.
It narrows your topic to a specific focus that you will investigate in your paper.
It establishes a footprint for the entire essay by making a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper;
If you have a good draft of your thesis statement, creating an outline is relatively easy.
Remember that the thesis statement focuses both the writer's [you!] and the reader's [your instructor and your fellow students] attention on the specific issues (points) to be developed within the essay.
The points listed in your thesis statement can be turned into topic sentences for the supporting paragraphs in the body of your essay.
You will have an opportunity in class develop your evidence and to prepare an outline for your next essay.
Outlining: Your Trail Map
essay's main idea summarized in one or two complete sentences in the introduction
you will support it with evidence and specific details in the body paragraphs
it evolves as you draft your essay and discover what you have to say about your topic
you will restate your thesis in the conclusion
What is a Thesis Statement?
Thesis Statement = Essay's Map
After you have
brainstormed (prewriting stage)
and generated some main ideas of what you would like to write in your essay, you can begin thinking about writing a
thesis statement
.
Definition: Thesis Statement
A
thesis statement
is a complete sentence that contains one main idea (essay's TOPIC). This idea controls the content of the entire essay. A
thesis statement
may also contain a list of points which direct the audience on the reading journey they are about to embark upon. The thesis tells the reader how the essay will be organized and what to expect in the rest of the paper.
The
thesis statement
will appear in the
introductory paragraph
of your essay. It is usually located near the end of the paragraph. It is usually one or two sentences long. It should be clear and concise.
Why locate it in the introduction?
Reader's want to know where they are going, in other words, what the essay will be about.
Do Not Take a Misstep in Your Path to Developing an Effective Thesis
Don't Make an
Announcement
Don't Make a
Factual

Statement
Don't Make a
Broad

Statement
1st False Step: Don't State the Obvious!
In your thesis statement, you should avoid using statements like, "This essay will discuss..." or "I'm going to write about...". Try to write a thesis statement that captures your reader's attention without
announcing
your main topic and stating the obvious.

Ist False Step Example:

In this essay, I am going to discuss the effects
of long-term drug abuse.
The Right Step
Example:
Long-term drug abuse can have disastrous effects on
one's marriage, career, and health.
2nd False Step: Do not state a fact!
If you begin by stating a fact as your thesis statement,
then you have no place to go next because a fact does not
invite much discussion. Remember that your thesis statement
should provide your point of view or attitude.
Example:
Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical
College participates in the 'Cans for Cash' recycling
program.
The Right Step
Example:
Recycling is an important student activity at
SKYCTC because it reduces the college's contribution to
landfill sites, improves the appearance of our campuses,
and the college can earn money to increase its recycling efforts.
3rd False Step: Do Not Use Broad Statements or You
Could Lose Your Way!
If your topic is too broad, it will make it difficult for you
to convey your paper's central idea within the boundaries of your
paper and make it difficult for your reader to understand your
essay's point.
Example:
SKYCTC is a great place to go to college.
The Right Step
Example:
Two-year community colleges, such as SKYCTC, are
a good option for students seeking a degree in
higher education because tuition is more affordable,
class sizes are generally smaller, and many of the
courses transfer to four-year institutions.
Let's Review: The Key Steps to a
Thesis Statement
Why Are We On This Journey?
You will be able to define a thesis statement.
You will be able to identify three pitfalls to avoid when writing a thesis statement.
You will be able to explain why the thesis statement is a trail map for your essay.
Where Will a Thesis Statement Lead Us?
Let's practice with the following example:
Psychologists have argued for decades about how a person’s character is formed. Numerous psychologists believe that one’s birth order (i.e. place in the family as the youngest, oldest, or middle child) has the greatest influence. I believe birth order can have a significant impact in the formation of a child’s character based on my own experience growing up in a family of four children. Birth order can strongly affect one’s relationship with parents, relationships with friends, and how one views responsibility as an adult.

Can you identify the thesis statement?
Can the reader identify 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 (i.e. place in the family as the youngest, oldest, or middle child) has the greatest influence.
I believe birth order can have a significant impact in the formation of a child’s character based on my own experience growing up in a family of four children.
Birth order can strongly affect
one’s relationship with parents, relationships with friends, and how one views responsibility as an adult.

The thesis statement contains the main ideas that controls the content of the essay.
The points listed in the thesis or close to the thesis statement signal how the essay will be organized.
Stage 2 in the Writing Process (Longman Reader)
Conclusion (restate your thesis)
Full transcript