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How to Write a Totally Awesome Thesis Statement

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on 10 June 2016

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Transcript of How to Write a Totally Awesome Thesis Statement

How to Write a Totally Awesome Thesis Statement
Humans are not genetically required to be meat eaters, so vegetarianism is the only moral choice to avoid the senseless killing of animals.
Thesis Statement-Defined
that thing in the very beginning of your paper that tells your reader what this whole thing is going to be about.
what makes a thesis

it states a valid point
it expresses a strong opinion
can be supported with facts
this doesn't mean it's true, but it can definitely be debated
is so!
Intro to Essay
Thesis Statement
Topic One
Detail 1
restate thesis
state implications
make a prediction
appeal to change
Detail 2
Detail 3
Topic Two
Detail 1
Detail 2
Detail 3
Topic Three
Detail 1
Detail 2
Detail 3
taa daa!
Right out of the gate, it tells your readers which elements you are going to develop in the coming paragraphs, and exactly how you feel about it.
Thesis Statement
Most Important
Part of Your Paper
1. Establish an Issue or Problem
humankind's negative effects on rainforests
factors that enable politicians to become corrupt
the slow death of the film industry
anything ripe for the picking
preferably not without controversy
environmental protection agency
the sun makes it hot outside
don't hold back!
thought provoking
ask questions:
Journalist's Questions
why so what?
what would someone ask me?
does it appeal to a wide audience?

is this something only I would be interested in?
can it be argued empirically?
Empirical evidence: (also empirical data, sense experience, empirical knowledge.) a source of knowledge acquired by means of observation or experimentation
is it pure opinion?
remember: you're not just laying down facts, you also want to get the message across to your readers
2. Establish a Strong Opinion on that Issue
You must take a position
it's not enough to state something, you must make it intriguing!
argue for or against
So, what are some examples of
thesis statements?
bad: cats rule, dogs drool
good: More than anything else in our society, video games are responsible for the "dumbing" of America
bad: Video games are dumb
Thesis Statements should be broad enough so that a large portion of the audience will be able to relate
but specific enough so you can zero in on it and really dissect it
bad: There are some great places to travel in Europe
3. Introduce supporting topics
be prepared to back up your thesis with actual, factual pieces of evidence
any less, and your thesis will be weak
4. Have at least three supporting points
1. Choose an issue or problem
2. Establish a strong opinion on that issue
3. Introduce supporting topics
4. Have at least three supports
good: World travel is an essential element in any young person's well-rounded education
good: when an elderly person is trying to decide on a pet, a cat is a far superior choice than a dog.
Aim For


The thesis statement or main claim must be debatable

Unlike in any other sport, boxers intend to physically injure their opponents by knockout. Allowing people to intentionally inflict injuries upon others for public entertainment and private profit is barbaric. Children especially are trained in these ways. When boxers turn professional, they have often already fought in at least fifty fights in their youth, which does not include the countless rounds of sparring during training sessions. Boxers are essentially being trained in violent ways, often at a young age. The Australian Medical Association actively opposes boxing for this reason, calling it, “a public demonstration of interpersonal violence which is unique among sporting activities.”[1] While there are other rough sports, boxing is different because its intent is harmful. The World Medical Association, which also opposes the sport, justifies this position by noting, “its basic intent is to produce bodily harm in the opponent.”[2]
Boxing is a violent sport, in which youth are taught to try to hurt their peers, and it has no place in modern society.

Labeling boxing ‘barbaric’ merely expresses one’s disapproval of it rather than suggesting reasons why it should be banned. People need to separate their ethical/moral judgements about the sport from their evidence-based scientific/medical reasons for banning it. Most people who call for a ban on boxing have no understanding of the ‘fight game’ beyond a gut disapproval of it. The appeal of boxing lies in its simplicity, the distillation of the sporting contest to its most basic form— a physical battle between two people. There is no “intent” in boxing to injure the opponent; it is merely to score more points than the opponents by hitting them within defined scoring regions of the body.
Critics are more likely to attack boxing because it is more obviously a fight, rather than a game with a ball in which the athletes hit and tackle one another anyway.
Should Boxing be Banned?
How is _____ different from things similar to it?
How has it been different for me?

Contrastive features


What exactly is the issue?
What is it not?
What kind of an issue is it?


What have I heard people say about _____?
What are some facts and stats about _____?


classical topics

What is _____ similar to?
What is _____ different from?
Is _____ most unlike (like) what?


classical topics

Ask the Right Questions

How much can _____ change and still be itself?
How is _____ changing?
What are the different varieties of _____?



Where and when does _____ take place?
What is the larger thing of which _____ is a
What is the function of _____ in this larger


Who should address this issue?
What should we do about this issue?


Is there an issue?
How did it begin and what are its causes?
What changed to create the issue?
Who is involved?


classical topics

Is _____ possible/impossible?
What makes _____ possible/ impossible?
When did _____ happen?
What would it take for _____ to happen
What would prevent _____ from happening?


classical topics

What causes _____?
What are the effects of _____?
What is the purpose of _____?
What comes before (after) _____?

How serious is the issue?
What are the costs of the issue?


Dictionary definition of _____?
What group of things does this _____ belong to?
How is the _____ different from other things?
What are some concrete examples of the _____?


Classical Topics

stasis questions

stasis questions

stasis questions

stasis questions



Hot Tip
Avoid using expletives (phrases of the form it + be-verb or there + be-verb) at the beginning of sentences
There are many people who plan on attending the party

Many people will be attending
avoid "empty" words:
a lot of



a four-question, pre-writing (invention) process developed in ancient Greece
patterns of organization and argument
showing relationships
Many thanks to my friends at
for making this presentation possible!
does it sparkle and shine?
can it do the macarena?
is it faster than a speeding bullet?

define search terms
narrow focus
Begin with "although," "even though," "despite"
Full transcript