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Copy of Copy of Creating Effective Thesis Statements

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Trelani Duncan

on 6 February 2014

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Transcript of Copy of Copy of Creating Effective Thesis Statements

Session I: Creating an Effective Thesis Statement
What is a Thesis Statement?
It's an argumentative assertion.
It is a sentence (or two) that briefly tells what your paper is about and what you will be trying to prove.
Claim + Reason
Developing a Strong Thesis Statement
1. What is your paper about?
a. The amount of sugar that kids consume.
2. What are you trying to prove?
a. Kids consume too much sugar.
3. What's your position?
a. Schools should limit the amount of sugar that kids consume.
4. Make an assertion and be specific.
a. Since children consume more than the recommended daily intake of sugar, schools should limit their children’s sugar intake by offering more healthy alternatives.


For each topic, create an effective thesis statement, and then identify your claim and reasoning.
Claim + Reason
1. "Claim" is the main idea; it's the "what."
a. Many women suffer from low self-esteem.
2. Include the "reason" for your claim; this is the "why."
a. The media influences how they see themselves.
3. Replace the "+" with "because"
a. Many women suffer from low self-esteem because the media influences how they see themselves.

Be Focused but Flexible
Have a general idea of what your thesis statement will be BEFORE writing your paper.
Essential for flow, organization, and clarity.
Be willing to revise your thesis statement.
Good research and analysis can alter your conclusion.
Great example of self-directed learning.
Recap & Examples
Good thesis statements:
State the conclusion that you’ve reached about your topic
Inform the reader of the direction that the paper will take as well as the purpose of the paper
Is assertive and specific
Identify the relationship between the claim that you’re making and the reasoning to back that claim

Example #1
Original: The polygraph was invented by Dr. John A. Larson in 1921.
Corrected: Because the polygraph has not been proved reliable, even under controlled conditions, its use by private employers should be banned.
Problem: The original was a fact, not an argument. A good thesis statement is an argument, not a fact!
Example #2
Original: Being overly materialistic will cause many problems.
Corrected: Being overly materialistic will cause many problems because you lose sight of what matters to you.
Problem: The original was too broad. A good thesis statement makes a claim and includes reasoning to back that claim.

Example #3
Original: Many hip-hop songs are negative.
Corrected: Many hip-hop songs are sexist because they portray women as sexual images with no substance.
Problem: The original was too vague. A good thesis statement takes a stance and is specific.

1. Should marijuana be legalized?
2. Why is pollution a major problem in large cities?
3. Does hip hop music have a positive influence on children?
Let's Connect:
Twitter: @WriteSSU
Facebook: Quality Enhancement Plan for SSU
Full transcript