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The Evolving Thesis: Steps for Success in Essay 3

Teaching presentation for composition class.
by

Ashley Theissen

on 18 February 2013

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Transcript of The Evolving Thesis: Steps for Success in Essay 3

The Evolving Thesis A Strong Thesis Evolves! Tracking the Evolving Thesis
Thesis in the conclusion: Six Steps for Making a Thesis Evolve A Student Example from Essay 2 Do you see how it has evolved?
And how a possible counterargument is used to create this evolution? The governing idea of most analytical writing is too complex to be understood at the beginning of the paper

The working thesis (see WA 229) gives your readers something to direct their reading. It is “fuzzier” than the final articulation of the thesis (232-233)

Good concluding paragraphs reflect back on and reformulate your paper’s initial position in light of the thinking you have done about it (233) Complicating evidence... the complications you encounter are an opportunity to make your thesis evolve, not a problem (227)

In essay 3, “complicating evidence” can come from your outside sources AND your photograph.

An evolving thesis is more responsive to evidence than a static one 1. Formulate an idea about your subject.

2. See how far you can make this thesis
go: account for as much evidence as you can.

3. Then, locate evidence that is not adequately accounted
for by the thesis--actively search for such "complicating" evidence!

4. Make explicit the apparent mismatch between
the thesis and the selected evidence. Explain how and why
some pieces of evidence do not fit the thesis.

5. Reshape your claim to accommodate the evidence that does not fit. This will mean rewording your thesis to
resolve or explain apparent contradictions.

6. Repeat steps two, three, four, and five several times, until you are satisfied that the thesis statement accounts for your evidence as
fully and accurately as possible. (WA 236) Two ways to use the 6 steps:
"best working thesis" vs. evolving thesis structure 1. WA's six steps allow you to arrive at your “best working thesis.” However, the process of developing this thesis will not show up in your paper--unless you make a concentrated effort to "show your work" by developing your thesis over the course of the paper.

2. You can use the six steps in this second process to help structure your essay. When you begin working with the six steps this time around, you should already have your best working thesis ready. Follow the six steps to arrive at the most complex form of your thesis (which will appear in your conclusion). Be conscious of keeping this process visible in the final draft so that readers can follow your thinking.

For more, revisit WA 249-250 and 253 p. 2: "The message portrayed in this scene is that through their scandalous dress, the Plastics exemplify the seductive aspect of femininity."

p. 3: "Throughout the film, Regina exudes a paradoxical form of femininity that cannot be easily categorized."

p. 4: "…Regina can be considered a kind of monster due to the fact that she is “a form suspended between two forms”. Although Regina does conform to a norm of feminine appearance, she does not conform to feminine behaviors. This is why Regina is so threatening and powerful; no one knows what she is going to do next." "It is interesting to note, however, that the character of Regina George (and others like her) have been classified into a category; a category specially reserved for Teen movies about high school drama. Some may call it the “Queen Bee” others may call it the “Popular Girl”. Name calling aside, it is interesting how these opposing behaviors portrayed by the female gender have become so frequent it has been given an archetype. This archetype however, was formed out of a fear of category crisis." "Traditional gender roles of women are not only challenged in today’s society, but have evolved to the point where a new category of femininity has been created. Regina George and the Plastics from Mean Girls exemplify this evolution of woman and represent the monstrous aspects that this new social category embodies. Because of fear of the unknown, our society has attempted to classify these ruthless girls into a category to help us know better what to expect from their actions." 1) Thesis as it appears on early pages: is a *good* thing Some basics: In the paragraph preceding the conclusion, the author introduces a complication to the working thesis: The most important thing to notice is that while it *seems* like this was a natural evolution in the paper, this author chose to intentionally structure their paper in this way, creating a kind of build-up to the evolved thesis.

While it is absolutely normal (and great) for your thinking to evolve as you write, the key to crafting a successful essay is editing your paper to show your reader *how* your thoughts developed and progressed. This, in the end, is what structuring your paper around an evolving thesis does! Steps for Success in Essay 3
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