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Thesis and Outline
Transcript of Thesis and Outline
This prezi is designed to explain and demonstrate the basics of writing a strong thesis statement and a well-organized outline.
A thesis sentence is one sentence, usually found at the end of an introduction paragraph, that tells the reader exactly what the rest of the essay will be about.
Open or Closed
There are two main types of thesis sentences: Open and Closed.
An outline is an organizational tool for writers to plot out their thoughts and gameplan their writing project.
The Four Level Outline
The outline we will be using is called a "Four Level Outline."
1. Keep it third person. Don't use phrases like "I believe..."
Thesis and Outline
A thesis makes a claim or puts forth a stance on a certain topic, and then offers justification for that claim or stance.
An open thesis statement gives a general support or justification for the claim, without going into specifics.
A closed thesis statement gives specific justifications or support for the claim.
Open Example: Utilizing a clean, unlimited resource, solar farms are the future of energy production.
The claim is made (solar farms are the future) and the general justification is made (they are clean and unlimited) without going into any real specifics.
Closed Example: Solar farms are the future of energy production, because they are a clean source of energy, they will produce many jobs, and the sun's rays are an unlimited resource.
The claim is made (solar farms are the future) and 3 specific reasons are given
Either type of Thesis can work well, but a closed thesis with 3 main points can help a writer better organize their thoughts.
2. Make sure your 3 reasons are distinct and unique from one another.
3. Follow the format of: Subject + Stance + Justification = Thesis.
It is easy to tell when a writer failed to pre-game their writing with an outline. The ideas are often jumbled and don't follow a logical order.
Outlines can seem like busy work, but a good outline saves tons of time in the writing process.
Each "level" moves from General to specific, to more specific, and to fine detailed points.
The levels work as follows:
I. Roman Numeral
A. Capital Letter
1. Arabic Number
a. lower case letter
Four Level Example
A. What is an outline?
1. An outline is a tool for organizing thoughts.
a. Writers need to organize their ideas.
b. Writers who don't organize tend to be confusing.
2. An outline makes writing much more simple.
a. It helps connect similar thoughts.
b. It helps the writer know what to work on next.
Parts of an Outline
An outline has several important sections.
1. Introduction (the set up to your paper)
2. The Body (the main points for your paper)
3. The Conclusion (the end of your paper)
The introduction should include:
1. An introductory device or attention getter, to spark your reader's interest.
2. The Thesis Sentence
A. Scientists estimate that civilization will soon reach a point known as peak oil.
1. Peak oil is when the earth's production of the precious resource will no longer meet our demands.
a. It is when humans will be using more oil than is being produced.
b. Or when oil production itself slows due to a lack of the resource.
2. If peak oil occurs before we have alternative energy sources in place, the world will descend into chaos.
a. Our modes of transportation will be made useless.
b. Our utilities will cease to power and heat our homes and businesses.
B. Thesis: Solar farms are the future of energy production.
1. Solar energy is cheap.
2. Solar energy is clean.
3. Solar energy is unlimited.
The body should map out the main points of the argument.
The main points of your thesis (if using a closed thesis) become separate, full paragraphs in the body.
Follow the Four Levels Pattern to map out the body paragraphs.
II. Solar energy is clean.
1. There is virtually no waste or harmful biproduct of solar energy.
a. Oil produces environmental hazards
b. Solar energy does not.
2. Solar energy is not harmful to the planet.
a. The environment would not be damaged.
b. The methods of gathering solar energy are not dangerous.