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Guidelines for an effective thesis

CO 150
by

Joanna Doxey

on 2 April 2013

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Transcript of Guidelines for an effective thesis

How to argue with style Guidelines for Writing and Effective Thesis Make assertions instead of asking questions! Avoid “So?” statements. o Write a sentence that makes a point. You already asked the question – now it’s time to answer it!
Write a thesis statement instead of a purpose statement. o A thesis focuses on the topic and makes an argument that the writer will attempt to prove. A purpose statement is simply a sentence that describes the topic of your paper.

Purpose Statement: This paper will examine the case against the death penalty.

Thesis Statement: The death penalty does not deter murderers from their crimes, and it is unfairly applied to the poor and minorities. o A “So?” statement prompts readers to ask “So? What’s the point?” Establish some exigence while considering WHY this is important.

“So?" Statement: Mercury poisoning kills many people each year. (DON'T PHRASE A THESIS THIS WAY)

Thesis Statement: The many deaths each year from mercury poisoning can be prevented by more detailed consumer education, extensive employee training in the handling of mercury, and stricter regulation of mercury waste disposal. Original Question: Are home-schooled students as well-educated as students who attend public schools?

Revised into a claim: Standardized test scores and college graduation rates indicate that home-schooled students are as well educated as students who attend public schools. o Replace broad, vague words with specific words that communicate exactly what you mean.

Vague (BAD): In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The
Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator’s doctor-husband does many things that drive her crazy.

Specific (GOOD!): The narrator of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” is driven insane by her doctor-husband’s misdiagnosis of her depression and by his indifference to her need for intellectual and social stimulation. Use accurate and specific words. o Be sure that the facts and evidence you’ve gathered actually support your thesis. Revise your thesis and the body of your writing until they fit each other point by point. Match your thesis with your supporting information. Now you're ready to write a thesis statement! ***Remember: A4 is an ARGUMENT paper, so be sure that you're making an argument in your thesis statement***** Now you try: Can you turn this "so" statement into a thesis with clear exigence? So? "According to research released this week by the Women & Politics Institute at American University, the first-ever survey of 18- to 25-year-old men and women on political aspirations reveals that women still fall far behind their male counterparts in what's becoming known as the 'ambition gap,' or the likelihood to think about running for office someday. " *** From The Atlantic's online article "There Aren't Enough Women Even Considering Running for Public Office"
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