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Transcript of Thesis Statements
-First grab your readers' attention with a general statement about your topic.
-Then give your reader a brief explanation (2-5 sentences) of what you will be explaining about your topic.
-End your introduction with a strong statement/claim that tells your reader what you intend to prove to them about your topic. Attention Grabbing Opening Brief Explanation of topic THESIS! Today's focus is creating a thesis statement According to your MLA handbook a thesis statement consists of, "a single sentence that formulates both your topic and your point of view" (1.8.2) But before we get too caught up into what a thesis statement is, let us take a look at what a thesis is not.... What a thesis statement is NOT your topic Your topic tells your reader what you are talking about.
Example: I will compare marijuana usage over the last five years. Your thesis tells your reader your position on your topic.
Example: Marijuana usage in America has not decreased over the past five years despite the government's "War on Drugs." -This is not a thesis. This is only a topic -This is a successful thesis statement -Why? Because your thesis should always be a statement that demands PROOF Your thesis should take a STAND! Once stating your thesis statement, the rest of your paper should be you convincing your reader why your opinion is true.
Additionally, your thesis prepares your reader for the facts that will prove your opinion about your topic to be true. Your thesis should be an arguable opinion -NOT a fact. Your Thesis Statement is NOT a fact about your topic. For example:
Pollution is bad for the environment. *If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people. Twenty-five percent of America's federal budget should be spent on limiting pollution. A better thesis statement would be: What a thesis statement is.... the sentence (or two) that answers your reader's biggest question What on earth is your point? Placing your thesis statement (your point) in the first paragraph, you are setting the tone and ensuring your reader isn't confused for the rest of the paper. Requirements for a strong thesis: 1. It should not be TOO BROAD
2. It should not be TOO NARROW
3. It should not be TOO VAGUE If your point is too wide or too deep for you you'll find yourself drowning in information unable to prove your point! The death penalty should be banned The death penalty in Alabama has been ineffective in deterring crime and should be replaced with more efforts to reform criminals and not murder them. too broad much better! For example If your thesis is too specific.... you may find yourself trying to stretch the small amount of information you find to fit in your essay For example In Lord of the Rings, the author carefully chose a weapon for each character that was symbolic, and revealed something about them to the reader. too narrow When developing their characters authors will often carefully choose symbolic items to reveal something about them to the reader. much better If your claim is not specific or clear enough... you may find your reader dazed and confused For example If the United States were to get rid of welfare, it would aggravate an already severe homeless problem, cause a rise in crime, and remove the only safety net that our country has in place. too vague A common misconception among many Americans is that welfare programs deteriorate personal initiative and deprive society of needed workers. much better Where should I start? Before trying to decide on a thesis, gather all of the information available on your topic! -How can you have an educated opinion about something that you know little about?
-The more that you know about your topic, the easier it will be to form a provable opinion (thesis) about it.
-It is easier to write a thesis statement that explains what you have found in your research, than to find research that explains what you have written in your thesis!
-You want the opinion that your thesis states to be provable by facts that you have gathered. If you gather the facts first, you KNOW that it can be proven! because.... Your Thesis and Your Topic are NOT the same.
You must choose your topic before beginning your research. REMEMBER: Once you have gathered your information, Ask Yourself a Few Questions: What is the most important thought I have about my topic? What has my research shown me about my topic? What would my reader want to know about my topic? What will be the point of my paper? Your first draft of your thesis will be considered a working thesis A working thesis is made up of two parts: Your Topic Your Provable Opinion Family may mean different things to different people, but it is an important part of every culture. To turn your Working Thesis into a Final Thesis Statement, compare it to the requirements for a strong thesis statement: Family may mean different things to different people, but it is an important part of every culture 1. As in many countries, family has a huge impact on American culture.
2. The strength of the family unit impacts each individual regardless of their society. Possible Revisions To Make The Broad Statement More Specific: This is more narrow because we have reduced it to one specific culture. This is more narrow because family is reduced to the family’s strength and society is reduced to the individual. In Conclusion.... 1. Start off with your TOPIC!
2. Before trying to decide on a thesis, gather all of the information available on your topic!
Once you have gathered your information,
Ask Yourself a Few Questions:
4.Use your answers to write a Working Thesis.
5. Turn your Working Thesis into a Final Thesis Statement by comparing it to the requirements for a strong thesis statement:
Is it too broad? Is it too narrow? Is it too vague? -What is the most important thought that I have about my topic?
-What has my research shown me about my topic?
-What would my reader want to know about my topic?
-What will be the POINT of my paper? Homework: Due Wednesday, 9/5 1. Your working thesis statement
2. Worksheet reviewing thesis statements