How to write a thesis statement
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How to Write a Thesis Statement. Guidelines for the Thesis Challenged. Best if viewed in Slide Show View. The Map. A thesis statement (TS) is a guide map to your entire paper. It provides a mini-summary of the paper’s content.

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How to Write a Thesis Statement

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How to write a thesis statement

How to Write a Thesis Statement

Guidelines for the Thesis Challenged

Best if viewed in Slide Show View


The map

The Map

  • A thesis statement (TS) is a guide map to your entire paper.

    • It provides a mini-summary of the paper’s content.

    • It allows the reader to know in advance how the paper is organized.

    • It lets the reader know why he/she should care. (The “So What?”)


Express yourself

Express Yourself

  • The thesis statement expresses the main ideas of your paper and previews the answer to the question or questions posed by your paper.


What can a ts do for you

What Can A TS Do For You?

  • Helps you start drafting.

  • Helps keep you focused.

  • Helps to narrow your subject to a single, central idea.

  • Serves as a point of reference if changes occur.


Two main parts

Topic

Assertion

Two Main Parts

  • A Thesis Statement generally consists of two main parts

    • Your topic, and then the analysis, explanation, or assertion, that you’re making about the topic.


Two main parts1

Topic

Analysis

Explanation

Assertion

Two Main Parts

Part 1

Part 2


To do list

To Do List

  • Make a concise assertion about your topic.

  • Limit the statement to only one idea.

  • Make the assertion specific and significant.


To do list1

To Do List

  • At least imply your purpose.

  • Unify the statement so that the parts relate to each other.


A thesis statement gone wrong

A Thesis Statement Gone Wrong


A thesis statement gone wrong1

A Thesis Statement Gone Wrong

This new product brought in over $30,000 last year.

  • This is a statement of fact without an assertion.

  • What’s the significance of the product’s success. (The “So What?”)


A thesis statement gone wrong2

A Thesis Statement Gone Wrong

  • Before: This new product brought in over $30,000 last year.

  • After: This product succeeded because of its innovative marketing campaign, including widespread press coverage, in-store entertainment, and a consumer newsletter.


General examples of award winning thesis statements

General Examples of Award Winning Thesis Statements


General examples

General Examples

  • Show that essay’s purpose is to explain.

  • Show essay’s organization.

  • Show that essay’s purpose is to persuade.


Purpose to explain

Purpose to Explain

  • The following examples of thesis statements announce that the essays’ purposes are mainly to explain about their subjects.


Pecking order in an office

Pecking Order in an Office

  • Two months working in a large government agency taught me that an office’s pecking order should be respected.

Assertion: Should be respected

Topic: Office’s pecking order


Web distribution of music

Web Distribution of Music

  • Because artists can now publish their music directly via the Web, consumers have many more choices than traditional distribution allows.

Assertion: Have many more choices

Topic: Consumers


What public relations does

What Public Relations Does

  • Although most of us are unaware of the public relations campaigns directed at us, they can significantly affect the way we think and live.

Assertion: Affect the way we think and live

Topic: Public relations campaigns


Organization

Organization

  • The following example on preventing juvenile crime clearly predicts the organization of the essay.


Preventing juvenile crime

Preventing Juvenile Crime

  • Juveniles can be diverted from crime by active learning programs, full-time sports, and intervention by mentors and role models.

Assertion: Can be diverted from crime in three ways

Topic: Juveniles


Persuasion

Persuasion

  • The following example on federal aid to college students announces that the essay’s main purpose is to convince the reader of something.


Federal aid to college students

Federal Aid to College Students

  • To compete well in the global economy, the United States must make higher education affordable for any student who qualifies academically.

Assertion: Must be made available to any qualified student in the U.S.

Topic: Affordable education


Checklist questions

Checklist Questions


Checklist questions1

Checklist Questions

  • Does the statement make a concise assertion about your topic?

  • Is the assertion limited to only one idea?

  • Is the assertion specific and significant?


Checklist questions2

Checklist Questions

  • Does the statement at least imply your purpose?

  • Is the statement unified so that the parts relate to each other?


Specific examples of thesis statement types

Specific Examples of Thesis Statement Types


Three specific types of thesis statements

Three Specific Types of Thesis Statements

  • Analytical

  • Expository (Explanatory)

  • Argumentative


Three specific types of thesis statements1

Three Specific Types of Thesis Statements

  • Analytical

    • Compare/Contrast essays


Analysis essay

Analysis Essay

  • In an analytical paper, you are breaking down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluating the issue or idea, and presenting this breakdown and evaluation to your reader.


Analysis essay1

Analysis Essay

  • An analytical thesis statement will explain:

    • What you are analyzing.

    • The parts of your analysis.

    • The order in which you will be presenting your analysis.


Analysis questions

Analysis Questions

  • What did I analyze?

  • What did I discover in my analysis?

  • How can I categorize my discoveries?

  • In what order should I present my discoveries?


Analysis example

Analysis-Example

  • An analysis of barn owl flight behavior reveals two kinds of flight patterns: patterns related to hunting prey and patterns related to courtship.


Analysis example1

Analysis-Example

  • A reader could expect that the paper will provide an explanation of the analysis of barn owl flight behavior, and then an explanation of the two kinds of flight patterns.


Three specific types of thesis statements2

Three Specific Types of Thesis Statements

  • Expository (Explanatory)

    • Illustrative essays

    • Explicative essays

    • Descriptive essays


Explanation essay

Explanation Essay

  • In an expository paper, you are explaining something to your reader.


Explanation essay1

Explanation Essay

  • An expository (explanatory) thesis statement will tell your audience:

    • What you are going to explain to them.

    • The categories your are using to organize your explanation.

    • The order in which you will be presenting your categories.


Explanation questions

Explanation Questions

  • What am I trying to explain?

  • How can I categorize my explanation into different parts?

  • In what order should I present the different parts of my explanation?


Explanation example

Explanation-Example

  • The lifestyles of barn owls include hunting for insects and animals, building nests, and raising their young.


Explanation example1

Explanation-Example

  • A reader could expect that the paper will explain how owls hunt for insects and animals, build nests, and raise their young.


Three specific types of thesis statements3

Three Specific Types of Thesis Statements

  • Argumentative

    • Persuasive essays

    • Argumentative essays

    • Cause/Effect essays


Argumentation essay

Argumentation Essay

  • In an argumentative paper, you are making a claim about a topic and justifying this claim with reasons and evidence.


Argumentation essay1

Argumentation Essay

  • This claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation.


Argumentation essay2

Argumentation Essay

  • This claim must be one that someone could possibly disagree with because the goal of the paper is to convince the reader that your claim is true based on your presentation of your reasons and evidence.


Argumentation questions

Argumentation Questions

  • What is my claim or assertion?

  • What are the reasons I have to support my claim or assertion?

  • In what order should I present my reasons?


Argumentation example

Argumentation—Example

  • Barn owls’ nests should not be eliminated from barns because barn owls help farmers by eliminating insect and rodent pests.


Argumentation example1

Argumentation—Example

  • A reader could expect that the paper will present an argument and evidence that farmers should not get rid of barn owls when they find them nesting in their barns.


Review checklist

Review Checklist


Checklist questions3

Checklist Questions

  • Does the statement make a concise assertion about your topic?

  • Is the assertion limited to only one idea?

  • Is the assertion specific and significant?


Checklist questions4

Checklist Questions

  • Does the statement at least imply your purpose?

  • Is the statement unified so that the parts relate to each other?


Works cited

Works Cited


Works cited1

Works Cited

  • Most of the information provided in these slides was plucked (either word-for-word or paraphrased) from Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab.

  • Visit the website for more information:

    • http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/print


Works cited2

Works Cited

  • Most of the information provided in these slides was plucked (either word-for-word or paraphrased) from The Little Brown Handbook, 8th ed. Instructor’s Annotated Edition.

  • Author’s: H. Ramsey Fowler, Jane E. Aaron, and Janice Okoomian

  • Visit the website for more information:

    • http://www.awl.com/littlebrown


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