ENH 111 Thesis & Support Paper for The Crucible. The Thesis Statement. The Thesis Statement.
The Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is one of the greatest unifying aspects of a paper. It should act as mortar, holding together the various bricks of a paper, summarizing the main point of the paper "in a nutshell," and pointing toward the paper's development.
Answers the question: So what?
Entices the reader to continue reading on.
Identifies the organization of the paper – it promises a reader what information will follow.
What is the main idea of your paper in 25 or fewer words?
What is the assignment asking? How can you answer that question AND focus on a small area of investigation?
What "code words" (such as "relative freedom" or "lifestyles") does the draft of my thesis statement contain? Are these words adequately explained? (You can often find these code words in your assignment’s prompt or question.)
As you read over your paper, have you supported the thesis or digressed? Where? How? Keep in mind every sentence of your paper MUST support your thesis!
Takes some sort of stand.
Expresses one main idea.
Prompt 1: In Salem, an excellent public reputation is essential if one is to be accepted in the community. How does Abigail’s reputation help or hurt her throughout the play? How does her reputation give her strength and/or weaken her?
Prompt 2: Describe the character of John Proctor. Is he independent or a follower? Honest, or hypocritical? How does he feel about himself, and why might he feel that way? Explain with examples.
Prompt 3: The principle accusers in The Crucible are young, unmarried women. What can you deduce about the status of single women in Puritan society? Could the celebrity effect of allegedly being able to identify witches change their status? In what way?
Prompt 4: Danforth admonishes that "--a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between." In other words, there is no room for honest disagreement as far as he's concerned. Is this a fair belief in a court of law? Are there instances where this type of thinking is justified?
Prompt 5: Some of Salem's accused got into trouble merely because they stood up for those who had been arrested. The court obviously believed in guilt by association. What do you think about the theory of guilt by association? Can it ever be valid?
Okay, let’s look at your prompts:
To get your thesis – First, decide what your topic is. Second, decide what your comment is – what do you have to say about your topic? Put those two pieces together and you have your thesis!
Here is my prompt/question: Explain Danforth's course of logic in refusing to pardon the remaining prisoners. What might he have to lose by doing so?
Judge Danforth’s inability to pardon the remaining prisoners shows that although he has a devotion to ridding Salem of the devil, he has a deeper devotion to being right, even though he may end up losing his dignity.
Your thesis must be approved by me and it is worth points! Please be sure that by the end of the day on September 11th I have approved your thesis! You can email it to me prior to September 11th! Remember that September 11this a work day for your paper – but don’t wait till the last minute to get it approved!