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Writing an Essay. Mr. Wilson – LMAC- 2012. Thesis Statement. Writing a Thesis Statement. When writing a thesis statement, first you have to narrow your focus – how? Pick ONE theme from your chosen piece Examples: The unwanted child Jules’ Logic The Pinocchio effect ??? Choose you own!.

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writing an essay

Writing an Essay

Mr. Wilson – LMAC- 2012

writing a thesis statement
Writing a Thesis Statement

When writing a thesis statement, first you have to narrow your focus – how?

  • Pick ONE theme from your chosen piece


  • The unwanted child
  • Jules’ Logic
  • The Pinocchio effect
  • ??? Choose you own!
writing a thesis statement1
Writing a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is a road mapfor your paper; in other words it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.

It puts forth an arguable opinionabout a subject.

A thesis is an opinion and not a list of facts or summary.

writing a thesis statement2
Writing a Thesis Statement

A strong thesis has three parts: S.O.B.

(1) A subject- it has to be a statement about the author, i.e. NO PASSIVE VOICE;

(3) A blue-print- there has to be some mention of the literary elements and/or author's techniques you are going to talk about in your essay;

(2) An opinion- or claim about the subject - this is your ARGUMENT. Someone else might disagree with it.

writing a thesis statement3
Writing a Thesis Statement


  • If you get stuck using the verb “To be” then you are probably writing in the PASSIVE VOICE – change your subject.
  • Avoid phrases such as “I think” and “In this paper I will…” in your thesis. It weakens your argument. (written in 3rd person);
  • NOT morals, slogans, or restating the obvious.
thesis statement examples
Thesis Statement - Examples

Have you ever felt connected to someone by a material or object? In the short story Very Special Shoes by Callaghan, Callaghan expressed how a daughter will always be in memory with her mother through a pair of red leather shoes. Mary’s mother bought her those red leather shoes because her mother wanted the shoes to be that last thing that Mary received from her so that those shoes will always have a special importance and a special memory that will only be between Mary and her mother.

thesis statement examples1
Thesis Statement - Examples

In this short story the author puts a lot of emotion into it. The story basically focuses on how a red pair of shoes could be so important to a little girl. Mary continuously asks her mother for these red pair of shoes, and the mother finally gives in, but these pair of shoes can cause a lot of tension between the family members. Callaghan’s short story Very Special Shoes shows how these red pair of shoes could be an issue for Mary and her other family members.

thesis statement examples2
Thesis Statement - Examples

In the poem America, written by Claude McKay, the man in the story explains how he feels about America. He describes his good and bad feelings using the sentence “I love this cultured hell that tests my youth.” The author of the poem lived in America during the Great depression which means he lived through the hard times of America.

thesis statement examples3
Thesis Statement - Examples

Not to Keep is a war poem by Robert Frost about a woman receiving a letter and reuniting with her husband only to find out he is to return to war in a week. Frost creates a negative tone in this poem through the dialogue and relationship of between the two characters. While this poem is clear about its theme being war, what it seems to hide in detail the agony that the poor woman has to face, watching her husband head off to war once more, waiting in a dying hope that her husband will return back alive.

writing a thesis statement4
Writing a Thesis Statement


Suzanne Collinsdemonstrates the flaws of a dictatorship or absolute power using the metaphor of Katniss' experiences and her loss of freedom.

writing an outline1
Writing an Outline

Before you can start writing your outline…

  • You should probably have read the entire book.
  • You will need your notes/book for reference.
  • Your THESIS statement must be ready.
writing an outline2
Writing an Outline

Outlines are supposed to be….

  • In the proper order!
  • Get your quotes ready…
writing an outline3
Writing an Outline

Your Introduction and your Conclusion…

  • Introduction = The most important part is your Thesis Statement, without it…You will be lost.
  • More or less plan out what do you want to say and in which order. (Good writing is good writing.)
  • Conclusion = is like a summary. You will be repeating yourself, but it has to be DIFFERENT. Close without being cheesy.
  • Get someone to proof-read your Outline to catch anything weird. If they are confused – I will be confused.
writing an outline4
Writing an Outline

The main purpose of an Outline is to be prepared BEFORE you sit down in front of your computer.

You do not want to start writing and then be thinking: “what’s next?”


Editing is an absolute MUST:

  • Never EVER hand in a paper that has not been read by someone else.
  • Many schools offer paper writing seminars, tutoring, editing, etc. and no one shows up.
  • Writing is not easy – it takes work, and lots of practice.

As an editor, what do you look for?

format mla1
Format (MLA)

Start with looking for major MLA issues:

  • Name, class #, Prof., due date....and the Title (centered)
  • Is it double spaced? Indented properly? Page # with last name? Good...
  • Citations?
  • And lastly...the Works Cited page.
writing an introduction
Writing an Introduction

What are the elements of a good introduction?

  • Your opening, an attention grabber – or a hook (this should probably be your first sentence).
  • Necessary information – author’s name, title of the work and either a brief mention of the theme or summary of the story (ONE sentence).
  • THESIS STATEMENT (one sentence).
  • Maybe a brief description of what you are going to cover (one sentence). This is called a TRANSITION.
Be picky!

Don’t read someone else’s work and say “yeah – it’s ok...Whatever.”

That is not your job. Your job is to help them get better.

body paragraphs1
Body Paragraphs

Each paragraph is like a mini-essay:

  • It has an introduction and a specific point – i.e. It connects to your thesis.
  • It provides evidence to support or disprove that point – no evidence? No good.
  • It has a conclusion – each paragraph should have some kind of a natural finish, like a logical conclusion.

If it is less then 3 sentences or more then 8…something is up.

body paragraphs2
Body Paragraphs
  • Your paragraphs should flow in a natural order– you are being evaluated on your ORGANIZATION.
  • You can write as many paragraphs as you want.
  • They should be self-contained (i.e.: with their own beginning, middle and end).
  • Like your conclusion, save the most interesting stuff for the last couple lines of your paragraph.
body paragraphs3
Body Paragraphs

Good writing FLOWS:

  • If you have picked a natural order for your ideas and your paragraphs, then your ideas should flow.
  • CONNECT to your thesis
links to help
Links to Help...

100 transition words

Academic Essays – by Adam Kissel

Transitional and Linking Words used in multiple paragraph essays

  • Your conclusion is exactly that – a short summary of what you have already spoken about, so yes, it will be repetitive.
  • Many times, I have written my conclusion and I have had to go back and change my thesis! Be flexible!
  • This should be the BEST WRITTEN and MOST INTERESTING part of your essay – so make it count!

What is it?

  • Passing off someone else’s ideas as your own– i.e. No citations or Works Cited page = Plagiarism.

Why should you avoid it?

  • Plagiarism is one of the worst forms of cheating.
  • It will remain on your academic record forever.

Why is it so easy to catch high school students?

  • Because you are not very good at it.
  • It is probably just easier to cite everything!
good luck

Good luck!

(Now fly, my pretties! FLY!)