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Thesis Statements, Topic Sentences and Analysis. Common Openings. To what extent How much, to what degree, what quantity Assess Determine degree of accuracy of a given statement Analyze Separate, breakdown into parts, show relationships Evaluate

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common openings
Common Openings
  • To what extent
    • How much, to what degree, what quantity
  • Assess
    • Determine degree of accuracy of a given statement
  • Analyze
    • Separate, breakdown into parts, show relationships
  • Evaluate
    • Judge, value, rate, rank, show relationships
  • Describe/Discuss/Explain
    • Give detail, picture, relationships to other things
to what extent questions
To What Extent Questions
  • “To what extent" requires an answer on a continuum somewhere between "not at all" and "completely or totally."
  • Avoid the absolutes since the phrase indicates that the answer is somewhere in the middle.
to what extent questions4
To What Extent Questions
  • "...much more important than..." or "...somewhat true that..." or "...slightly greater factor than..."
  • "Although US relations with the Soviet Union were a factor in the decision to drop the atomic bomb, the main reason...."
  • Use wording that indicates comparison
to what extent questions5
To What Extent Questions
  • Take a strong position and then leave room for exceptions to your strong position.
  • This helps you create an excellent complex thesis.
to what extent questions6
To What Extent Questions
  • “to what extent” requires both a yes and a no response. 
  • Make it very clear whether your essay is going to argue MORE STRONGLY for the yes or the no view of the issue.
  • Something happened to some (how much) extent, but didn't happen completely or totally because...
thesis statement
Thesis Statement
  • Without using the word “I” clearly express the historical analysis that you intend to argue.
  • Capture the attention of the reader and do not simply restate or reword the question.
thesis statement8
Thesis Statement
  • Write a COMPLEX THESISSTATEMENT that will answer the entire question.
  • The thesis should demonstrate that there was a change over time and, if possible, show there is more than one side to the question.
thesis statement9
Thesis Statement
  • Some historians say that the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb to scare Russia, but there is even less evidence to show that the U.S. was punishing Japan.
thesis statement10
Thesis Statement
  • The decision to pursue the atomic bomb was primarily for the purpose of making Japan surrender, while intimidating the Soviets was merely a positive side effect.
thesis statement11
Thesis Statement
  • The 1950’s were more different from the 1920’s Red Scare than it was similar.
thesis statement12
Thesis Statement
  • Although there were some similarities between the two Red Scares, the differences were greater.
thesis statement13
Thesis Statement
  • While they had their differences, the two Red Scares were still overall more similar than different.
thesis statement14
Thesis Statement
  • Although they still shared the same target, the two Red Scares were greatly different.
thesis statement15
Thesis Statement
  • Although the fear resulting from the Red Scare in the 20’s was exaggerated, it prepared America for the fear it would experience by a real threat in the 50’s.
thesis statement16
Thesis Statement
  • Even though both scares were provoked by obvious occurrences, the external forces driving the 50’s Red Scare were more understandable than the unfounded threats of the 20’s.
topic sentence mini thesis statement
Topic Sentence-Mini Thesis Statement
  • A topic sentences written as a mini-thesis is less likely to lead to a paragraph that only has historical narration (SFI).
  • A topic sentence written as a mini-thesis is more likely to lead to a paragraph that includes both narration (SFI) and historical analysis.
topic sentence
Topic Sentence
  • In the case of the Rosenbergs, the main prosecution witness was David Greenglass.
topic sentence19
Topic Sentence
  • Government officials were questioned about communism.
topic sentence20
Topic Sentence
  • The 1920’s Red Scare developed in the United States after the Bolshevik Revolution.
topic sentence21
Topic Sentence
  • Although events overseas sparked a fear of communism, this fear was superficial, because these events were not credible threats to the nation.
topic sentence22
Topic Sentence
  • The Red Scare in the 1950s’, unlike that in the 1920’s actually posed a real threat to the United States.
topic sentence23
Topic Sentence
  • In the case of the Rosenbergs, the main prosecution witness was David Greenglass, whose testimony was not only questionable, but proved to be unreliable because of his motives.
topic sentence24
Topic Sentence
  • The strategies of the civil rights movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. were of nonviolence, while the Black Panthers called for more direct action.
topic sentence25
Topic Sentence
  • The majority of civil rights movement was lead by leaders who supported nonviolence.
topic sentence26
Topic Sentence
  • As the movement progressed into the later 1960s, violence began to inhibit the goals and strategies for integration and equality with whites.
topic sentence27
Topic Sentence
  • Nonviolence in the African American civil rights movement of the early 1960s caused the greatest change in national legislation.
topic sentence28
Topic Sentence
  • African American goals moved closer to reality as their actions and protests demanded the notice of others.
topic sentence29
Topic Sentence
  • While Martin Luther King Jr. aroused support in favor of a nonviolent movement, other organizations and leaders presented alternatives that were incapable of accomplishing what he had with nonviolence.
topic sentence30
Topic Sentence
  • The 1960’s was an ideal period for the civil rights movement, since the nation was already in the mood for change as a result of the protests over the Vietnam War.
describing versus analyzing
Describing Versus Analyzing
  • Lower scores are given to essays that only describe or narrate what happened.
  • Higher scores are given to essays that also analyze.
analysis means
Analysis Means
  • The ability to demonstrate the knowledge of WHY AND HOW rather than a mere knowledge of the historical facts.
analysis means33
Analysis Means
  • Going beyond just providing the reader with historical information by making relevant inferences, connections and associations.
analysis demonstrates
Analysis Demonstrates
  • That a student has a more in depth understanding of the essay topic and a much higher level of thinking.














  • The nonviolent approach to combat racial injustice proved to be the most effective approach in helping blacks to gain the respect of legislators as well as bring new legislation.
  • Therefore, it can be said that nonviolent demonstrations among African Americans brought the most change in national legislation.
  • Therefore, the aggression and violence of the civil rights movement beginning in the late 1960s did not result in changes for the better, but actually created change for the worse.