Writing Boot Camp! Pt. 1 Introductions, Thesis Statements, and Topic Sentences AY! This is General C with PART 1 of your GOSH DANG Writing Bootcamp. Today we will learn how to: WRITE A COHERENT THESIS STATEMENT, COMPOSE LOGICAL TOPIC SENTENCES, AND CONSTRUCT A KILLER INTRODUCTION. NOW OPEN UP YOUR NOTEBOOKS AND GRAB A PENCIL YOU LAZY MAGGOTS!
Critical Writing...Huh? • Critical writing might be defined in many ways, there are three concepts that you need to understand before you begin to write: • Critical writing is writing done by scholars for other scholars. • Critical writing is devoted to topics and questions that are of interest to the academic community. • Critical writing should present the reader with an informed argument.
But ‘Where do I start?’ you might ask... Start with a thesis statement!
The Thesis Statement • Before Writing a Thesis… • Q: Who is my audience? • A: Someone who is familiar with the text or concept but not with my argument. • Q: What is my purpose? • A: To outline and defend my argument using textual evidence. Finally, my purpose is to state why my argument is important.
The Thesis Statement • What is it really? • Presents your perspective, opinions, or thoughts on a subject of issue. You cannot write an essay without one. This is your POSITION in ONE sentence. • A simple formula to follow: SUBJECT + YOUR UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE = A QUALITY THESIS • DO NOT: • List your body paragraphs • Use “In my opinion” or any variation of the phrase • State a simple fact
Thesis Statements: Good vs. Bad A good thesis is… A bad thesis is… • Limited to one main idea • Your take with NO FLIMSY LANGUAGE • Follows the formula of a quality thesis statement. • Good examples:In The Tempest the expression of memory emphasizes what is missing in characters and ultimately motivates the characters to take action to make their lives more complete.Shakespeare uses the color black to illuminate moments in which Macbeth’s makes decisions at odds with what his conscience tells him to do. • Long and overly complex • “In a world where love seems to concrete, Tim O’Brien is able to outline how intensely convoluted love can get when you remove it from everyday life and put it in the wartime context.” • Includes more than one idea • “In TTTC, the author describes how fear, love, and courageousness can be found in the war setting.” • FLIMSY • “Afewcharacters in TTTC demonstrate their willingness to endure physical pain over mental anguish.” • “Various characters in TTTC demonstrate their willingness to sometimesendure physical pain over mental anguish.”
I have a thesis! Where do I go from here? Write your topic sentences!
Topic Sentences • What are they? They are the thesis statements of your body paragraphs (1 sentence each paragraph). • A good topic sentence does a few things: • Relates to the thesis • Sets up a claim, assertion, argument, or evaluation • Contains a main idea about the topic/position that will be developed in the sentences that follow.
Topic Sentences: Strong vs. Weak Strong Weak • Predicts or promises what follows (can’t be a question) • Is an argument that supports the thesis—in other words needs to be proven • Leads the reader from the thesis statement through a logical progression to the conclusion • Needs to be clear and specific, so that it can set up the rest of the paragraph for the reader. • Uses phrases such as “I think” or “In my opinion” • Is a fact from the text • Repeats the thesis statement
Sample Writing Skeleton Writing an essay about the issue of “love” in The Things They Carried • Thesis statement: “In TTTC, Tim O’Brien demonstrates how love becomes complicated in the context of war.” • Topic sentence 1: “The earliest, and most complicated, example of this is Jimmy Cross’ love for Martha.” • Why? Example. Analysis. Transition. Example. Analysis. • Topic sentence 2: “Unrequited love is not the only form of this sentiment that becomes complicated; brotherly love also becomes skewed.” • How? Example. Analysis. Transition. Example. Analysis. • Topic sentence 3: “Finally, we see how paternal love, even after the war, feels the effects of combat.” • Where? Example. Analysis. Transition. Example. Analysis. • Conclusion topic sentence: “Tim O’Brien is able to show the reader that it’s not only the violence that characterizes a war.” • Thesis development. Leave reader with something to take away.
Hot dog! I have a THESIS and TOPIC Sentences! Now what? Create your introduction!
Introductions • An introduction is often the most difficult part of the essay to write. That’s why you need to know WHAT you’re writing about, so that you can work to draw the reader in. • An intro includes: • Broad Hook - Works to hook the reader in by creating a relatable connection (1 Sentence). • The link between the very broad hook and your thesis statement. References the components of your paper which will be further developed within the body paragraphs (2-3 sentences). • And finally, your THESIS STATEMENT.
Let’s Put It to Work • Read the following essay was written in response to the following prompt. Siddhartha has many "helpers" or guides throughout his quest for enlightenment. Choose either one or more of these individuals (including the river) and discuss how they were relevant to the outcome of Siddhartha's journey/quest for enlightenment. • HIGHLIGHT the following: • The broad hook that draws the reader in. • The thesis statement • The topic sentences