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Literary Analysis Middle School. Creating Effective Thesis Statements and Topic Sentences for Literary Analysis from Laying the Foundation January 2011. What is a thesis statement?.

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Literary Analysis Middle School


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literary analysis middle school

Literary AnalysisMiddle School

Creating Effective Thesis Statements and Topic Sentences for Literary Analysis

from Laying the Foundation

January 2011

what is a thesis statement
What is a thesis statement?
  • “A thesis statement is a sentence that expresses the writer’s position on a certain topic. It is reasonable for the reader of a thesis statement to assume that it will be supported by evidence”
how do i write a literary analysis thesis statement
How do I write a literary analysis thesis statement?
  • Begin with quotations and details from the text
    • As you are reading, highlight or underline important words, phrases, images , and passages, looking for patterns among these elements.
    • Write questions, observations, or inferences you can later use for discussion or writing.
    • Use dialectical journals to help select and analyze important parts of the text.
    • After you have completed the text, browse through your annotations and/or dialectical journals. Write generalizations about the text (thesis statement).
slide4
“Literary analysis thesis statement will address both the means the author uses and the meaning that the author creates.”

In (title of work) ________________, (the author) _____________ uses (imagery, details, dialogue, foreshadowing, personification, metaphor, etc.) ______________________ to (reveal, show, explore, portray, convey, emphasize, suggest) _________________ the (mood, tone, theme, purpose) ____________.

examples of literary analysis thesis statements
Examples of literary analysis thesis statements
  • In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare uses foreshadowing to suggest that danger or a perilous situation is near.
  • In the poem, “Jabberwacky” by Lewis Carroll, the author uses scary-sounding nonsense words to create an ominous yet humorous tone.
  • In Number the Stars, Ellen’s Star of David necklace symbolizes Annemarie’s devotion to her friend and her stance against the Germans.
read the following poem by john masefield
Read the following poem by John Masefield

Sea-Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and sky,

And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;

And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,

And a gray mist on the sea’s face, and a gray dawn breaking.

slide7
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide

Is a wild call and a clear call that cannot be denied,

And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,

And the flung spray and the blow spume and the sea gulls crying.

slide8
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,

To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted* knife;

And all I ask is a merry yarn* from a laughing fellow-rover,

And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

Whetted: sharpened

Yarn: story

fill in the blanks in the literary analysis thesis statements
Fill in the blanks in the literary analysis thesis statements.
  • In the poem “Sea-Fever,” John Masefield uses images connected with _______ to create a _________ tone.
  • In the poem “Sea-Fever,” John Masefield uses sound devices such as ______ to convey the exhilaration and energy of a windy day at sea.
  • In the poem “Sea-Fever,” the author’s choice of adjectives conveys feelings of _____ and ___.
  • In the poem “Sea-Fever,” John Masefield creates a sense of adventurous freedom by using _____________________.
topic sentences

Topic Sentences

What is a topic sentence, and how does it relate to a thesis statement?

slide11
A topic sentence explains or introduces one of the major points that support the writer’s thesis statement. Each body paragraph in a essay must contain a topic sentence that connects all of the information and analysis in that paragraph to one unified idea, and each topic sentence must be related directly to the thesis statement.
selecting topic sentences
Selecting Topic Sentences
  • Here is a possible literary analysis thesis statement for “Sea-Fever” followed by possible topic sentences for the essay.

Read the thesis statement and then select the two topic sentences that best relate to the thesis statement. Find evidence from the poem that supports your choice.

slide13

In the poem “Sea-Fever,” John Masefield reveals his complex attitude toward sailing by using diction, imagery, and figurative language to convey the lonely but exciting life of a sailor.

Topic Sentences (choose two):

  • The speaker personifies the seas as a powerful being that demands that the sailor return.
  • The poem is divided into three four-line stanzas.
  • The speaker’s description of the solitude of the sea makes the seaman’s life seem romantic.
  • Masefield’s use of alliteration reflects his desire to return to the sea.
slide15

Pick one of the following literary analysis thesis statements for an essay for “Sea-Fever.” Write two possible topic sentences for the essay.

  • In the poem “Sea-Fever,” John Masefield uses figurative language to convey his close relationship with the sea and his attraction to the sailing life.
  • In his poem “Sea-Fever,” John Masefield uses emotional diction to depict his strong feelings about the sea.
slide16

Read the following writing prompts. Choose one of the prompts. Now write one thesis statement and at least two topic sentences that would response appropriately to the prompt.

  • Heroes have special qualities that people admire. Heroes give us examples of the courage and strength it takes to face difficult situations and challenges in life.

Think of someone who is your personal hero. In a well-developed composition, describe this person and explain two qualities you most admire about him or her.

slide17
Write a persuasive essay stating whether the school day should be lengthened by two hours so that all students can get help with homework. Give at least two reasons to support your position. Remember you must argue in such a convincing manner that others will agree with you.
slide18
Thesis Statement: ____________________________________________________________________
    • Topic Sentence: __________________________________________________________________________
    • Topic Sentence: __________________________________________________________________________
    • Topic Sentence: __________________________________________________________________________
slide19

Review an essay that you have written. Identify your thesis statement and the topic sentences in each of your paragraphs that relate to your position. Use the following outline on a separate sheet of paper.

Thesis Statement: ____________________________________________________________________

  • Topic Sentence: __________________________________________________________________________
  • Topic Sentence: __________________________________________________________________________
  • Topic Sentence: __________________________________________________________________________