Thesis Statements

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Thesis Statements
It is typically one sentence; however, sometimes you may need
more than one sentence.
It states the main idea or argument of your essay.
It lets your reader know what to expect.
It is the basis for your entire essay.
It is the most important part of your essay.
It is awesome (kinda).
What does a thesis statement
do?
A thesis statement…
provides the point you want to prove.
Presents your argument in a concise form.
gives the structure your essay will follow.
can provide the opposite point of view.
Are there different types of
thesis statements?
Open vs. Closed
An Open Thesis does not contain the body points.
i.e. Everyone should drive a hybrid car.
A Closed Thesis includes the body points.
i.e. Everyone should drive a hybrid car because they pollute less,
they get better mileage, and they help reduce gasoline costs.
Your thesis is the foundation
of your essay
The entire essay attempts to prove that your thesis is
correct.
Constantly refer back to your thesis to make sure that
your essay is staying on track
If you used a Closed Thesis, your body paragraphs
should cover one of the points mentioned in your
thesis.
Your body paragraphs should go in the same order as the
points they cover were mentioned in the thesis.
How do I write a thesis
statement?
Just as E = mc²…
Subject + Opinion = Thesis
Simple or Complex?
A beginning THESIS STATEMENT:
A is B.
A better THESIS STATEMENT:
A is B because of x, y, and z
A more complex THESIS STATEMENT:
Although C is D, A is B because of x, y, and z.
Thesis Formula
Although
gasoline-powered cars are popular
,
________
people should drive hybrid cars
because they cut down on pollution_,_____________
they save you money on gas, and
_______________________.
hybrid owners receive special tax breaks
most politicians support ongoing funding for the DEA
Although _________________________________________________,
counter argument (opposite of your opinion)
the war on drugs
is a travesty of justice
_________________________ + __________________________
Subject
Opinion
sentencing laws are discriminatory _____________________________,
more prisons than colleges are built
because _____________________________,
reason 1
reason 2
and addition is treated as a crime rather than a disease.
_________________________________________
reason 3
Thesis Formula
Although
many people remain skeptical
,
________
the gov’t should fund research on bigfoot
it exists
because compelling evidence suggests
_____.
Simple or Complex?
Examples:
BASIC THESIS (just alright!): Community colleges are an
important part of California’s educational system.
MORE COMPLEX THESIS (much better!): Community
colleges are an important part of California’s educational
system because they are a more cost-effective way to attain a
degree, classes are smaller, and they prepare students for the
demands of University life.
Simple or Complex?
Examples:
VERY COMPLEX THESIS (perfect!!): Although many
students want to go straight from high school to a
four-year university, community colleges are an important
part of California’s educational system because they are a
more cost-effective way to attain a degree, classes are smaller
than at most four-year universities, and they prepare students
for the demands of University life.
A Few Examples
WEAK
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer was written by Mark Twain in
1876.
WEAK
Some people think that The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is Mark
Twain’s best novel.
STRONG The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is Mark Twain’s best novel.
Although some scholars argue that Huckleberry Finn is Twain’s crowning
achievement, the Adventures of Tom Sawyer is Mark Twain’s best novel
STRONGER because of its use of satire, imagery, and symbolism.
Once all necessary and relevant
background knowledge is stated, it is
typically then that a thesis statement
can be declared in the last sentence of
the introduction paragraph.
Try it!
Prompts
What do you believe are the benefits of daily exercise?
Are online courses better than traditional course? Why or why not?
Do you believe that television has more of a negative or positive impact
on society? Why or why not?
What age do you think is more appropriate for someone to be able to
get their driver’s license, and why?
What do you think should be the main priorities for California’s
budget?
Should marijuana be legalized in CA?
The Five Paragraph Essay
Although dangerous martial arts beneficial because they teach discipline, patience, and character.
The Five Paragraph Essay
In defense of the 5 paragraph essay
Ill Effects of the Five Paragraph theme
The length of your essay—the number of paragraphs, the
sentences in each paragraph, etc—depends on the audience.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that essays should only
be five paragraphs long. Even if you list three points in your
thesis, you may need 20 paragraphs to explain those three
points.
Strategies for Introductions
Controversial statement
Rhetorical Question
Story or anecdote
Startling statistic
Statement of popular opinion that is contradicted or shown
to be untrue
Comparison or analogy
Rhetorical Devices: poetic, repetition, anticipation,
emphasis
Introductions
Scan some website, news sites, blogs, etc., and look for an
article with an engaging introduction.
What makes it engaging? Why do you want to read it?
Individual Work
Exercise:
Try it!
Group Work
Exercise:
Write the first few sentences of an
introduction using rhetorical
device(s).
Topic: What would you change
about Valley College?
Where Does the THESIS
STATEMENT Go?
Strategies for Conclusion
Aristotle, in The Rhetoric, tells us a good writer should do
this in the conclusion: "make the audience well-disposed
towards ourselves and ill-disposed to our opponent."
Go beyond restating and/or summarizing. One
way to achieve this is to explain the benefits if the
audience accepts our view. It's a good
opportunity to make inferences or predictions.
Ask the audience to consider what would happen
if they don’t accept our point of view. Make a
connection to society in general, the bigger
picture, the human condition.

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