Thesis Statements 3 Characteristics of an Effective Thesis Statement 1. States the topic and focus of the paper 2. Provides and overview of supporting points that are logically connected to the focus 3. Uses formal language that is easy to understand States the topic and focus of the paper • Look at your topic and form it into a question – 12. Should homosexuals be permitted to serve in the armed forces? • Your thesis will answer that question – Homosexuals should be allowed to serve in the armed forces because they have an equal investment in freedom, are completely capable of fulfilling all of the duties and show little to no signs of being emotionally compromised while in the service. Now you try • Three major factors cause teenagers to commit murder: the influence of the media, the easy availability of guns, and the lack of family contact. • The death penalty should be abolished for two reasons: it might kill innocent people and it is unfairly applied the poor and minorities. • Two results of promoting birth control are increased education for women and greater economic opportunities for everyone. Provides and overview of supporting points that are logically connected to the focus • Look at the cluster diagram from yesterday • Pick the supporting points that you feel are the strongest • Incorporate them into your thesis – Homosexuals should be allowed to serve in the armed forces because they have an equal investment in freedom, are completely capable of fulfilling all of the duties and show little to no signs of being emotionally compromised while in the service. Now you try • Research Question: Should marijuana be legal? • Rough Outline: a. damage to brain b. Causes memory loss c. Leads to birth defects Thesis: Marijuana should not be legal because it is too dangerous. Thesis: The use of marijuana and alcohol should be legal. Thesis: Using marijuana should be against the law because it damages the brain, causes memory loss, and leads to birth defects. Now you try • Research Question: How does junk food affect health? • Rough Outline a. b. c. Poor nutrition Weight gain Inability to concentrate Thesis: Eating junk food results in poor nutrition, weight gain, and inability to concentrate. Thesis: Junk food and health food are different in several ways. Thesis: Every culture has its own junk food. Uses formal language that is easy to understand • Structure – Three reasons why people became vegetarians are health, ethics, and ecology. – Health, ethics and ecology are three reasons why people become vegetarians. – People become vegetarians for three reasons: health, ethics and ecology. Uses formal language that is easy to understand • Vocabulary – Choose strong key words in the thesis that can be used throughout the paper to help give structure and tie everything to the thesis – Please note the chart on p 54 in Sourcework Common problems Some thesis: 1. statements lack a focus – The US has a lot of crime. 2. No supporting points – Three types of crime have been increasing in US cities. 3. Supporting points that are not logically connected to the focus 4. Contain more information than is necessary 5. Use inappropriate language – In this paper, I will write about why I support capital punishment and what people on the other side have to say about it.