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How To Write A Thesis Statement

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How To Write A Thesis Statement
Providing Your Paper Focus
 What
is a Thesis Statement?
 Why do You Need One?
 Writing a Good Thesis Statement
 4 Traits of a Strong Thesis Statement
 A Thesis
Statement is a one (or two)
sentence summary of the argument or
study that follows in the paper.
 Almost all readers---even if we don’t do it
consciously---look early in an essay or
article for this summary.
 To
test your ideas by squeezing them into
a sentence or two.
 To better organize and develop your
argument.
 To provide your reader with a “guide” to
your argument.
 First, reduce
your assignment to a single
question.
• Assigned Topic:
 Write a report describing how a character from S.E.
Hinton’s “The Outsiders” changes.
• Unassigned Topic
 Write about a theme from S.E. Hinton’s “The
Outsiders.”
 Then, write
your answer to the question
using a complex sentence.
A
good thesis statement will usually do
four things:
• Take on a subject upon which reasonable people
could disagree (it’s “testable”)
• Deal with a subject that can be dealt with in the
nature/scope of the assignment
• Express one main idea
• Assert your conclusion about a subject (can be
supported with facts)
 List
general ideas of interest.
• “Sugar Consumption”
 Narrow
the topic.
• “Reducing sugar consumption by elementary
school children.”
 Take
a position on a topic.
• More attention should be paid to the food and
beverage choices available to elementary
school children.
 Use specific language.
• Experts estimate that half of elementary school
children consume nine times the recommended
daily allowance of sugar.
 Make
an assertion based on clearly
stated support.
• Because half of all American elementary school
children consume nine times the recommended
daily allowance of sugar, schools should be
required to replace the beverages in soda
machines with healthy alternatives.
1: A strong thesis statement takes
some sort of stand.
WEAK

There are some good
and bad things about
safaris.
STRONG

Because safari tours in
Burundi promote nature
conservation and the
developing Burundi
economy, they should be
taken by all who can
afford it.
2: A strong thesis statement
justifies discussion.
WEAK

There are many
environmental issues in
Tunisia.
STRONG

While most Americans
view global climate change
as creating bad weather,
many Tunisian are suffering
a direct loss of home, and in
some cases life, because of
the changing environment.
3: A strong thesis statement
expresses one main idea.
WEAK

Zambia has many great
sports, and the
government is improving
so you can visit its
capital.
STRONG

Because the Zambian
government is investing
money into their national
soccer team, the capital
city of Lusaka has
become a safe and
exciting place to visit.
4: A strong thesis is specific.
WEAK

World hunger has many
causes and effects.
STRONG

Hunger persists in
Angola because of the
lack of a strong central
government and farming
in the infertile soil is
rarely profitable.
 A Thesis
Statement tells the reader what
is to follow.
 A Thesis Statement provides the writer
with organization and purpose.
 A Thesis Statement can be viewed as the
answer to the question an assignment
asks you to answer.
A
Good Thesis Statement Has Four Traits:
• It takes some sort of stand.
• It justifies the discussion.
• It expresses one main idea.
• It is specific.
 Also:
• Is a grammatically correct complex sentence
• Can be “tested”
• Can be supported with facts
 Complete
the brainstorming activity for
your country.
 Develop two strong Thesis Statements
with supporting subtopics.
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