ESSAY Introduction Thesis Statement Body Paragraph #1 Body Paragraph #2 Body Paragraph #3 The Thesis Statement A Road Map for Your Essay
Introduction Thesis Statements After you have brainstormed and you have some main ideas of what you would like to write in your essay, you can begin thinking about writing a thesis statement. What’s a thesis statement????
Definition Thesis Statement A thesis statement is a complete sentence that contains one main idea. This idea controls the content of the entire essay. A thesis statement that contains subpoints also helps a reader know how the essay will be organized. Look at the introductory paragraph below. See if you can identify the thesis statement and subpoints.
Definition Thesis Statement When I was young, I always knew that I wanted to become a teacher someday. When I played, I would often gather my dolls together and pretend to teach them how to do math problems or how to read a book. As I grew older, my desire to become an ESL teacher became clearer as I did some volunteer teaching overseas and in the United States. As I look back on my reasons for becoming a teacher, there are three reasons that stand out. They are: my love for the English language, my innate interest in how people learn, and my desire to help other people . Subpoints in the thesis or nearby help the reader know how the essay will be organized The thesis statement contains the main idea that controls the content of the essay.
Thesis Statement Another Example Psychologists have argued for decades about how a person’s character is formed. Numerous psychologists believe that one’s birth order (i.e. place in the family as the youngest, oldest, or middle child) has the greatest influence. I believe birth order can have a significant impact in the formation of a child’s character based on my own experience growing up in a family of four children. Birth order can strongly affect one’s relationship with parents, relationships with others, and how one views responsibility as an adult. The thesis statement contains the main idea that controls the content of the essay. Subpoints in the thesis or nearby help the reader know how the essay will be organized
Key Features Thesis Statement • states the main idea of the essay in a complete sentence, not in a question. • is usually at the end of an introduction. • states an opinion or attitude on a topic. It doesn’t just state the topic, itself. • often lists subtopics. • does not directly announce your main topic.
Key Features Main Idea in a Complete Sentence Since the thesis statement is the main statement for the entire essay, it should express a complete thought and be a complete sentence. The thesis statement is asserting an opinion or idea, so it should not be a question. Look at the examples below to see how they can be made into thesis statements.
This is not a complete sentence. The sport of cross-country running. Why do I want to be a teacher? This is a question, not a statement. Key Features Main Idea in a Complete Sentence The sport of cross-country running has allowed me to get in better shape and meet some interesting people. Thesis Statement Being a teacher is a great profession, because it allows me to work with students and be creative. Thesis Statement
This is not a complete sentence. The problem of pollution in big cities. Why should marijuana be legalized? This is a question, not a statement. A Complete Sentence Another Example The problem of pollution in major cities can be alleviated by limiting the number of cars allowed to drive on city streets and creating more efficient public transportation systems. Thesis Statement Marijuana should be legalized because it is not any more addictive than tobacco and it can provide numerous medicinal benefits for those suffering from terminal illnesses. Thesis Statement
Key Features Location English readers like to know what an essay will be about near the beginning of the essay rather than at the end. This is why the thesis statement is often found at the end of the introductory paragraph.
Key Features States an Opinion or Attitude Good thesis statements often express a writer’s opinion or attitude on a particular topic. This makes the thesis statement more specific and requires the writer to explain or prove his/her opinion in the essay. Look at the examples below.
Key Features States an Opinion or Attitude Learning to play many musical instruments when I was young helped me to become a more intelligent and well-rounded person. I learned to play many musical instruments when I was young. This thesis statement is much better because it expresses how the writer feels about the experience of learning to play musical instruments. This thesis statement requires the writer to explain how and why playing a musical instrument made him/her a better person. This would not be considered a good thesis statement because it is only expressing a fact. It doesn’t give the writer’s opinion or attitude on playing musical instruments. This thesis statement doesn’t give the writer very much to explain or prove in his/her essay.
Key Features Subtopics You can make your thesis statement more specific by including subtopics or supporting ideas. By doing this, you give your reader a clear idea of what will follow in the body paragraphs of your essay.
subtopic #2 subtopic #1 subtopic #3 Key Features Subtopics The large influx of people to California has had major effects on the state. No subtopics are named in this thesis statement. The large influx of people to California has had major effects on the ability of the state to provide housing, electricity, and jobs for all residents. This statement names three subtopics. Can you find all of the subtopics?
subtopic #1 subtopic #2 subtopic #3 Subtopics Another Example Inner-city public schools grapple with some serious problems. No subtopics are named in this thesis statement. Some of the most serious problems in today’s inner-city public schools are the overcrowded classrooms, the low percentage of trained teachers, and the lack of resources such as textbooks for students. This statement names three subtopics. Can you find all of the subtopics?
Key Features Don’t State the Obvious In thesis statements, you should avoid using statements like, “This essay will discuss…” or “I’m going to write about…”. Try to write a thesis statement that captures your reader’s attention without announcing your main topic and stating the obvious. Look at the examples below.
Key Features Don’t State the Obvious In this essay, I am going to discuss the effects of long-term drug abuse. Long-term drug use can have disastrous effects on one’s marriage, career, and health.
THE OUTLINE • After brainstorming, coming up with a thesis and subtopics you can now order all your information into an outline.
Introduction What is an outline ? Before you begin writing the first draft of your essay, it is best to make an outline. An outline is a general plan of what you are going to write. You can compare making an outline to drawing plans to build a house. Before one begins to build a house, it is best to draw up plans to make sure that a house is built in the way you want. The same is true with writing an essay and making an outline.
for potential employers to get to know you • better, so it is important that you answer each • question as completely as possible. • A. Ask interviewers to repeat questions you don’t understand. • B. Take some time to think about the questions before you answer. • C. A notebook to write down key words in interview questions is sometimes helpful. • IV. Body Paragraph #3: • Topic Sentence: By preparing some thoughtful • questions for the end of the interview, you can • show the panel that you have prepared for the • interview and want the job. • A. Research the job and/or company before you go to the interview. • B. The interview is your opportunity to get to know your potential employer. Ask questions about company goals, mission, expectations of employees, etc. • C. Don’t ask questions about benefits or salary during the interview. You should try to get this information before you apply for the job. • Conclusion:Don’t underestimate the importance of a good interview. Example Outline • Introduction- Thesis Statement:A job interview can often make or break your chances of getting your dream job. There are several things that you can do in an interview to increase the possibility of your success such as, dressing properly, answering interview questions thoroughly, and asking good questions at the end of the interview. • Body Paragraph #1: • Topic Sentence: The way you dress can have a • big impact on an interview panel’s first • impressions of you. • A. Men and women should consider wearing dark suits. • B. Conservative dress will show the interview panel you are serious about what you do. • C. Don’t carry too many things into the interview. A notebook, pens, and/or laptop computer should be carried in a briefcase. • D. Hair and nails should be clean and neat. • III. Body Paragraph #2: • Topic Sentence: An interview is an opportunity
The Introductory Paragraph The Paragraph that Hooks Your Reader Introduction ------------------------------
An Introduction Definition and Purpose An introduction is the first paragraph in your essay and contains the thesis statement. The main purposes of an introduction are to… • present the focus of your essay and give your reader some general information about your subject. • catch your reader’s attention so that he/she will become interested in reading your essay.
An Introduction A Closer Look Let’s look at that introduction again and see how the sentences become more and more specific leading to the thesis statement. There are a number of frightening disease epidemics occurring in the United States today, but one of the most frightening is the epidemic spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Among the most serious of these sexually transmitted diseases is HIV which leads to AIDS, a fatal disease. General Statements HIV is especially problematic among homeless people. More Specific This particular population is difficult to treat due to a number of barriers such as, limited access to health care, mistrust of health care professionals, and a lack of awareness of the disease, itself. Very Specific: Thesis Statement
Example #2 A Closer Look Look at the example below to see how the sentences in the introduction become more and more specific leading to the thesis statement. General Statements Overpopulation and finding ways to reduce it are big concerns of many developing nations today. One nation that is concerned about this issue is India. One of the biggest causes of overpopulation in India is the high infant mortality rate. More Specific Parents often have more children because they are fearful that if some children die, there won’t be enough children to take care of them in their old age. India is taking some important steps in dealing with this problem. Some of the steps the Indian government is taking are providing birth control for women, improving pre-natal care, and educating women on the benefits of having fewer children. Very Specific: Thesis Statement
Body Paragraphs Writing Paragraphs of Importance
Essay Body Paragraphs Purpose The body paragraphs in your essay support the main idea in your thesis statement by breaking it down into smaller ideas or subtopics. Ideas in your paragraphs should relate back to the thesis statement. Body Paragraph 3 _____________ Introduction & Thesis Statement Body Paragraph 4 _____________ Body Paragraph 1 _____________ Body Paragraph 2 _____________ Body Paragraph 5 _____________
indent Body Paragraphs Form Most paragraphs contain between five to ten sentences. The first line of a paragraph is usually indented (begin a few spaces to the right of the margin) to show that there is a new paragraph. ________________________ . ____________________. _____________________. _________________________. ____________________________. ____________________. ______________________. ______________________________.
Key Features Body paragraphs should should contain some of the following features… • A Topic Sentence • Supporting Sentences • Rebuttal to Criticism • A Concluding Sentence • Unity
Concluding Sentence Useful Expressions It is sometimes helpful to have a concluding expression in your last sentence to signal the end of your paragraph. Some common expressions used in concluding sentences are listed below. • As we can see, • Finally, • In summary, • Consequently, • As a result, • These examples show that…
Unity Definition Good paragraphs have unity. That means that each sentence in the paragraph is related to the topic sentence. Unified paragraphs also discuss only one main idea.
The End The Conclusion Making Your Last Paragraph Count
A Conclusion Definition and Purpose The conclusion is the last paragraph in your essay. A conclusion completes the essay and reemphasizes your thesis statement or main ideas.
A Conclusion So What? In addition to referring back to your main idea, your conclusion needs to show your reader the significance of your thesis. When discussing the importance of your thesis, try to address questions such as… • How and why is this topic important? • How might this topic affect me or other people? • What can be learned from this topic?
The writer concludes by discussing the lessons learned from his experience. The first two sentences reemphasize the thesis statement. Example #2 Thesis Statement There were several factors that caused my family to make the difficult decision to immigrate to the United States. Conclusion Paragraph The decision to move to the United States was a difficult one for my parents to make. Though I was angry with their decision at the time, I understand now that the poor economy and political instability of my country forced them to immigrate. Through this experience I learned that one simply cannot control all of life’s circumstances. One must learn to deal with tough situations as they come and work to be successful regardless of one’s location.
A Conclusion Useful Transitions It is sometimes helpful to have a transition at the beginning of your conclusion to signal the end of your essay. Some common transitions used in conclusions are listed below. Remember to use a comma after your transitions. • In conclusion, • Therefore, • In summary, • To conclude, • Thus, • In short,
The Final Draft Reflecting on Your Work
The Final Copy Before you turn in your final draft essay to your instructor, make sure that you have followed the instructions below. Is it typed? Properly Cited? Does it contain all the resources required of you? Do you have a strong thesis with subtopics? Do your body paragraphs relate to your thesis? Do you address potential criticism (rebuttals?) Do you conclude in a creative and powerful way?
Practice Makes Perfect! • In your group, come up with a thesis statement supporting the following statement: Abortions should be illegal. Work quickly you only have 2 minutes.