“Some are born writers. Some achieve writing. Some have writing thrust upon them.” Shakespeare • The conscious to the unconscious mind. • Plato’s chariot. • intervals • Ascend to the abstract.
know your audience! • Readers like to be taught and entertained. • know their location. • indication of beginning, middle, and end.
Before I tell you what a thesis is, let me tell you what it is not • It is not a topic or title. • It is not a statement or purpose. • It is not about the content or opinion. • It is not a simple statement of fact. • It is not a question.
The following are not thesis statements • Repairing a broken friendship • How to repair a broken friendship • This essay will show how a broken friendship can be repaired. • This essay is about repairing a broken friendship. • It seems to me that no true friendship can be broken beyond repair. • Centuries ago friendship was taken much more seriously than it is today. • Is it possible to repair a broken friendship. • You get the point!
A thesis statement is an ASSERTION! • Repairing a broken friendship is not as easy as it may seem. • Repairing a broken friendship requires humility, courage, and resourcefulness. • Repairing a broken friendship is a moral obligation
“The art of writing has for a backbone some fierce attachment to an idea.” Virginia Woolf
It is declarative! • An assertion, not the expression of an opinion or a speculation.
It is Controversial! • A statement that must be proved. • A statement worth the time of the reader.
It is Verifiable! • It must be proved and it must be able to be proved.
Too Broad? • shelf full of books • = too broad. • A good topic addresses a specific question or problem. • summed up in a word or two, like smoking, school cheating, education, overweight teens, corporeal punishment, Korean War, or hip hop • = too broad.
Tell me what you are going to tell me • Attention Getter • Thesis at end of intro paragraph • Transition • Actually tell me!! • Transition • Transition • Transition • Thesis restated at beginning of concluding paragraph • Retell me what you just told me!!!!
apply the old who, what, where, when, why, and how? • Paddling. • Paddling in grade school. (where) • Emotional effects of paddling in grade school. (what and where) • Emotional effects of paddling on female children (what, who)
Hip hop. • Hip hop as therapy. (what) • Hip hop as therapy in Japan. (what and where) • Hip hop as therapy for delinquent youth in Japan. (what, where, who)
re-visit and re-write your thesis, often • flexible, • not unusual to revise • Often research fits just outside the boundary of your thesis • See if your thesis fulfills the following roles: • Clear and specific DECLARATION • Inherently CONTROVERSIAL • provides structure. • supported by the body paragraphs. • Objectively VERIFIABLE
You are a member of a jury, listening to a lawyer’s opening argument. • guilty or not guilty? • Why and how = the plan • Readers are like jury members: • After reading your thesis statement, the reader should think, • "This essay is going to try to convince me of something. I'm not convinced yet, but I'm interested to see how I might be." • It’s a bet, a contract between writer and reader.
Thesis? YES OR NO? • "Reasons for the fall of communism". • "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" • "The fall of communism is the best thing that ever happened in Europe".
GENERALIZATIONS • never be vague, combative or confrontational. • "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because communism is evil." evil from whose perspective? • what does evil mean?
definable & arguable • "While cultural forces contributed to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the disintegration of economies played the key role in driving its decline"
clear and specific • For example, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because of the ruling elite's inability to address the economic concerns of the people" versus • "Communism collapsed due to societal discontent."
A new height • Anticipate the counter-arguments.. (Every argument has a counter-argument. If yours doesn't, then it's not an argument— • it may be a fact, or an opinion, but it is not an argument.)
Michael Dukakis lost the 1988 presidential election because he failed to campaign vigorously after the Democratic National Convention. • on its way. • too easy for strong counter- arguments. • For example, one might believe that Dukakis lost because he suffered from a "soft-on-crime" image. • anticipate the counter-argument,
While Dukakis' "soft-on-crime" image hurt his chances in the 1988 election, his failure to campaign vigorously after the Democratic National Convention bore a greater responsibility for his defeat.