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THESIS STATEMENTS

THESIS STATEMENTS

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THESIS STATEMENTS

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  1. THESIS STATEMENTS The Road Map to a Great Writer’s Journey

  2. ***BRAINSTORM ***

  3. ***Search for Evidence***

  4. ***Reflect***

  5. HOW DOES THE WRITER FORMULATE A THESIS STATEMENT? • Broad Subject-----A Christmas Carol • Specific Topic-----Bob Cratchit • Question about the Topic----Why is he important to the story?

  6. Check the thesis statement: topic + debatable opinion • Can the writer identify the topic of the thesis statement? • The subject might be a symbol, character, motif, archetype, or an aspect of DIDLS (diction, imagery, details, language, sentence structure). • Can the writer identify the opinion? Or does the statement merely identify something in the text?

  7. Check the thesis statement: topic + debatable opinion • Does the thesis merely summarize or only point out an obvious detail or pattern? • Does the diction in the thesis include vague or abstract words that contain too many meanings, thus preventing a clear focus?

  8. Examples of thesis statements without an opinion • *Ebenezer Scrooge is forced to remember events of the past. • *Huck and Jim experience several conflicts during their travel down the river. • *There are many symbols in the book. • *Dickens repeats images of “hands” throughout the novel. • *Matthew Arnold’s sea metaphor plays a significant role in the poem.

  9. Examples of thesis statements with an opinion • *Scrooge’s encounters with the ghosts illustrate the transformative power of memory. • *Huck’s and Jim’s friendship moves through three stages: the meeting, the challenge and survival, and developing love.

  10. Examples of thesis statements with an opinion • *The archetype of clothing reflects Huck’s desire for individuality. • *In Great Expectations, the hands motif indicates Pip’s location in the journey toward maturity. • *The sea metaphor allows Matthew Arnold to develop a political commentary on the Victorian Age, a time in which man is isolated and void of religious conviction, a situation that can only be rectified by human love.

  11. A PAPER CAN BE WITHOUT AN INTRODUCTION, BUT IT MUST HAVE A THESIS. The Thesis should address topic, debatable opinion, and universal idea.

  12. AGAIN, THE THREE ELEMENTS THE THESIS MUST HAVE ARE:1.topic---direction2.debatable opinion---claim3.universal---idea

  13. The claim is the opinion----the verb/verbs will indicate the claim. Examples----argues, reflects, indicates, develops, proves, allows, Justifies, reveals

  14. The verb should push the claim or force the argument.

  15. The universal idea should go beyond the text.

  16. Always-------REVIEW your THESIS STATEMENT and INDICATE THE DIRECTION, CLAIM, AND UNIVERSAL IDEA.

  17. After writing the thesis statement, what next?Organize your evidence. Allow the evidence to determine the organization of the essay.

  18. After organizing evidence, what should the writer do? • Create topic sentences. • Topic sentence (TS) = Organizing Element + Aspect of Thesis

  19. Organization Choices • Time/Chronological. • Thesis: The conch in Lord of the Flies represents the decay of order and civilization. • TS1 In chapter one, the conch is discovered and revered for its power to call the children to an ordered meeting. • TS2 In chapter three, the conch shows signs of losing it civilizing power.

  20. Organization Choices • Word glue in bold. • Place/Spatial. Organize according to locations in the text. • Thesis: The marriages in Great • Expectations depict the variety of virtues and vices presenting this British community. • TS1 Near the story’s beginning, the reader encounters the home ofJoe and Mrs. Joe, a home where truth and innocence are preyed upon.

  21. Organization Choices • TS2 Later, the reader visits the Pockets’ home, a place of idleness and self-centeredness. • Thesis: In The Scarlet Letter, Hester models the emotional strength uncharacteristic of a stereotypical seventeenth century woman.

  22. Organization Choices • TS1 Exiting the prison door, Hester’s demeanor shows the reader her assertiveness. • TS2 At the governor’s house, Hester forcefully displays her confidence.

  23. **Important to remember a TS (topic sentence) is not a plot detail only. A topic sentence that contains only a plot detail does not communicate an organization choice or an aspect of the thesis.

  24. For example, Piggy discovers the conch near the lagoon in chapter one is a plot detail and not a topic sentence.

  25. Organization Choices • Idea/Rhetorical Mode. Organize by definition, a classification, an analogy/comparison, a comparison/contrast, or a cause-effect. • Thesis: In The Tempest Prospero possesses the qualities of leadership which all communities hope to produce.

  26. Organization Choices • Thesis: In The Tempest Prospero possesses the qualities of leadership which all communities hope to produce. • TS1 Prospero demonstrates an ability to restrain hisemotions.

  27. Organization Choices • Thesis: In The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer uses his characters to explore three moral categories. • TS1 The lowest level Chaucer describes is one of complete depravity. • TS2 Chaucer’s second moral plane is defined by the perpetration of evil acts: sloth, selfishness, and hypocrisy.

  28. Organization Choices • Thesis: In Great Expectations Pip finds himself in a situation paralleling the parable of the prodigal son. • TS1 The Bible’s parable begins with the prodigal son who, dissatisfied with his present situation in life, asks his father for his inheritance.

  29. Organization Choices • TS2 After he leaves his home and father, Pip, the prodigal, squanders his inheritance on a life of dissipation. • Thesis: In A Tale of Two Cities, the battle between the human and the inhuman is resolved, with Stryver fleeing as a hypocrite and the unlikely Carton rising as a phoenix to save humanity.

  30. Organization Choices • TS1 The reader first meets Stryver, the self-importantopportunist, contrasted to Carton, a self-deprecating servant, at the trial of Charles Darnay in the Old Bailey. • TS2 Next, in Stryver’s office the reader glimpses the nightly business interactions between an underestimate jackal and a roaring lion.

  31. CHECK THE DICTION OF THE TOPIC SENTENCES • WORD GLUE • Does the writer use word glue to connect the topic with the thesis? The writer may use synonyms or exact words. The writer or reader should be able to draw circles around common words in the thesis and topic sentences. If the writer cannot, the reader might not understand how the writer plans to prove the argument. Look at the example which follows:

  32. CHECK THE DICTION OF THE TOPIC SENTENCES • ORIGINAL FIRST TOPIC SENTENCE • Pip lives in a household of violence and poor relationships. (plot detail) • REVISED • Pip first encounters the impressionable stage of childhood, wherein Pip is not yet able to evaluate situations critically; consequently, Pip surmises an association between hands and acrimonious relationships.

  33. CHECK THE DICTION OF THE TOPIC SENTENCES • ORIGINIAL SECOND TOPIC SENTENCE • Pip begins to hate his life at the forge after he visits Miss Havisham and Estella. (fact from a chapter)

  34. REVISED • Shortly after early childhood, Pip begins to grow into the more contemplative stage of preadolescence, a stage in which he begins to question his surroundings as well as draw conclusions about them.

  35. Thesis • Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” illustrates man’s proclivity since the Fall to sin without cause, to possess the opportunity of reconciliation, and to have the option to do penance, all in hopes of receiving forgiveness.

  36. ORIGINAL FIRST TOPIC SENTENCE • The mariner’s misfortunes begin by abruptly and without cause killing the albatross. (plot detail)

  37. REVISED • Since the Fall, man often discovers himself sinning without cause and sometimes without explanation.

  38. ORIGINAL THIRD TOPIC SENTENCE • The narrator learns that the Mariner must now tell his tale. (plot detail)

  39. REVISED • With reconciliation comes penance, another stage on a path to forgiveness.

  40. PURPOSE • Obviously, the topic sentence must relate to the purpose. • The Topic sentence becomes the thesis for a paragraph and it must also have a direction, a claim, and a universal idea. • Each paragraph must have an order---chronological, spatial, etc.

  41. Thesis Statement Review