The First and Second Steps in Essay writing STEP 1 Begin with a Point, or THESIS (THESIS STATEMENT)
Understanding Thesis statements • A good T.S. does two things in an essay! • It tells the readers an essay’s topic • It presents the writer’s ATTITUDE, OPINION, IDEA, OR POINT about that topic. Examples: • College life is very stressful for first year students. • Burger King is much better than McDonalds. • Celebrities are often poor role models.
The Don’ts of Thesis Statements 1. Write statements, not Announcements! Examples: The subject of this paper will be… I want to talk about … In this essay I want to express… My opinion of fast food restaurants is… This essay is about… I want to explain the… 2. Avoid statements that are too BROAD! Example – Men and women are very different. 3. Avoid statements that are too NARROW! Example – In Puerto Rico, a person must be 18 yrs old in order to vote in the elections. 4. Write statements that contain only ONE IDEA! Example - Group work has many advantages, but at the same time it brings many difficulties.
Writing a Good Thesis • Limit your topic until you can control it! GENERAL TOPIC LIMITED TOPIC THESIS Video Games Grand Theft Auto The GTA video game is too violent for children. Ways to limit your topic: 1. specific items (persons, aspects, things) 2. specific locations (places) 3. specific time periods 4. classifications and categories
STEP 2 Support the Thesis with Specific Evidence • The second basic step is to support the thesis with specific reasons or details. • In a standard academic essay, you should advance (3) three main supportive details. Example TS -Going to the movies is a real problem. Support 1. Inconvenience of going out 2. Tempting and expensive snacks 3. Behavior of other moviegoers Thesis statement: The hazards of going out, the expensive snacks, and the behavior of other movie goers are some of the problems of going to the movies.
Practice Exercises Directions: Limit the following topics and then provide a good thesis statement for each one by using three supportive details. GENERAL TOPIC LIMITED THESIS STATEMENT • Sports • Universities • Education • Festivals • Expensive Cars • Hospitals • Camping • Vacations • Teenagers • Fashion Trends