What is a thesis • A road map to your essay • Tells YOUR interpretation of the subject matter • A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. • A subject may be Bambi but the thesis would be your interpretation of the meaning of Bambi. Most subjects have many many potential thesis. • Should be specific and cover only what you are talking about in the paper with specific evidence.
Thesis outside of an essay • Thesis can also be found outside of formal essay. • Many argue that any message or meaning that a writer is trying to convey would be their thesis. • For example the story Bambi or the Pigman have a thesis. • Likewise movies have a thesis: The theme of Bambi is growing up, but what is the author arguing about growing up? • That would be the authors thesis, but the arguing of that would be your thesis.
Creating and Developing Original Thesis • Sample assignment: • Analyze Bambi’s coming of age.
Find a Topic • Inform yourself about the topic (re-read, look through notes etc, research when appropriate) • Focus on ONE aspect of the topic: • The struggles bambi faces • Ask if the topic is worthy: • It is worthy because it is not too broad but leaves enough to prove.
Derive a main point from the topic • Look for patterns in evidence • Bambi has to follow his mother • Bambi gets upset when he leaves his mother • Bambi learns about danger and has a hard time with it • Possible conclusion: Bambi had to go through these struggles to grow up, with out them he would be a perpetual child. • Create a purpose statement: • This paper will be about Bambi’s struggles growing up and how in the end they helped him mature.
Create a draft • After creating a purpose statement make a list of proof or reasons • Write a main idea, starting with the reason • The reasons Bambi’s struggle helps him to become an adult is because he has to discover himself and survive on his own to reach maturity, if someone else is always showing him the way he will never find it himself.
Revise • Ask if the thesis covers the assigned topic • Question if each part is relevant and effective • Clarify any vague phrases (thesis statements should be clear and to the point) • Try re-writing it or changing words to improve it.
Other Hints: • If the assignment is a specific question, turn it into a statement and then put reasons after it: • How did Bambi’s struggles help him grow up? • Bambi’s struggles helped him grow up because…. • In what ways did Bambi struggle? How did the struggles affect his growing up? • Bambi struggled with finding his own way. These struggles helped him to grow up. • Also look for patterns in thesis statements and create a formula: • ________ was a story of _________ the main character was ______________ because of _________.
Samples: • Because the Internet is filled with tremendous marketing potential, companies should exploit this potential by using Web pages that offer both advertising and customer support. • Hunger persists in Glandelinia because jobs are scarce and farming in the infertile soil is rarely profitable. • Although many parents of teens struggling with body image may blame television models and other such stars, these body issues and their disorders stem back to their daughters' younger days of pigtails and Barbies • Despite their high-tech special effects, today's graphically violent horror movies do not convey the creative use of cinematography or the emotional impact that we saw in the classic horror films of the 1940s and 50s.
Pick out the thesis: • Both, John Milton in Paradise Lost and Philip Pullman in His Dark Materials series, focus on the biblical fall of man. Pullman draws heavily on Milton’s epic poem for his trilogy, using it as a spring board to corrupt Milton’s presentation and reverse the positive message about god, religion and original sin. To do this he uses the main character of Lyra who plays the role of Eve. At first glance Eve and Lyra are very different, yet they are also similar in many ways. Their similarities not only show Pullman’s agenda, of twisting Milton’s paradise, but it also shows how Milton pushed the norms of gender convention and religious doctrine.
Find the thesis • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll has always been seen as an incoherent children’s fantasy novel with very little relevance. Yet beneath the surface of the wonderland, which Alice falls into, is a poignant social criticism of Adults treatment of children, the troubles of adolescent, and the often irrational adherence of adults to strict protocol and proceedings, as well as a warning to hold on to the innocence of childhood.
The role of school as we discussed in class is to create a unified and homogeneous society, while this is a valid concern and one that guides the curriculum and practices, there are other things that must be addressed. Schooling must also be aware of it’s influence in creating well developed people, helping children to think critically, and it is also a way to help them be apart of large society while also introducing them to new cultures, and validating their own. It is clear that in a large society such as ours there needs to be a way to bring people together creating a functioning guided society. While diversity with in culture is important and should not be over looked there must be a unifying culture in order for all members to be able to interact and function.
There seem to be as many interpretations, and critical analysis of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis as there are people who have read it. The Metamorphosis lends itself to wide and infinite interpretations due to its ambiguous and open ended nature. Two essays that capture this are “Competing theories of identity in Kafka’s The Metamorphosis by Kevin Sweeney and “The Waking: The Themes of Kafka’s Metamorphosis. While one essay, “The Waking” focuses on the metamorphosis as a reaction to the dehumanized and “sick environment”, the other essay, “Competing theories”, focus on the struggle and problem being an internal one for Gregor. However dissimilar the two essays are they do not have to be mutually exclusive in their truths of dissection when it comes to the true meaning of the metamorphosis in fact, in some respects one essay can help clarify where the other falls short.
The poem “Snake” by D.H. Lawrence is full of complex ideas and intense images. The author creates a struggle between two main ideas that create conflicting desires with in the speaker. Through the inner struggle and outer reaction of the speaker in the poem we see the author’s agenda to attack our reliance on social norms that dictate behavior and his prescription to trust you primal urges otherwise you will live in a world of self-deprecation and self-doubt.
The Life and Loves of a She Devil by Fay Weldon is a humorous novel of revenge. Weldon uses the main character Ruth, the lives she touches and skillful narrative to entertain while conveying a powerful message. We see the inherent flaws in the feminist agenda, the unrealistic ideals of women and the cultural entrapments that suppress and control women. Through the narrative strategies of satirical irony and humor the author successfully reveals the flaws of the patriarchal society and the limits of the feminist agenda that both trap women into male dictated ideals.
The universal theme of the struggle of women to find their voice is prevalent in many texts that span the genres. It is addressed very effectively and uniquely in The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston. Through the stories of other women as well as her own thoughts, the narrator paints a picture of the struggle to find ones voice through different societies, generations, and cultures. We see the women that effect her understanding and her life struggle to find voice, and her interpretation of those stories as well as her interaction with her mother highlight her own search for an independent voice. Through the contrasting portraits of woman and the narrators own speculation and insights we get an understanding of the inherent struggle of women to find voice and identity when crossing cultures and trying to balance between outside expectations, while validating the marginalized woman.