Thesis Statements
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  • It should be contestable, proposing an arguable point with which people could reasonably disagree. A strong thesis is provocative; it takes a stand and justifies the discussion you will present.It tackles a subject that could be adequately covered in the format of the project assigned. It is specific and focused. A strong thesis proves a point without discussing “everything about …” Instead of music, think "American jazz in the 1930s" and your argument about it. It clearly asserts your own conclusion based on evidence. Note: Be flexible. The evidence may lead you to a conclusion you didn't think you'd reach. It is perfectly okay to change your thesis!It provides the reader with a map to guide him/her through your work.It anticipates and refutes the counter-argumentsIt avoids vague language (like "it seems").It avoids the first person. ("I believe," "In my opinion")It should pass the So what? or Who cares? test (Would your most honest friend ask why he should care or respond with "but everyone knows that"?) For instance, "people should avoid driving under the influence of alcohol," would be unlikely to evoke any opposition
  • It should be contestable, proposing an arguable point with which people could reasonably disagree. A strong thesis is provocative; it takes a stand and justifies the discussion you will present.It tackles a subject that could be adequately covered in the format of the project assigned. It is specific and focused. A strong thesis proves a point without discussing “everything about …” Instead of music, think "American jazz in the 1930s" and your argument about it. It clearly asserts your own conclusion based on evidence. Note: Be flexible. The evidence may lead you to a conclusion you didn't think you'd reach. It is perfectly okay to change your thesis!It provides the reader with a map to guide him/her through your work.It anticipates and refutes the counter-argumentsIt avoids vague language (like "it seems").It avoids the first person. ("I believe," "In my opinion")It should pass the So what? or Who cares? test (Would your most honest friend ask why he should care or respond with "but everyone knows that"?) For instance, "people should avoid driving under the influence of alcohol," would be unlikely to evoke any opposition
  • It should be contestable, proposing an arguable point with which people could reasonably disagree. A strong thesis is provocative; it takes a stand and justifies the discussion you will present.It tackles a subject that could be adequately covered in the format of the project assigned. It is specific and focused. A strong thesis proves a point without discussing “everything about …” Instead of music, think "American jazz in the 1930s" and your argument about it. It clearly asserts your own conclusion based on evidence. Note: Be flexible. The evidence may lead you to a conclusion you didn't think you'd reach. It is perfectly okay to change your thesis!It provides the reader with a map to guide him/her through your work.It anticipates and refutes the counter-argumentsIt avoids vague language (like "it seems").It avoids the first person. ("I believe," "In my opinion")It should pass the So what? or Who cares? test (Would your most honest friend ask why he should care or respond with "but everyone knows that"?) For instance, "people should avoid driving under the influence of alcohol," would be unlikely to evoke any opposition
  • It should be contestable, proposing an arguable point with which people could reasonably disagree. A strong thesis is provocative; it takes a stand and justifies the discussion you will present.It tackles a subject that could be adequately covered in the format of the project assigned. It is specific and focused. A strong thesis proves a point without discussing “everything about …” Instead of music, think "American jazz in the 1930s" and your argument about it. It clearly asserts your own conclusion based on evidence. Note: Be flexible. The evidence may lead you to a conclusion you didn't think you'd reach. It is perfectly okay to change your thesis!It provides the reader with a map to guide him/her through your work.It anticipates and refutes the counter-argumentsIt avoids vague language (like "it seems").It avoids the first person. ("I believe," "In my opinion")It should pass the So what? or Who cares? test (Would your most honest friend ask why he should care or respond with "but everyone knows that"?) For instance, "people should avoid driving under the influence of alcohol," would be unlikely to evoke any opposition
  • It should be contestable, proposing an arguable point with which people could reasonably disagree. A strong thesis is provocative; it takes a stand and justifies the discussion you will present.It tackles a subject that could be adequately covered in the format of the project assigned. It is specific and focused. A strong thesis proves a point without discussing “everything about …” Instead of music, think "American jazz in the 1930s" and your argument about it. It clearly asserts your own conclusion based on evidence. Note: Be flexible. The evidence may lead you to a conclusion you didn't think you'd reach. It is perfectly okay to change your thesis!It provides the reader with a map to guide him/her through your work.It anticipates and refutes the counter-argumentsIt avoids vague language (like "it seems").It avoids the first person. ("I believe," "In my opinion")It should pass the So what? or Who cares? test (Would your most honest friend ask why he should care or respond with "but everyone knows that"?) For instance, "people should avoid driving under the influence of alcohol," would be unlikely to evoke any opposition
  • It should be contestable, proposing an arguable point with which people could reasonably disagree. A strong thesis is provocative; it takes a stand and justifies the discussion you will present.It tackles a subject that could be adequately covered in the format of the project assigned. It is specific and focused. A strong thesis proves a point without discussing “everything about …” Instead of music, think "American jazz in the 1930s" and your argument about it. It clearly asserts your own conclusion based on evidence. Note: Be flexible. The evidence may lead you to a conclusion you didn't think you'd reach. It is perfectly okay to change your thesis!It provides the reader with a map to guide him/her through your work.It anticipates and refutes the counter-argumentsIt avoids vague language (like "it seems").It avoids the first person. ("I believe," "In my opinion")It should pass the So what? or Who cares? test (Would your most honest friend ask why he should care or respond with "but everyone knows that"?) For instance, "people should avoid driving under the influence of alcohol," would be unlikely to evoke any opposition
  • It should be contestable, proposing an arguable point with which people could reasonably disagree. A strong thesis is provocative; it takes a stand and justifies the discussion you will present.It tackles a subject that could be adequately covered in the format of the project assigned. It is specific and focused. A strong thesis proves a point without discussing “everything about …” Instead of music, think "American jazz in the 1930s" and your argument about it. It clearly asserts your own conclusion based on evidence. Note: Be flexible. The evidence may lead you to a conclusion you didn't think you'd reach. It is perfectly okay to change your thesis!It provides the reader with a map to guide him/her through your work.It anticipates and refutes the counter-argumentsIt avoids vague language (like "it seems").It avoids the first person. ("I believe," "In my opinion")It should pass the So what? or Who cares? test (Would your most honest friend ask why he should care or respond with "but everyone knows that"?) For instance, "people should avoid driving under the influence of alcohol," would be unlikely to evoke any opposition
  • It should be contestable, proposing an arguable point with which people could reasonably disagree. A strong thesis is provocative; it takes a stand and justifies the discussion you will present.It tackles a subject that could be adequately covered in the format of the project assigned. It is specific and focused. A strong thesis proves a point without discussing “everything about …” Instead of music, think "American jazz in the 1930s" and your argument about it. It clearly asserts your own conclusion based on evidence. Note: Be flexible. The evidence may lead you to a conclusion you didn't think you'd reach. It is perfectly okay to change your thesis!It provides the reader with a map to guide him/her through your work.It anticipates and refutes the counter-argumentsIt avoids vague language (like "it seems").It avoids the first person. ("I believe," "In my opinion")It should pass the So what? or Who cares? test (Would your most honest friend ask why he should care or respond with "but everyone knows that"?) For instance, "people should avoid driving under the influence of alcohol," would be unlikely to evoke any opposition
  • It should be contestable, proposing an arguable point with which people could reasonably disagree. A strong thesis is provocative; it takes a stand and justifies the discussion you will present.It tackles a subject that could be adequately covered in the format of the project assigned. It is specific and focused. A strong thesis proves a point without discussing “everything about …” Instead of music, think "American jazz in the 1930s" and your argument about it. It clearly asserts your own conclusion based on evidence. Note: Be flexible. The evidence may lead you to a conclusion you didn't think you'd reach. It is perfectly okay to change your thesis!It provides the reader with a map to guide him/her through your work.It anticipates and refutes the counter-argumentsIt avoids vague language (like "it seems").It avoids the first person. ("I believe," "In my opinion")It should pass the So what? or Who cares? test (Would your most honest friend ask why he should care or respond with "but everyone knows that"?) For instance, "people should avoid driving under the influence of alcohol," would be unlikely to evoke any opposition

Transcript

  • 1. ThesisStatements
  • 2. A good thesisstatement
    • Arguable point. People can disagree about it
    • 3. Can be covered in the format you use
    • 4. Specific and focused – doesn’t cover “everything about”
    • 5. Asserts a conclusion based on evidence
    • 6. Provides reader with a map
    • 7. Anticipates and refutes the counter-arguments.
  • A good thesisstatement
    • Avoids vague language (it seems)
    • 8. Avoids the first person (I believe, In my opinion)
    • 9. Passes the So what? or Who cares? test (Would your most honest friend ask why he should care or respond with "but everyone knows that"?)
  • Askthese questions
    • Does the thesis  inspire a reasonable reader to ask, "How?" or Why?"
    • 10. Would a reasonable reader NOT respond with "Duh!" or "So what?" or "Gee, no kidding!" or "Who cares?"
    • 11. Does the thesis  avoid general phrasing and/or sweeping words such as "all" or "none" or "every"?
  • Askthese questions
    • Does the thesis lead the reader toward the topic sentences (the subtopics needed to prove the thesis)?
    • 12. Can the thesis be adequately developed in the required length of the paper or project?
  • Now, let's play: Is it a thesis?
    • I would like to become a famous chef when I finish school.
    • 13. Although both chefs and cooks can prepare fine meals, chefs differ from cooks in education, professional commitment, and artistry.
  • Now, let's play: Is it a thesis?
    • A white water rafting experience can challenge the body and spirit and transform an adolescent into an adult.
    • 14. My friend and I really enjoy white water rafting on the Colorado River.
  • Now, let's play: Is it a thesis?
    • Steroids, even those legally available, are addictive and should be banned from sports.
    • 15. Steroid abuse
  • Now, let's play: Is it a thesis?
    • Though hip hop is the best thing that has happened to music in twenty years, many people like jazz more.
    • 16. Though many people dismiss hip hop as offensive, hip hop music offers urban youth an important opportunity for artistic expression, and allows them to articulate the poetry of the street.
  • Now, let's play: Is it a thesis?
    • Many people object to today's violent horror movies.
    • 17. 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.