The Thesis Statement and You<br />A guide<br /><br />
Why do we need thesis statements?<br />They allow us to test our ideas for reasonableness.<br />They help organize our thoughts and offer us a guide as to how we will work to prove our argument/claim.<br />They offer both a claim and the grounds(the reason) for that claim: (claim) I like coffee, (grounds for the claim) because coffee tastes good and offers me energy when I am tired.<br />
What is a Thesis Statement?:<br />A thesis statement is a statement that states, specifically (the why or the because) of what you are arguing for. <br /> In critical and academic paper writing, the more specific your claim and grounds for the claim, the better.<br />In academic papers, a thesis statement should be located in your introduction paragraph. It is normally the last sentence in your introduction paragraph after the “hook,” and the frame (any additional information needed).<br />Hook<br />Frame<br />Thesis Statement<br />
What a good thesis statement does <br />A good thesis statement “take(s) on a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree.”<br />It “deal(s) with a subject that can be adequately treated given the nature of the assignment.” <br />It “express(es) one main idea” or claim and offers ground(s) for that claim.<br />And it “assert your conclusions about a subject.” <br />Finally a good thesis statement also states how you will prove your main idea of claim (the “because” of the statement).<br />Taken from: Writing Tutorial Services at Indiana University, Bloomington. (30, January, 2008). “How To Write a Thesis Statement.” accessed on 10/7/2009 at http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/thesis_statement.shtml.<br />
Example of weak thesis statements:<br />The sky is blue.<br />This weak? It is a claim!<br />
The sky is blue.<br />This statement does not specifically state the argument, and so it sounds like a generalized statement. - offer specifics instead of generalities. <br />Try making this statement specific in order to make an argument by including the grounds for the claim: <br />
Stronger Thesis Statements<br />The sky is blue because of the interplay between atmospheric gasses and light from the sun.<br />OR<br />The sky is blue because God, the great artist in the sky, work up this morning and using his majestic paintbrush, painted the happy blue instead of the sad cloudy gray of rain storms.<br />
Example of weak thesis statements:<br />The article on the election stated that both parties practice the use of argument fallacies extensively, and relied on these and not facts to win. <br />Why is this a weak statement???<br />
“The article on the election stated that both parties practice the use of argument fallacies extensively, and relied on these and not facts to win.” <br />The problem with this statement is that it offers the article’s thesis not YOUR thesis. Your thesis should deal with whether you agree with the article or not and why.<br />Example: The New York Times article, titled the Politics of Fallacy, argued that both political parties relied on argument fallacy in order to win the election; however, the NYT article relies on a fallacy to make its case-namely the assumption ALL political parties ALWAYS and ONLY use fallacies to win.<br />
Words to avoid using in a Thesis Statement<br />Always, everyone, absolutely, never, almost, every, sort of, kind of, a lot.<br />Any words that are overly general and makes large assumptions such as: “everyone hates peanut butter!” Everyone does? Are you sure? Can you prove this?<br />
On a separate piece of paper, work at making thesis statements out of these weak claims!<br />I like going shopping.<br />I am going to write my paper on how to make a cake.<br />I believe we should all have the right to vote.<br />Why do we always laugh at funny movies? <br />
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.