Thesis Workshop

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Thesis Workshop

  1. 1. Thesis Workshop Presented by: Brent A. Simoneaux March 15, 2008 Neijiang Normal University
  2. 2. Web site http://www.slideshare.net/bsimoneaux
  3. 3. Thesis papers are by definition argumentative essays. Our students are really good at writing exposition , of their thesis papers end up being expository essays . argument
  4. 4. Spectrum of Content exposition argumentation facts & information facts & information + analysis argument
  5. 5. “ The aim or purpose of argument is to use logic (both inductive and deductive) to create reasoned communication of ideas, insights, and experiences to some audience so as to produce a new understanding of some issue for that audience.” argument
  6. 6. Today, we will be talking about ideals . Remember that ideals cannot always be realized in reality. Today’s T o pics
  7. 7. <ul><li>Titles & Topics </li></ul><ul><li>Outlines </li></ul>Today’s T o pics
  8. 8. Before we go any farther, we need to get our vocabulary straight. Title: Introduces the topic of the argument as well as generate interest in reading the argument Topic: States the general subject of the paper Titles & T o pics
  9. 9. Titles and topics are intimately related to and intertwined with thesis statements . Often, thesis statement is defined as the “central idea of a paper.” Titles & T o pics
  10. 10. However, a better definition would be the following: “ A writer’s reasoned conclusion about some issue or writing problem.” Titles & T o pics
  11. 11. This definition of thesis statement recalls our definition of argument as well as the original meaning of the word. As Greek logicians used this word, it meant a “premise or proposition to be stated and then proved through logical analysis and argumentation.” Titles & T o pics
  12. 12. Titles & T o pics Thesis statements usually help define a writer’s purpose for some audience. More importantly, a thesis statement focuses both the writer’s and reader’s attention on specific issues to be developed within an essay.
  13. 13. But how are titles, topics, and thesis statements related? Titles & T o pics
  14. 14. <ul><li>Generally, the writing process occurs in this way: </li></ul><ul><li>Choose a general topic </li></ul><ul><li>Refine topic through research, invention, drafting, etc. </li></ul>Titles, T o pics, and Thesis Statements
  15. 15. <ul><li>Generally, the writing process occurs in this way: </li></ul><ul><li>Create tentative thesis statements that reflect your research / thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Choose a tentative thesis statement to pursue through writing </li></ul>Titles, T o pics, and Thesis Statements
  16. 16. <ul><li>Generally, the writing process occurs in this way: </li></ul><ul><li>Create a tentative outline using key ideas from tentative thesis statement </li></ul><ul><li>Draft using tentative outline </li></ul>Titles, T o pics, and Thesis Statements
  17. 17. Generally, the writing process occurs in this way: 7. Make changes to thesis statement and outline as you draft 8. Choose a title that reflects the content of your final draft and creates interest in the reader Titles, T o pics, and Thesis Statements
  18. 18. In other words, thesis statements are a result of the writer’s best reasoned and logical thinking about a topic . Titles are a reflection of this the thesis statement that arouse interest in the reader. Titles, T o pics, and Thesis Statements
  19. 19. If students are going to have the best learning experience , their focus (and yours) must absolutely be on the process , not the product . Titles, T o pics, and Thesis Statements
  20. 20. How do we teach our students to create effective argumentative thesis statements? Thesis Stat e ments
  21. 21. Features: Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic. Thesis Stat e ments
  22. 22. Features: Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper. Thesis Stat e ments
  23. 23. Features: Is focused and specific enough to be &quot;proven&quot; within the boundaries of your paper. Thesis Stat e ments
  24. 24. Features: Is generally located near the end of the introduction; sometimes, in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or in an entire paragraph. Thesis Stat e ments
  25. 25. Features: Identifies the relationship between the pieces of evidence that you are using to support your argument. Thesis Stat e ments
  26. 26. Features: It must be arguable. In order for it to be arguable, it must present a view that someone might reasonably contest. In other words, the writer must take a stand on an issue or make a claim that can be defended. Thesis Stat e ments
  27. 27. Analytical Thesis Statement A thesis statement that analyzes the relationship among various significant ideas contained in the thesis sentence(s) Thesis Stat e ments
  28. 28. Structure of Analytical Thesis Statements This pattern can serve as an aid: Independent clause(s) + restricting clause(s) [general ideas are stated] [qualifying idea(s) defined] Thesis Stat e ments
  29. 29. Structure of Analytical Thesis Statements Example: “ University education is more beneficial than technical training [ independent / generalization ] because at the university the students have the opportunity to learn technical and career related skills as well as to acquire perspectives on life from studying subjects like philosophy, art, and literature [ restricting idea ] . ” Thesis Stat e ments
  30. 30. <ul><li>Group work instructions: </li></ul><ul><li>Create an analytical argumentative thesis statement for each person in your group </li></ul><ul><li>Try to locate attempts at thesis statements in a student paper. Try to correct the thesis statement. </li></ul><ul><li>Compare the statements with handout and the structure of analytical thesis statements </li></ul>Thesis Stat e ments
  31. 31. If you have a good analytical thesis statement, creating an outline is relatively easy. O utlining
  32. 32. O utlining “ A thesis statement focuses both the writer’s and reader’s attention on specific issues to be developed within an essay.” In addition, analytical thesis statements analyze the relationship among these significant ideas. As you can see, it is fairly easy to isolate ideas that should be developed in your essay.
  33. 33. <ul><li>There are essentially two major ways to draft an outline from a thesis statement: </li></ul><ul><li>Isolating key ideas to be developed </li></ul><ul><li>Using informal logic </li></ul>O utlining
  34. 34. O utlining From Thesis Statement to Outline Example: “ University education is more beneficial than technical training [ independent / generalization ] because at the university the students have the opportunity to learn technical and career related skills as well as to acquire perspectives on life from studying subjects like philosophy, art, and literature [ restricting idea ] . ”
  35. 35. From Thesis Statement to Outline Example: We immediately recognize that the driving organizational force behind the thesis statement is comparison & contrast . At the most general level, we are comparing & contrasting university education to technical training. O utlining
  36. 36. <ul><li>From Thesis Statement to Outline </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>The restricting idea helps us focus the general comparison to two major focus points: </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities to learn </li></ul><ul><li>Perspectives on life </li></ul>O utlining
  37. 37. From Thesis Statement to Outline Example: There is one more key idea that is implicit in the thesis statement (this would be easily recognizable using informal logic): “ Acquiring perspectives on life in addition to technical and career related skills is more beneficial than acquiring only technical and career related skills.” O utlining
  38. 38. <ul><li>From Thesis Statement to Outline </li></ul><ul><li>Now, let’s create an outline from these key ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>As you know, with comparison & contrast there are two ways to organize our outline: </li></ul><ul><li>Subject by subject </li></ul><ul><li>Point by point </li></ul>O utlining
  39. 39. From Thesis Statement to Outline Let’s not forget our implicit key idea: “ Acquiring perspectives on life in addition to technical and career related skills is more beneficial than acquiring only technical and career related skills.” O utlining
  40. 40. From Thesis Statement to Outline Now, let’s try to think through this a different way: by using informal logic . Look at logic handouts. O utlining
  41. 41. O utlining Deductive conclusion Inductive premise From Thesis Statement to Outline “ University education is more beneficial than technical training [ independent / generalization ] because at the university the students have the opportunity to learn technical and career related skills as well as to acquire perspectives on life from studying subjects like philosophy, art, and literature [ restricting idea ] . ”
  42. 42. Syllogism: Inductive Premise 1 : At the university the students have the opportunity to learn technical and career related skills as well as to acquire perspectives on life from studying subjects like philosophy, art, and literature Premise 2: ? Deductive conclusion : University education is more beneficial than technical training O utlining
  43. 43. From Thesis Statement to Outline Syllogism: Inductive Premise 2: Acquiring perspectives on life in addition to technical and career related skills is more beneficial than acquiring only technical and career related skills. O utlining
  44. 44. Web site http://www.slideshare.net/bsimoneaux E mail [email_address]

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