106 slides 3 2013: Thesis to Argument


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Slides week 3: Thesis statement

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  • 106 slides 3 2013: Thesis to Argument

    1. 1. BIU English 106 Slide set #3: Oct 23-30 Introduction to Literary Forms and Critical Writing I Dr. Daniel Feldman danielb.feldman@gmail.com
    2. 2. Thesis to Argument • A good argument demands an opinion supported by evidence • Review terms: »Thesis »Evidence »Argument
    3. 3. Constructing a Thesis Thesis = Main idea Evidence = Support for that central idea Thesis + Evidence = Argument
    4. 4. A Thesis is an Answer to a Question or Problem As you get closer to writing, you can begin to shape the information you have at hand into a unified, coherent whole by framing a thesis statement for your paper: a single sentence that formulates both your topic and your point of view. In a sense, the thesis statement is your answer to the central question or problem you have raised. Writing this statement will enable you to see where you are heading. (MLA Handbook)
    5. 5. A Thesis is an Answer to a Question or Problem A thesis is often one or more of the following: • The answer to a question you have posed • The solution for a problem you have identified • A statement that takes a position on a debatable topic Be sure to take a position with your thesis! You are entering a debate, not describing it!
    6. 6. Thesis Pitfalls • • • • • • Is your thesis too obvious or factual? Is your thesis too vague or unfocused? Is your thesis too narrow? Is your thesis too broad? Is your thesis supportable with evidence? Is your thesis interesting enough that a reader would want to read an essay about it? How would you answer, “So what?”
    7. 7. Thesis Secrets • An effective thesis states a central idea that -requires supporting evidence -is appropriate in scope for an essay -is sharply focused -can be developed in interesting directions -answers a question you or your assignment has posed -takes a stance in a debate
    8. 8. A thesis is a position, not a question • A woman these days is expected and desires to fulfill many things almost in every aspect in life – a quite time consuming plan. How much time do such ambitions leave for personal developments like finding a spouse and starting a family. Is late parenthood a good solution?
    9. 9. A thesis takes sides in a debate • The debate concerning whether students who study in single-sex schools do better or not is rather controversial and is difficult to assess. Studying with the opposite sex on the one hand, could be somewhat distracting and result in diminution in educational achievements. However, on the other hand it could rather be a motivating incentive for students who thrive and do well in a versatile environment. I strongly believe that there is no one particular method for estimating student's educational success in the long term for every person has different mental structure and will thrive differently under certain circumstances.
    10. 10. Like this • Today's prevalent use of cars run by fuel is highly damaging and polluting, either to us as organisms or to the atmosphere. The innovative breakthrough in technological advancement takes form in electric cars which will substantially reduce the amount of air pollution caused by cars run by gas. Therefore, is it crucial to assist the average citizen in purchasing such cars for the sake of the existence of the earth in future years.
    11. 11. In a thesis, the argument is stated, not implied • On whether a course in English should be compulsory for all Israeli university students. • “Mastery of English is an important skill that should be attained by all Israeli students, be they native English speakers or otherwise. Our future scientists, artists, engineers, doctors and lawyers will most likely be required to express themselves in the English language, and their ability to convey complex ideas in the English language will doubtlessly be beneficial to all.” • So, should courses be compulsory or not?
    12. 12. Literary Analysis • Analysis is not plot summary – How does the text signify (create meaning)? • What are its methods of constructing plot, character, narrating voice, imagery, setting, and themes? • Pay attention to telling details
    13. 13. Epiphany: Coming to See • “Araby” as tale of: –A quest –Exoticism –Maturation –Unrequited love –Disappointment
    14. 14. Kinds of Critical Questions • Plot: What conflicts drive the plot? How is the plot structured? What order or sequence do events take? • Character: What motivates the protagonists, the central characters? How are the characters characterized? What does the text tell us about the characters to inform us about them?
    15. 15. Kinds of Critical Questions • Setting: How does the setting influence the story? Why is this story set where it is? Is there symbolic meaning to the setting that makes it appropriate for this work • Point of view / narrative voice: In what voice is the story told? Does the point of view affect our understanding of the text? • Motifs: Do various symbols or ideas repeat in the work? Why those motifs or themes?
    16. 16. Evidence in Literary Analysis • Passages, quotations of primary text • Details paraphrased from the plot, character, setting, etc. • Scholarly articles (secondary literature) regarding the primary text • Facts about the author, text, and the publication’s historical period
    17. 17. Writing Blurbs 2 There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write. -William Makepeace Thackeray, novelist (1811-1863)
    18. 18. Vocabulary Week 2 • • • • • Quintessence / quintessential Constitute / constitution relegate prejudice implicit
    19. 19. Dubliners, “Araby” NORTH RICHMOND STREET, being blind, was a quiet street except at the hour when the Christian Brothers' School set the boys free. An uninhabited house of two storeys stood at the blind end, detached from its neighbours in a square ground The other houses of the street, conscious of decent lives within them, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces. […] I was thankful that I could see so little. All my senses seemed to desire to veil themselves
    20. 20. Setting in “Araby” • • • • • Street Personified houses City as network, city as character Bazaar Localized and globalized worlds – How does setting advance the plot?
    21. 21. For Wednesday 6.11 Write a full thesis paragraph for one question from “Araby” or “An Encounter.” Complete group assignment 1. Written summary of each argument 2. Oral presentation of argument(s) and thesis 3. Written thesis responding to essay Read: “Eveline,” “Boarding House,” essay on grading, all posted online