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Thesis Statements and Outlines
 

Thesis Statements and Outlines

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    Thesis Statements and Outlines Thesis Statements and Outlines Presentation Transcript

    • *
    • * Developing an assertion Crafting a thesis Outlining your paragraphs
    • An assertion is, very * Read the paper assignmentsimply, your opinion carefully – what does it ask you to do?on the matter or * Review your sources andtopic at hand. It’s your synthesis of those ideaswhat you’ll use to * State your opinion on thenext write a topic simply and clearly. For example: Writingdetailed thesis clearly and effectivelyexplaining that gives one power in society.stance. To developan assertion: *
    • An assertion is not * tell the reader how you will interpret the significance of theenough. We need to subject matter under discussionturn that assertion into * be a road map for the papersomething clear, * directly answer the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretationspecific, and of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic,meaningful, something of an essay might be World War II orwe can use to develop Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or thethe framework for the novel.rest of the paper. Your * makes a claim that others might dispute.thesis should * be 1-3 sentences long and placed at the end of your introductory paragraph *
    • In addition to the * “So What?” – do I provide significance for my opinion.previous guidelines, In other words, do I address what’s at stake?your thesis also needs to * “How and Why” – Have Ipass a few tests in order answered these questions to adequately explain myto be effective: position? * “Specific?” – Have I been clear and specific, or do I have vague words or phrases that need clarification? *
    • Let’s start with the assertion example we used at the beginning ofthis lesson:*Writing clearly and effectively gives one power in society.This is an assertion, an opinion with which someone else mightdisagree, but it doesn’t yet provide the specificity we need to writea paper on the subject. Let’s turn it into a thesis statement… *
    • *Writing clearly and effectively gives one power in society.We might begin by asking a few questions that will help us delvedeeper into the topic. For example:* What does it mean to write clearly and effectively?* What kind of power does it provide?* In all societies or just specific ones?* So what? In other words, why does it matter that one has power in society?
    • *The ability to write according to standard guidelines and with proper grammar control gives one power in society because it is a reflection of one’s professionalism and he or she can communicate more clearly.Now we’re talking! Here we have a more specific statement that betterreflects the writer’s argument about writing and power. Notice we’veanswered a few of the questions we developed earlier:* What does it mean to write clearly and effectively? * According to standard guidelines and with grammar control* What kind of power does it provide? * Professionalism and communication* So what? In other words, why does it matter that one has power in society? * Hmmm – let’s look more closely at this…
    • *The ability to write according to standard guidelines and with proper grammar control gives one power in society because it is a reflection of one’s professionalism and he or she can communicate more clearly.Our statement here does a great job at answering the how and why,but it doesn’t yet pass the “So What” test. Why does it matter thatone is professional and communicates clearly? Remember, don’tpresume any assumptions of your readers. Not everyone will agreethat it’s a good thing to be professional. You have to PROVE it!One more time…
    • * The ability to write according to standard guidelines and with proper grammar control gives one power in society because it is a reflection of one’s professionalism and he or she can communicate more clearly. As a result, he or she is more likely to be successful in his or her career.Remember the “As a result,” trick! This little introductory clause can easilyhelp you get at the significance of your argument. This writer could havechosen any number of things to state. For instance, she could have focusedon personal relationships or academics. Instead, she chose to look at therelationship between writing and power in terms of one’s career.
    • Now that you have a strong, * Review your thesis statementspecific, and clear closely. Break it down into smallerargumentative thesis points. What individual ideas needstatement, you can move to be proven for your thesis to beforward in the planning true?process. * Use those individual points as the basis for each of your bodyYour thesis statement provides paragraphs. You may have three, orthe groundwork for everything you may have five. There is noelse that is to come in the rest magic number.of the essay. It is a road map of * Craft mini thesis statements forsorts. So, what do we do with each of your individual points.it? These will serve as topic sentences for the body paragraphs of your essay. * Let’s do an example… *
    • * The ability to write according to standard guidelines and with proper grammar control gives one power in society because it is a reflection of one’s professionalism and he or she can communicate more clearly. As a result, he or she is more likely to be successful in his or her career.Here’s our thesis statement. Now, how can we break it down into smaller points?What needs to be proven in order for this statement to be true? * Writing according to standard guidelines and with control of grammar reflects one’s professionalism. * Writing according to standard guidelines and with control of grammar allows one to communicate more clearly. * Being professional and communicating clearly results in more success in one’s career.These three smaller points are all related to our thesis and require developmentand support. We can use them to organize the body paragraphs of our essay.
    • Now we have our three main points that support our thesis. It’stime to turn those points into topic sentences. Think of topicsentences as mini-thesis statements: they are individual pointsthat will be proven in that paragraph. * Writing according to standard guidelines and with control of grammar reflects one’s professionalism. * This works already as a topic sentence! It’s clear and specific, and it’s something we can provide evidence to support in the paragraph. * Writing according to standard guidelines and with control of grammar allows one to communicate more clearly. * This works but is a little repetitive. Let’s edit it a bit to read: One’s communication will be clearer if he or she writes by standard rules and with control of grammar. * Being professional and communicating clearly results in more success in one’s career. * This also works at it is!
    • Now you have the basis for youroutline. In our class, what youroutline looks like doesn’t matter asmuch as what it accomplishes.When outlines are due, I expect to seethem reflect a clear thesis statement,topic sentences, and notes onevidence for each point. Here’s anexample with our sample
    • Working thesis: The ability to write according to standard guidelines and with proper grammarcontrol gives one power in society because it is a reflection of one’s professionalism and he or shecan communicate more clearly. As a result, he or she is more likely to be successful in his or hercareer.* Paragraph #1: Writing according to standard guidelines and with proper grammar control is a reflection of one’s professionalism. * Quotes from business owners on topic * Example of employee* Paragraph #2: One’s communication will be clearer if he or she writes by standard rules and with control of grammar. * Examples from workplace A * Examples from workplace B* Paragraph #3: Being professional and communicating clearly results in more success in one’s career. * Examples of successful people * Quotes from expertsYou’ll notice in this outline the writer has notes about what evidence will be used to support eachparagraph’s point. As you develop your outline, you can insert page numbers and other notes to helpyou organize your source information.An outline will be do for your papers throughout the semester. You will find a worksheet onBlackboard under “handouts” that will help you through the outlining process.
    • By developing an assertion, crafting athesis, and outlining your majorpoints, you can ensure you are well-organized before you begin draftingyour paper.Most students also find that this makeswriting a lot easier since most of thework is already done!