Taking your writing from good to great thesis statements

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  • 1. Taking Your Writing From Good to Great: Thesis Statements
    AP Language
    Ms. Shimmy
  • 2. Thesis Statements
    Crafting a strong thesis statement is the difference between a good essay and a GREAT essay.
    Thesis statement should be a statement that summarizes your argument or analysis.
    Your literary elements/textual examples should always connect back to your thesis statement.
  • 3. What it’s NOT
    NOT a statement of the inherently obvious.
    NOT a vague or ambiguous statement.
    NOT a simple factual sentence.
    NOT a statement that doesn’t need any proof.
    NOT a statement that doesn’t generate any argumentation whatsoever.
    Does NOT pass the “so what” test.
  • 4. Example 1
    In Walt Whitman’s poem, “A Noiseless, Patient Spider”, he uses the elements of repetition and diction to convey the idea that both the speaker and the spider are seeking to make connections in the world.
    Identifies the author, genre and title of work
    Mentions the literary elements AND the purpose they serve
    The body paragraphs would then expand on how the examples of diction and repetition support this thesis
  • 5. Example 2- Let’s Revise
    J.D Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye tells the story of a boy named Holden Caufield.
    This is plot summary, and doesn’t make a thesis statement
    Remember the “so what?” question. What’s important about this?
    In the excerpt “Stylin’ and Profilin’” from Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger, his voice and style reflects that of a troubled teenage boy, Holden Caufieldthrough the use of diction and tone.
    This makes a clear statement about the work
    It lays out the rest of the essay
  • 6. Thesis Statement to Strong Introduction
    Let’s work through how a strong thesis statement leads to a strong introduction:
    In the excerpt “Stylin’ and Profilin’” from Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger, his voice and style reflects that of a troubled teenage boy, Holden Caufield through the use of diction and tone. Holden’s word choice in his dialogue and thoughts reveals to the reader that he is a troubled young man. Salinger’s tone throughout the piece is sympathetic to Holden, which makes the reader sympathize with Holden, despite some of his unsavory thoughts and actions. Salinger’s voice and style serve to make Holden a well rounded character, instead of a flat character.
  • 7. Thesis Introduction Essay Outline
    Taking the time to write a strong thesis statement saves a lot of time later on in the essay.
    Your thesis statement becomes the anchor for your introduction.
    Your introduction should serve as an outline for your entire essay.
    Take the extra time to plan out a well crafted introduction and your essay will go from good to GREAT!
  • 8. More Resources
    http://writing2.richmond.edu/writing/wweb/thesis.html
    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/545/1/
    http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/thesis_statement.shtml