Thesis Statements
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  • 1. THESIS STATEMENTS
  • 2.
    • The thesis statement declares the main point or controlling idea of your entire essay.
    • Everything in your essay should support your thesis.
  • 3. 1. A good thesis states the writer's ______________ on some subject.
    • Poor: Many people have different opinions on whether people under twenty-one should be able to drink alcohol, and I agree with some of them.
    • Poor: The question of whether we need a national law governing the minimum age to drink alcohol is a controversial issue in many states.
  • 4. 2. A good thesis has something _____________________.
    • Poor: The four children in my family have completely different personalities. [This may be true, but would anyone but your mom and dad really be fascinated with this topic?]
  • 5. 3. A good thesis is ___________ the assignment
    • Poor: Black artists have contributed a lot to American culture. ["Black artists," "culture," and "a lot" cover more ground than can be dealt with in one short essay]
    • Better: Scott Joplin was a major influence in the development of the uniquely American music called ragtime. [specifically defined and narrow]
  • 6. 4. A good thesis is ________________ and is supported by _____________________.
    • ESSAY MAP…
    • Thesis: The campus bookstore is the worst place in town to buy textbooks. The unreasonable prices, the lack of qualified employees, and the constant book shortages discourage all but the most loyal customers.
  • 7. More thesis statements with essay maps:
    • Unreasonable prices, unqualified employees, and constant shortages make the campus bookstore a terrible place to buy books.
    • Because of its free services, well-trained tutors, and useful learning aids, the Writing Center is an excellent place for students seeking academic help.
    • For those students who need extra help with their writing skills, the Writing Center is one of the best resources because of its numerous free services, well-trained tutors, and variety of useful learning aids
  • 8. What a Thesis Isn't
    • 1. _____________
    • Examples:
    • Title Thesis Statement
    • Homes and Schools Parents ought to participate
    • more in the education of their children.
    • A Shattering Experience My fall from the fifth floor of my
    • glass house was certainly a shattering experience.
  • 9.
    • 2. ____________________
    • Examples:
    • Announcement Thesis Statement
    • My subject is the Professor X is a dynamic,
    • Incompetence of Professor X. forceful teacher.
    • I want to share some thoughts Space exploration is a
    • with you about our waste of tax money.
    • space program.
  • 10.
    • 3. _____________________
    • Examples:
    • Fact:
    • Jane Austen is the author of several 19th century novels.
    • The capital of Arkansas is Little Rock.
    • Suicide is the deliberate act of taking one's own life.
    • There are four Ninja Turtles on the Saturday morning cartoon.
    • Many people have cats as household pets.
  • 11. TOPIC SENTENCES
  • 12. WHAT and WHERE
    • It is an opinion statement that is a very focused and specific complete sentence
    • It is located at the very beginning of each middle paragraph
    • It directly states a main idea that is a part of the thesis statement
    • Everything in the paragraph helps explain/support/prove the topic sentence
    • It is not a title ( What football means to me ), or an explanation of the writer's plan ( I am going to tell you about the role football played in my education. )
  • 13. PRACTICE: Exercise 1 For each limited topic below, select the two items that could serve as topic sentences .
    • Limited topic: how to train a cat.
    • a. This paragraph is about how to train a cat.
    • b. Before a cat learns anything, it first teaches its owner a lesson in humility.
    • c. Everything you wouldn't have thought to ask about training a cat.
    • d. Training a cat takes physical stamina.
    • e. Animal training is a complicated subject.
  • 14. Answers! 1
    • "HOW TO TRAIN A CAT:“
    • B: “Before a cat learns anything, it first teaches its owner a lesson in humility.” OR
    • D: “Training a cat takes physical stamina.”
    • A: announces the writer's plan
    • C: a title and not a complete sentence
    • E: too general
  • 15. WHAT ABOUT THIS ONE?: Exercise 2 For each limited topic below, select the two items that could serve as topic sentences .
    • Limited topic: changes in patients as they settle into convalescent (recovery) homes
    • a. Americans are learning how to grow old gracefully.
    • b. The outside world seems to shrink when seen through the window of a convalescent home.
    • c. Closing up a home and moving to a small room can make even an extrovert turn inward.
    • d. It is important to look at the changes in patients' attitudes as they settle into convalescent homes.
    • e. The increasing delight in daily conversation as patients become accustomed to life in a convalescent home.
  • 16. Answers! 2
    • "CHANGES IN PATIENTS:“
    • B: “The outside world seems to shrink when seen through the window of a convalescent home.” OR
    • C: “Closing up a home and moving to a small room can make even an extrovert turn inward.”
    • A: too general, not mentioning convalescent home
    • D: relies too heavily on the vague word "important"
    • E: not a complete sentence
  • 17. YOU’RE THE EXPERT NOW!: Exercise 3 For each limited topic below, select the two items that could serve as topic sentences .
    • Limited topic: scuba diving
    • a. The excitement of scuba diving.
    • b. My childhood fascination with scuba diving.
    • c. It is very interesting to experience scuba diving.
    • d. The sport of scuba diving has always excited me.
    • e. Since I was a child, I've been fascinated by scuba diving.
  • 18. Answers! 3
    • "SCUBA DIVING:"
    • D. “The sport of scuba diving has always excited me.” OR
    • E. “Since I was a child, I've been fascinated by scuba diving.”
    • A and B: not complete sentences
    • C. relies on the vague word "interesting”