Lesson 5: Thesis Statements


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Lesson 5: Thesis Statements

  1. 1. Thesis Statements Lesson Five Brent A. Simoneaux
  2. 2. Review: Argumentative T o pics What does the definition of argument imply about our topics?
  3. 3. “ 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
  4. 4. Review: Argumentative T o pics What is the new understanding of your topic that you will provide for your audience?
  5. 5. Review: Argumentative T o pics Argumentative thesis statements require that we take a stand on our topics. In other words, we must make a claim that can be proven through logic.
  6. 6. Review: Argumentative T o pics <ul><li>Types of claims: </li></ul><ul><li>Claims of Fact or Definition </li></ul><ul><li>Claims of Cause and Effect </li></ul><ul><li>Claims About Value </li></ul><ul><li>Claims About Solutions or Policies </li></ul>
  7. 7. Claims: Argumentative T o pics Claims of Fact or Definition These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. Example What some people refer to as global warming is actually nothing more than normal, long-term cycles of climate change.
  8. 8. Claims: Argumentative T o pics Claims of Cause and Effect These claims argue that one person, thing, or event caused another thing or event to occur. Example The popularity of SUV's in America has caused pollution to increase.
  9. 9. Claims: Argumentative T o pics Claims About Value These are claims made about what something is worth, whether we value it or not, how we would rate or categorize something. Example Global warming is the most pressing challenge facing the world today.
  10. 10. Claims: Argumentative T o pics Claims About Solutions or Policies These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. Example Instead of drilling for oil in Alaska we should be focusing on ways to reduce oil consumption, such as researching renewable energy sources.
  11. 11. By the end of this lesson, you should know: How to write an effective analytical thesis statement for your argumentative essay. Today’s O bjective
  12. 12. To give us a general idea of thesis statements, let’s look at page 256 in our text. Thes i s Statements
  13. 13. However, a better definition for argumentative papers would be the following: “ A writer’s reasoned conclusion about some issue or writing problem.” Thes i s Statements
  14. 14. 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.” Thes i s Statements
  15. 15. 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. Thes i s Statements
  16. 16. Discuss Thesis Statement Handout Thesis Stat e ments
  17. 17. Example “ Funerals in America.” Thesis Stat e ments Not a complete sentence. Doesn’t take a stand or make a claim about the topic.
  18. 18. Example “ I will write about funerals in America.” Thesis Stat e ments The focus is on “I”, not Funerals. Still, says nothing about your topic.
  19. 19. Example “ I have been to five funerals in the past year.” Thesis Stat e ments Who cares? This is not argumentative because it is purely fact.
  20. 20. Example “ I like going to funerals.” Thesis Stat e ments This statement is not arguable because it is a question of taste, not reason or argument.
  21. 21. Example “ Funerals are sad, frightening, and depressing events.” Thesis Stat e ments This statement is too broad. This needs to be limited or narrowed.
  22. 22. Example “ Funerals are helpful.” Thesis Stat e ments Better. Most thesis statements focus on the predicate, so we should try to expand this a bit more. Helpful for whom? Why? How?
  23. 23. Example “ Funerals help the bereaved come to terms with death.” Thesis Stat e ments Much better. But do you have enough to say about “coming to terms with death.”
  24. 24. Example “ Funerals help the living by giving them a chance to understand the finality of death, to feel a sense of comradeship with other mourners, and to reflect on their mortality.” Thesis Stat e ments
  25. 25. Example This statement is so much better because can be argued against. Also, it provides an organizational pattern for the essay. Thesis Stat e ments
  26. 26. Analytical Thesis Statement A thesis statement that analyzes the relationship among various significant ideas contained in the thesis sentence(s) Thesis Stat e ments
  27. 27. 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
  28. 28. Thesis Stat e ments 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 ] . ”
  29. 29. <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>Compare the statements with the handout and the structure of analytical thesis statements. </li></ul><ul><li>Write your names and student numbers on the paper. You will turn these in. </li></ul>Thesis Stat e ments
  30. 30. Homew o rk Make a short list of possible analytical thesis statements for your essay. Choose one that you would like to pursue in your essay. You will turn in a thesis statement next week.
  31. 31. Read i ng Preview Informal Logic Handouts Pg. 127 - 129
  32. 32. Next Week : Outlining