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ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC AND
PROFESSIONAL PURPOSES
THESIS STATEMENT
MS. JEANELLE BRUZA
What is aThesis Statement?
•The thesis statement establishes the overall point of
your essay, and it fulfills two main objectives.
First, the thesis must state your topic.
Second, the thesis must convey what you will prove about
your topic (your opinion about that topic).
The thesis statement is most often embedded in the
introductory paragraph, usually at the end of that
paragraph.
Thesis Statement
According to the Simon & Schuster Handbook forWriters, the basic
requirements for a thesis statement include the following:
• the essay’s subject—the topic that you discuss
• the essay’s purpose—either informative or persuasive
• your focus—the assertion that presents your point of view
• specific language—not vague words brief overview of the topic’s
subdivisions
Try this strategy to develop and narrow a thesis statement.
To write an effective thesis statement, start with a general
idea and then sharpen your focus.
Step 1: Choose a topic, e.g., the film, Pulp Fiction
Step 2: Focus the topic, e.g., excessive violence in Pulp Fiction
Step 3: Narrow the topic further by posing it as a question. E.g.,
Why does QuentinTarantino employ excessive violence in Pulp
Fiction?
Step 4: Answer the question.The answer is your thesis
statement. E.g., In the film Pulp Fiction, QuentinTarantino uses
excessive violence to mock American social and cultural values.
Your thesis statement should be clear and direct and should
entice your audience to read further. Each subsequent paragraph in
the body of you paper should support your thesis statement and
prove your claim.
Review these examples that detail two types of
thesis statements.
A. An argumentative thesis statement will:
1. state your main claim, which is debatable (or arguable)
2.the reasons/evidence that support this claim
3. the order in which you will present your support
(organization)
Example: Barn owls’ nests should not be eliminated from barns
because barn owls help farmers by eliminating insects and rodent
pests.
This thesis is argumentative because it makes a claim about an
issue that is debatable. Further, this thesis is effective because it
specifically states why the barn owls should not be banned.That is,
the owls eliminate insects and rodent pests, thereby helping
farmers.
B. An informative (or expository) thesis statement will:
1. state what you are going to explain
2. outline the organization of your explanation
Example: The lifestyles of barn owls include hunting for insects and
animals, building nests, and raising their young.This thesis is
informative because it establishes that the paper will provide
information on the lifestyles of barn owls.
This thesis does not take a stand or make a claim that needs to be
proved.
This thesis statement is also an example of using subdivisions.
The subdivisions for this thesis statement are:
1. hunting for insects and animals
2.building nests
3. raising their young Each category is a separate subdivision,
which will each be a separate paragraph (if not more).
Nine Errors to Avoid When Composing aThesis
Often students fall into common ―traps‖ when writing thesis statements.
These examples illustrate how to shape a clear and effective thesis statement.
1. A thesis cannot be a fragment; it must express a complete thought.
Unacceptable: how students learn to write
Acceptable: The best means for teaching students to write is to have them focus
on the steps of the writing process rather than the end product.
2. A thesis must not be worded as a question. (Sometimes the answer
to the question can be the thesis.)
Unacceptable: Do Americans really need large refrigerators?
Acceptable: If Americans did their marketing daily, as do some
Europeans, they could save energy and money because they could
use smaller refrigerators.
3. A thesis must not be too broad.
Unacceptable:The literature of mythology contains many journeys.
Acceptable: In Greek mythology, the motif of the journey represents
the internal struggles and eventual perseverance of mortals.
4. A thesis should not contain unrelated elements.
Unacceptable:All novelists seek the truth, and some novelists are good
psychologists.
Acceptable: In their attempt to probe human nature, many novelists strive
to reveal the intricacies of human relations.
5. A thesis should not contain phrases like “I think” or “in my opinion”
because they weaken the writer’s argument.
Unacceptable: In my opinion, all cigarette smoking in public places should
be banned because of the adverse effects of ―passive smoking‖ on non-
smokers.
Acceptable:All cigarette smoking in public places should be banned
because of the adverse effects of ―passive smoking‖ on non-smokers.
6. A thesis should not be expressed in vague language.
Unacceptable: Religion as part of the school curriculum should be avoided
because it can cause trouble.
Acceptable: Religion should not be part of the public school curriculum because
it is a highly personal commitment and can cause conflict with those who hold
alternative beliefs.
7. A thesis must not be expressed in muddled or incoherent language.
Unacceptable: Homosexuality is a status offence to the effect that the
participants are willing so that the relationship is voluntary in character rather
than the type described in a victim perpetrator model.
Acceptable: Homosexuality between two consenting adults should be
considered as alternate life style rather than a crime.
8. A thesis should not be expressed in figurative language (symbolic
in any way).
Unacceptable:The amazons of today are trying to purge all the stag
words from the English language.
Acceptable:Today’s feminists are trying to eliminate the use of
sexually-biased words from public use.
9. A thesis should not simply state a fact.
Unacceptable: Women have been repressed at different times and
in different cultures.
Acceptable:The repression of women writers in America during the
nineteenth century contributed to the idea that there were
relatively few writers worthy enough to be included in anthologies.
How to write aThesis Statement?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCzuAMVmIZ8
Direction: For each of the following thesis statements,
identify the topic, the opinion or arguable assertion,
and if applicable, the supporting evidence or reasons.
1.Cell phone use while driving should be banned, for it
creates an unsafe environment not only for drivers
using cell phones but also for other people in nearby
vehicles.
2.Violent video games should be made illegal, for it
might incite some people to commit violent acts.
3. Marijuana should be legalized since legalization
would eliminate the black market for that drug.
4.Welfare benefits for single mothers should not be
eliminated, for the benefits are needed to prevent
hunger and poverty among our country’s most
helpless citizens—our children.
Direction: analyze the following statements and identify the reason(s) you
think they do or do not work as good thesis statements.
1.Television has had a serious impact in today’s
society.
2.In this essay I am going to talk about the potential
problems if the administration restructures the
Social Security program.
3.Have you ever considered why people are so rude
when they drive, especially at rush hour?
4. How to grow beautiful orchids.
5.The problems with homelessness in San
Francisco could be resolved if the Board of
Supervisors would agree on some of the
proposed solutions.
6. Henri Matisse is superior to Picasso because of
Matisse’s brilliant ability to shift between realism,
abstraction, Fauvism, and classicism.
7. Religion as part of the school curriculum should be
avoided
because a person’s religious beliefs are highly
personal and
require individual commitment.
Direction: Choose two of the following subjects and narrow each
one down to two topics that might work for a 3-page essay.Write
one possible thesis statement for each topic.
1.Terrorism
2. Affirmative action
3. Politics
4. Holidays
5. Pop culture
6. Music
7. Reality television
8. School testing
9. Parenting
10. Nutrition
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EAPP Thesis statement.pptx

  • 1. ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL PURPOSES THESIS STATEMENT MS. JEANELLE BRUZA
  • 2. What is aThesis Statement? •The thesis statement establishes the overall point of your essay, and it fulfills two main objectives. First, the thesis must state your topic. Second, the thesis must convey what you will prove about your topic (your opinion about that topic). The thesis statement is most often embedded in the introductory paragraph, usually at the end of that paragraph.
  • 3. Thesis Statement According to the Simon & Schuster Handbook forWriters, the basic requirements for a thesis statement include the following: • the essay’s subject—the topic that you discuss • the essay’s purpose—either informative or persuasive • your focus—the assertion that presents your point of view • specific language—not vague words brief overview of the topic’s subdivisions
  • 4. Try this strategy to develop and narrow a thesis statement. To write an effective thesis statement, start with a general idea and then sharpen your focus. Step 1: Choose a topic, e.g., the film, Pulp Fiction Step 2: Focus the topic, e.g., excessive violence in Pulp Fiction Step 3: Narrow the topic further by posing it as a question. E.g., Why does QuentinTarantino employ excessive violence in Pulp Fiction? Step 4: Answer the question.The answer is your thesis statement. E.g., In the film Pulp Fiction, QuentinTarantino uses excessive violence to mock American social and cultural values.
  • 5. Your thesis statement should be clear and direct and should entice your audience to read further. Each subsequent paragraph in the body of you paper should support your thesis statement and prove your claim.
  • 6. Review these examples that detail two types of thesis statements. A. An argumentative thesis statement will: 1. state your main claim, which is debatable (or arguable) 2.the reasons/evidence that support this claim 3. the order in which you will present your support (organization)
  • 7. Example: Barn owls’ nests should not be eliminated from barns because barn owls help farmers by eliminating insects and rodent pests. This thesis is argumentative because it makes a claim about an issue that is debatable. Further, this thesis is effective because it specifically states why the barn owls should not be banned.That is, the owls eliminate insects and rodent pests, thereby helping farmers.
  • 8. B. An informative (or expository) thesis statement will: 1. state what you are going to explain 2. outline the organization of your explanation Example: The lifestyles of barn owls include hunting for insects and animals, building nests, and raising their young.This thesis is informative because it establishes that the paper will provide information on the lifestyles of barn owls. This thesis does not take a stand or make a claim that needs to be proved.
  • 9. This thesis statement is also an example of using subdivisions. The subdivisions for this thesis statement are: 1. hunting for insects and animals 2.building nests 3. raising their young Each category is a separate subdivision, which will each be a separate paragraph (if not more).
  • 10. Nine Errors to Avoid When Composing aThesis Often students fall into common ―traps‖ when writing thesis statements. These examples illustrate how to shape a clear and effective thesis statement. 1. A thesis cannot be a fragment; it must express a complete thought. Unacceptable: how students learn to write Acceptable: The best means for teaching students to write is to have them focus on the steps of the writing process rather than the end product.
  • 11. 2. A thesis must not be worded as a question. (Sometimes the answer to the question can be the thesis.) Unacceptable: Do Americans really need large refrigerators? Acceptable: If Americans did their marketing daily, as do some Europeans, they could save energy and money because they could use smaller refrigerators.
  • 12. 3. A thesis must not be too broad. Unacceptable:The literature of mythology contains many journeys. Acceptable: In Greek mythology, the motif of the journey represents the internal struggles and eventual perseverance of mortals.
  • 13. 4. A thesis should not contain unrelated elements. Unacceptable:All novelists seek the truth, and some novelists are good psychologists. Acceptable: In their attempt to probe human nature, many novelists strive to reveal the intricacies of human relations. 5. A thesis should not contain phrases like “I think” or “in my opinion” because they weaken the writer’s argument. Unacceptable: In my opinion, all cigarette smoking in public places should be banned because of the adverse effects of ―passive smoking‖ on non- smokers. Acceptable:All cigarette smoking in public places should be banned because of the adverse effects of ―passive smoking‖ on non-smokers.
  • 14. 6. A thesis should not be expressed in vague language. Unacceptable: Religion as part of the school curriculum should be avoided because it can cause trouble. Acceptable: Religion should not be part of the public school curriculum because it is a highly personal commitment and can cause conflict with those who hold alternative beliefs. 7. A thesis must not be expressed in muddled or incoherent language. Unacceptable: Homosexuality is a status offence to the effect that the participants are willing so that the relationship is voluntary in character rather than the type described in a victim perpetrator model. Acceptable: Homosexuality between two consenting adults should be considered as alternate life style rather than a crime.
  • 15. 8. A thesis should not be expressed in figurative language (symbolic in any way). Unacceptable:The amazons of today are trying to purge all the stag words from the English language. Acceptable:Today’s feminists are trying to eliminate the use of sexually-biased words from public use. 9. A thesis should not simply state a fact. Unacceptable: Women have been repressed at different times and in different cultures. Acceptable:The repression of women writers in America during the nineteenth century contributed to the idea that there were relatively few writers worthy enough to be included in anthologies.
  • 16. How to write aThesis Statement? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCzuAMVmIZ8
  • 17. Direction: For each of the following thesis statements, identify the topic, the opinion or arguable assertion, and if applicable, the supporting evidence or reasons. 1.Cell phone use while driving should be banned, for it creates an unsafe environment not only for drivers using cell phones but also for other people in nearby vehicles. 2.Violent video games should be made illegal, for it might incite some people to commit violent acts.
  • 18. 3. Marijuana should be legalized since legalization would eliminate the black market for that drug. 4.Welfare benefits for single mothers should not be eliminated, for the benefits are needed to prevent hunger and poverty among our country’s most helpless citizens—our children.
  • 19. Direction: analyze the following statements and identify the reason(s) you think they do or do not work as good thesis statements. 1.Television has had a serious impact in today’s society. 2.In this essay I am going to talk about the potential problems if the administration restructures the Social Security program. 3.Have you ever considered why people are so rude when they drive, especially at rush hour?
  • 20. 4. How to grow beautiful orchids. 5.The problems with homelessness in San Francisco could be resolved if the Board of Supervisors would agree on some of the proposed solutions.
  • 21. 6. Henri Matisse is superior to Picasso because of Matisse’s brilliant ability to shift between realism, abstraction, Fauvism, and classicism. 7. Religion as part of the school curriculum should be avoided because a person’s religious beliefs are highly personal and require individual commitment.
  • 22. Direction: Choose two of the following subjects and narrow each one down to two topics that might work for a 3-page essay.Write one possible thesis statement for each topic. 1.Terrorism 2. Affirmative action 3. Politics 4. Holidays 5. Pop culture 6. Music 7. Reality television 8. School testing 9. Parenting 10. Nutrition