THESIS STATEMENTS - Jefferson Township Public Schools
THESIS THESIS STATEMENTS STATEMENTS The Road Map to a Great Writers Journey ***BRAINSTORM *** ***Search for Evidence***
***Reflect*** HOW DOES THE WRITER FORMULATE A THESIS STATEMENT? Broad Subject-----A Christmas Carol Specific Topic-----Bob Cratchit
Question about the Topic----Why is he important to the story? Check the thesis statement: topic + debatable opinion
Can the writer identify the topic of the thesis statement? The subject might be a symbol, character, motif, archetype, or an aspect of DIDLS (diction, imagery, details, language, sentence structure). Can the writer identify the opinion? Or does the statement merely identify something in
the text? Check the thesis statement: topic + debatable opinion Does the thesis merely summarize or only point out an obvious detail or pattern? Does the diction in the thesis include vague or abstract words
that contain too many meanings, thus preventing a clear focus? Examples of thesis statements without an opinion *Ebenezer Scrooge is forced to remember events of the past. *Huck and Jim experience several conflicts during their travel down the river.
*There are many symbols in the book. *Dickens repeats images of hands throughout the novel. *Matthew Arnolds sea metaphor plays a significant role in the poem. Examples of thesis statements with an opinion
*Scrooges encounters with the ghosts illustrate the transformative power of memory. *Hucks and Jims friendship moves through three stages: the meeting, the challenge and survival, and developing love.
Examples of thesis statements with an opinion *The archetype of clothing reflects Hucks desire for individuality. *In Great Expectations, the hands motif indicates Pips location in the journey toward maturity.
*The sea metaphor allows Matthew Arnold to develop a political commentary on the Victorian Age, a time in which man is isolated and void of religious conviction, a situation that can only be rectified by human love. A PAPER CAN BE WITHOUT AN INTRODUCTION, BUT IT
MUST HAVE A THESIS. The Thesis should address topic, debatable opinion, and universal idea. AGAIN, THE THREE ELEMENTS THE THESIS MUST HAVE ARE: 1.topic---direction
2.debatable opinion---claim 3.universal---idea The claim is the opinion---the verb/verbs will indicate the claim. Examples----argues, reflects, indicates, develops, proves, allows, Justifies, reveals
The verb should push the claim or force the argument. The universal idea should go beyond the text. Always-------REVIEW your
THESIS STATEMENT and INDICATE THE DIRECTION, CLAIM, AND UNIVERSAL IDEA. After writing the thesis statement, what next? Organize your evidence. Allow the evidence to
determine the organization of the essay. After organizing evidence, what should the writer do? Create topic sentences. Topic sentence (TS) = Organizing
Element + Aspect of Thesis Organization Choices Time/Chronological.
Thesis: The conch in Lord of the Flies represents the decay of order and civilization. TS1 In chapter one, the conch is discovered and revered for its power to call the children to an ordered meeting. TS2 In chapter three, the conch
shows signs of losing it civilizing power. Organization Choices
Word glue in bold. Place/Spatial. Organize according to locations in the text. Thesis: The marriages in Great Expectations depict the variety of virtues and vices presenting this British community. TS1 Near the storys beginning, the reader encounters the home of Joe and
Mrs. Joe, a home where truth and innocence are preyed upon. Organization Choices TS2 Later, the reader visits the Pockets home, a place of idleness and self-centeredness. Thesis: In The Scarlet Letter, Hester
models the emotional strength uncharacteristic of a stereotypical seventeenth century woman. Organization Choices TS1 Exiting the prison door, Hesters demeanor shows the reader her assertiveness.
TS2 At the governors house, Hester forcefully displays her confidence. **Important to remember a TS (topic sentence) is not a plot detail only. A topic sentence that contains only
a plot detail does not communicate an organization choice or an aspect of the thesis. For example, Piggy discovers the conch near the lagoon in chapter one is a plot detail and not a topic
sentence. Organization Choices Idea/Rhetorical Mode. Organize by definition, a classification, an analogy/
comparison, a comparison/contrast, or a cause-effect. Thesis: In The Tempest Prospero possesses the qualities of leadership which all communities hope to produce. Organization Choices Thesis: In The Tempest Prospero
possesses the qualities of leadership which all communities hope to produce. TS1 Prospero demonstrates an ability to restrain his emotions. Organization Choices Thesis: In The Canterbury Tales,
Chaucer uses his characters to explore three moral categories. TS1 The lowest level Chaucer describes is one of complete depravity. TS2 Chaucers second moral plane is defined by the perpetration of evil acts: sloth, selfishness, and hypocrisy.
Organization Choices Thesis: In Great Expectations Pip finds himself in a situation paralleling the parable of the prodigal son. TS1 The Bibles parable begins with the prodigal son who, dissatisfied with his present situation in life, asks
his father for his inheritance. Organization Choices TS2 After he leaves his home and father, Pip, the prodigal, squanders his inheritance on a life of dissipation. Thesis: In A Tale of Two Cities, the battle between the human and the
inhuman is resolved, with Stryver fleeing as a hypocrite and the unlikely Carton rising as a phoenix to save humanity. Organization Choices TS1 The reader first meets Stryver, the self-important opportunist, contrasted to Carton, a selfdeprecating servant, at the trial of
Charles Darnay in the Old Bailey. TS2 Next, in Stryvers office the reader glimpses the nightly business interactions between an underestimate jackal and a roaring lion. CHECK THE DICTION OF THE TOPIC SENTENCES
WORD GLUE Does the writer use word glue to connect the topic with the thesis? The writer may use synonyms or exact words. The writer or reader should be able to draw circles around common words in the thesis and topic sentences. If the writer cannot, the reader might not understand how the writer plans to prove the argument. Look
at the example which follows: CHECK THE DICTION OF THE TOPIC SENTENCES ORIGINAL FIRST TOPIC SENTENCE Pip lives in a household of violence and poor relationships. (plot detail) REVISED
Pip first encounters the impressionable stage of childhood, wherein Pip is not yet able to evaluate situations critically; consequently, Pip surmises an association between hands and acrimonious relationships. CHECK THE DICTION OF THE TOPIC SENTENCES
ORIGINIAL SECOND TOPIC SENTENCE Pip begins to hate his life at the forge after he visits Miss Havisham and Estella. (fact from a chapter) REVISED Shortly after early childhood, Pip
begins to grow into the more contemplative stage of preadolescence, a stage in which he begins to question his surroundings as well as draw conclusions about them. Thesis Coleridges Rime of the Ancient
Mariner illustrates mans proclivity since the Fall to sin without cause, to possess the opportunity of reconciliation, and to have the option to do penance, all in hopes of receiving forgiveness. ORIGINAL FIRST TOPIC SENTENCE
The mariners misfortunes begin by abruptly and without cause killing the albatross. (plot detail) REVISED Since the Fall, man often discovers himself sinning without cause and sometimes without explanation.
ORIGINAL THIRD TOPIC SENTENCE The narrator learns that the Mariner must now tell his tale. (plot detail) REVISED With reconciliation comes penance, another stage on a path
to forgiveness. PURPOSE Obviously, the topic sentence must relate to the purpose. The Topic sentence becomes the thesis for a paragraph and it must also have a direction, a claim, and a universal idea. Each paragraph must have an order--chronological, spatial, etc.
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