Writing Powerful Thesis Statements

Writing Powerful Thesis Statements

HOW TO WRITE POWERFUL THESIS STATEMENTS 1 Theseus vs. Thesis Theseus, a mythical hero of ancient Greece, found his way out of the Cretan Labyrinth by following a thread.

Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 2 A thesis statement allows both the writer and the reader to find their way through a labyrinth of ideas by following a thread of thought. Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason

3 Academic writing requires a thesis statement. Most academic writing should contain a sentence that states the controlling idea of the essay, the central message. Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 4

That central message, the thesis statement, is the string that guides the reader from the introductory paragraph, through the supporting ones, to the conclusion. (Remember Theseus and the Minotaur.) Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 5 A thesis statement is not a subject.

The two most famous generals of the Civil War is not a thesis statement. Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 6 A thesis statement is not a question. Was Robert E. Lee a better general than Ulysses S. Grant? is not a thesis statement.

Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 7 A thesis statement is not a statement of fact. A fact is something true or indisputable; something that exists or happens. Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason

8 Facts Many Americans are overweight. Nowadays, many movies and video games are violent. Some people doubt that global warming is real. Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant are two famous Civil War generals.

Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 9 A thesis statement is not a statement of intent. A statement of intent announces what the reader intends to say (the goal) and is not a claim. Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason

10 Statements of Intent I am going to explain the importance of a father in a daughters life. My essay will discuss whether performance enhancing drugs should be allowed in professional sports. The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast Generals Grant and Lee.

Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 11 What is a thesis statement? A claim: an assertion of the truth of something A one or two sentence summary of a papers main point An unproved statement which is assumed to be true and from which a

conclusion can be drawn Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 12 A thesis statement does the following: Requires you to give reasons for your claim and to show that it is worth proving Although Lee was a better tactician

than Grant, he lost the war because Grant was the better strategist. Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 13 5 Traits of an effective thesis It states a claim. It is focused. It contains one main point. It may provide a blueprint for the essay.

5. It must be well-supported. 1. 2. 3. 4. Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 14 A thesis statement is adequately focused. It

is not too broad. It is not too narrow. Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 15 Examples of thesis statements that are too broad. Video games today have many

advantages over the first generation ones. There is too much money in politics. The lifestyle of women today is very different from that of women during the American Revolution. Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 16 An effective thesis statement contains one main point. Ineffective:

There are advantages and disadvantages of making English the official language of the United States. Effective: English should be the official language of the United States. Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 17 Ineffective: Limiting free speech has both advantages

and disadvantages. Effective: The Supreme Court has rightly limited freedom of speech when such speech jeopardizes national safety, justice, or personal safety. Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 18 An effective thesis may

provide a blueprint for the essay One way to show the reader your plan is to create a thesis with a topic part and a comment part. Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 19 Examples of topic/comment

thesis Human beings do not need to eat meat because they can get all of their nutritional needs met from eating meatless products. Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 20 Cell

phones and the internet have made communication faster and easier than ever but at the expense of important face-to-face contact. Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 21 Sometimes the comment comes first and the topic second

Rising crime rates, increasingly overcrowded conditions, and growing expenses make living comfortably in a modern city difficult. Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 22 A thesis statement must be well-supported.

No matter how well-constructed and thoughtful your thesis statement is, it is only effective when supported by evidence. Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 23 You

must have adequate information, examples, details, personal experiences, reasons, etc. to convince your reader that you know what youre talking about. Copyright 2012 Dianne Mason 24

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