Providing Your Paper Focus
What is a Thesis Statement? Why do You Need One? Writing a Good Thesis Statement 4 Traits of a Strong Thesis Statement
A Thesis Statement is a one (or two) sentence summary of the argument or study that follows in the paper.
Almost all readers---even if we don’t do it consciously---look early in an essay or article for this summary.
To test your ideas by squeezing them into a sentence or two.
To better organize and develop your argument.
To provide your reader with a “guide” to your argument.
First, reduce your assignment to a single question.• Assigned Topic:
Write a report describing how a character from S.E. Hinton’s “The Outsiders” changes.
• Unassigned Topic Write about a theme from S.E. Hinton’s “The
Outsiders.” Then, write your answer to the
question using a complex sentence.
A good thesis statement will usually do four things:• Take on a subject upon which reasonable
people could disagree (it’s “testable”)• Deal with a subject that can be dealt with in
the nature/scope of the assignment• Express one main idea• Assert your conclusion about a subject (can
be supported with facts)
List general ideas of interest.• “Sugar Consumption”
Narrow the topic.• “Reducing sugar consumption by
elementary school children.” Take a position on a topic.
• More attention should be paid to the food and beverage choices available to elementary school children.
Use specific language.• Experts estimate that half of elementary
school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar.
Make an assertion based on clearly stated support.• Because half of all American elementary
school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar, schools should be required to replace the beverages in soda machines with healthy alternatives.
1: A strong thesis statement takes some sort of stand.WEAK STRONG
There are some good and bad things about safaris.
Because safari tours in Burundi promote nature conservation and the developing Burundi economy, they should be taken by all who can afford it.
2: A strong thesis statement justifies discussion.
WEAK STRONG There are many
environmental issues in Tunisia.
While most Americans view global climate change as creating bad weather, many Tunisian are suffering a direct loss of home, and in some cases life, because of the changing environment.
3: A strong thesis statement expresses one main idea.WEAK STRONG
Zambia has many great sports, and the government is improving so you can visit its capital.
Because the Zambian government is investing money into their national soccer team, the capital city of Lusaka has become a safe and exciting place to visit.
4: A strong thesis is specific.
WEAK STRONG World hunger has
many causes and effects.
Hunger persists in Angola because of the lack of a strong central government and farming in the infertile soil is rarely profitable.
A Thesis Statement tells the reader what is to follow.
A Thesis Statement provides the writer with organization and purpose.
A Thesis Statement can be viewed as the answer to the question an assignment asks you to answer.
A Good Thesis Statement Has Four Traits:• It takes some sort of stand.• It justifies the discussion.• It expresses one main idea.• It is specific.
Also:• Is a grammatically correct complex sentence• Can be “tested”• Can be supported with facts
Complete the brainstorming activity for your country.
Develop two strong Thesis Statements with supporting subtopics.