Professor Sara Chaney uses various methods to help her students arrive at a thesis. One that has proven successful is requiring students to examine their assumptions.
Professor Chaney begins this instruction by introducing the student to the enthymeme. Like the syllogism All men are mortal; Socrates is a man; therefore, Socrates is mortal , the enthymeme has three parts: As Professor Chaney notes, in many cases the enthymeme is presented with the major premise left unstated: The key question to ask is: What must be true about the world in order for this statement to be true?
Students are asked to put forth all hidden assumptions, large and small. This forces the students to dig beneath the surface of the text, to explore the structure and the nuance of the argument. In the process, ideas for a thesis will present themselves. Students sometimes make the mistake of forcing evidence to fit an overly rigid claim, or of presenting their claim in the form of a list, with few connections between the points. To evolve the thesis, Professor Chaney asks students to begin with their basic claim and then to methodically increase the complexity of that claim through the introduction of complicating evidence.
This new evidence forces students to redefine their initial claims and to determine how the counter-claim might or might not be accommodated by their thesis.
For instance, a student may have written the following thesis: Using any of these methods, students will have improved their thesis sentences. Professor Karen Gocsik advises that developing a good thesis is often the result of finding the "umbrella idea.
This fit is then summed up in the "umbrella idea," or the big idea that all of their observations can stand under. For instance, in an exploration of the Gospels as rhetoric, a student makes the specific observation that, in three of the four gospels, Jesus is reported as saying dramatically different things during his crucifixion. Nevertheless, this observation provokes a broader question: And if so, how do we understand this contradiction? What are the conditions of religious truth?
Is there room for a contradiction as important as this? Of course, these questions are too big to be addressed in an academic paper. And so the student returns to the text, still with these too-big questions haunting him. Reviewing the specific contradictions of the text, he crafts another set of questions: How should we understand the differences we see across the four gospels? What might have inspired these writers to craft this important crucifixion scene differently - particularly when, as is true of the authors of Matthew and Luke, they were using the same sources?
The student posits that these differences arise from a difference in audience, historical moment, and rhetorical purpose. He turns to scholarship and finds his interpretation confirmed. But the bigger questions persist. If the gospels are constructed to serve the earthly purposes of converting or supporting the beliefs of specific audiences, how can they also be considered as true?
After all, if the truth of a supreme being is beyond human grasp, then perhaps it requires a many-voiced or polyglossic narrative. With this idea in mind, the student produces a paper that not only details the variances across the texts, but offers a claim about why an audience of believers are not deterred by the differences.
Sometimes, the purpose of a piece of writing is not to make a claim but to raise questions. Other times, a writer wants to leave a matter unresolved, inspiring the reader to create his or her own position. In these cases, the thesis sentence might take other forms: It permits the writer to pursue all ideas, without committing to any. While this freedom might seem appealing, in fact you will find that the lack of a declarative thesis statement requires more work: Some of our best writers never explicitly declare their theses.
Still, the essay is coherent and makes a point. In these cases, the writers have used an implied thesis. Writers use an implied thesis when they want to maintain a light hand. Good writers will have their thesis clearly stated - either in their own minds, or in their notes for the paper.
They may elect not to put the thesis in the paper, but every paragraph, every sentence that they write is controlled by the thesis all the same. If you decide to write a paper with an implied thesis, be sure that you have a strong grasp of your argument and its structure.
Also be sure that you supply adequate transitions, so that the reader can follow your argument with ease.
Here are some questions to ask yourself. As your writing becomes more sophisticated, you will find that a one-sentence thesis statement cannot bear the burden of your entire argument.
Therefore, you will find yourself relying increasingly on your introduction to lay the groundwork. Save the "punch" for your thesis. For more information about creating good introductions that can support your thesis sentences, see Introductions and Conclusions elsewhere in this website. No matter what discipline you are working in, you came to your idea by way of certain observations.
For example, perhaps you have noticed in a History of Education course that female college students around the turn of the century seem very often to write about the idea of service to the community. How did you come to that observation? What did you observe first? And, more importantly, how did you go about exploring the significance of this observation? Did you investigate other college documents to see if the value of service was explicitly stated there?
Or was this value implied in course descriptions, extra curricular possibilities, and so forth? Reconstruct for yourself how you came to your observations, and use this to help you to create a coherent introduction and thesis. Those writers who understand the concept of "working thesis" are way ahead of the game. A "working thesis" is a thesis that works for you, helping you to see where your ideas are going. Many students keep their working thesis in front of them at all times to help them to control the direction of their argument.
Or, more important, what happens when you think everything is going well in your paper and suddenly you arrive at a block? Always return to your working thesis, and give it a critical once-over. You may find that the block in your writing process is related to some limitation in your thesis.
Or you may find that hidden somewhere in that working thesis is the germ of an even better idea. Stay in conversation with your thesis throughout the writing process. Institute for Writing and Rhetoric. Learn more about our research. Writing a Thesis Sentence: An Introduction Few sentences in your paper will vex you as much as the thesis sentence. So what makes a good thesis sentence? Despite the differences from discipline to discipline and from course to course, a good thesis will generally have the following characteristics: A good thesis sentence will make a claim.
A good thesis sentence will define the scope of your argument. What is one thing about your topic that you believe to be true, and that you wish to argue? Is what you say always true always? Are there good reasons why your position may have a down side? How can you make your position have a reality check? What general reasons why your position may have problems can you admit up front? Although schools of over a thousand students have flourished in America.
Write your qualification in the space below. In general why do you believe your position to be correct in spite of your qualification? What is the over all good to be gained by agreeing with your position?
This is a general statement; your specific reasons will follow in the body of your essay. Write your reason in the space below. In one or two sentences, present your thesis, including a qualification, a reason, and a position. The classic, traditional way of combining is to first present your qualification.
This immediately demonstrates your interest in accuracy. Then present your general reason which demonstrates your thinking process, and finally the punch line--your position. Edit your thesis statement in the box above so that the parts of the thesis flow smoothly, check for proper grammar and standard spelling.
THESIS GENERATOR. Thesis Statement Guide Development Tool. Follow the steps below to formulate a thesis statement. All cells must contain text. 1. State your topic. 2. State your opinion/main idea about this topic. This will form the heart of your thesis.
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Many papers you write require developing a thesis statement. In this section you'll learn what a thesis statement is and how to write one. Keep in mind that not all papers require thesis statements. If in doubt, please consult your instructor for assistance. This will help you to refine your thesis, and it will also make you think of the arguments that you'll need to refute later on in your essay. (Every argument has a counterargument. If yours doesn't, then it's not an argument—it may be .
Thesis development help. Posted on Wrzesień 6, przez. Argumentative synthesis essay example. essay on subhash chandra bose in kannada language to english? the narrative life of frederick douglass tone essay application essay how to write corruption research essay. oppsett essay? fast pack edc comparison essay. the narrative life of. This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can discover or refine one for your draft. and contrast, to demonstrate cause and effect, or to take a stand on an issue, it is likely that you are being asked to develop a thesis and to support it persuasively. Re-reading the.