Example Thesis Statements
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Here is the prompt we will work with.
In a well organized essay, explain how the
writer uses rhetorical strategies to convey
his message about society’s attitude
toward drunkenness.
Thesis Example 1
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Sanders uses ethos, pathos, and tone shift
to show the audience how destructive
alcoholism really is.
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Sanders uses ethos, pathos, and tone shift
to show the audience how destructive
alcoholism really is.
Specific, but doesn’t address prompt.
Asked about Sanders’s message about
society’s attitude toward drunkenness.
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Sanders uses ethos, pathos, and tone shift
to show the audience how destructive
alcoholism really is.
How? Be more specific. Usually an author
doesn’t USE ethos, he or she uses some
other rhetorical device in order to
establish or create ethos.
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Sanders uses ethos, pathos, and tone shift
to show the audience how destructive
alcoholism really is.
Shifts from what tone to what tone?
Thesis Example 2
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Sanders uses a lot of similes, metaphors,
and other contrasts as well as tone shifts
and pathos to get across his message. I
think he is trying to convey the message
that society refuses to take alcoholism
seriously; they prefer to view it as a joke.
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Sanders uses a lot of similes, metaphors,
and other contrasts as well as tone shifts
and pathos to get across his message. I
think he is trying to convey the message
that society refuses to take alcoholism
seriously; they prefer to view it as a joke.
Good description. Specific, uses verbs.
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Sanders uses a lot of similes, metaphors,
and other contrasts as well as tone shifts
and pathos to get across his message. I
think he is trying to convey the message
that society refuses to take alcoholism
seriously; they prefer to view it as a joke.
Way too many things to write about in one
essay. Choose your best 3, or the 3 that
connect together the best.
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Sanders uses a lot of similes, metaphors,
and other contrasts as well as tone shifts
and pathos to get across his message. I
think he is trying to convey the message
that society refuses to take alcoholism
seriously; they prefer to view it as a joke.
Don’t use 1st person. It is already obvious
that you are writing what you think.
Example Thesis 3
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Sanders uses tone shifts in this essay to
convey that society’s humorous attitude
toward drunks is very cruel to the many
people affected by alcoholism.
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Sanders uses tone shifts in this essay to
convey that society’s humorous attitude
toward drunks is very cruel to the many
people affected by alcoholism.
Shifts from what to what? Also, one item
is too few.
Example Thesis 4
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Sanders uses persona, tone shifts and
organization to convey society’s attitude
toward drunkenness.
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Sanders uses persona, tone shifts and
organization to convey society’s attitude
toward drunkenness.
Vague—what persona, shifting from what
to what, what about the organization?
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Sanders uses persona, tone shifts and
organization to convey society’s attitude
toward drunkenness.
What is the attitude?
Also, careful—prompt didn’t ask about
society’s attitude, asked about Sander’s
message about society’s attitude.
Tips:
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Be as specific as possible. If you can’t fit
it all into one sentence at this point, that’s
okay.
Verbs are your friends
Careful to address the prompt
No 1st person
A good thesis statement
Prompt: In a well organized essay, explain how the writer
uses rhetorical strategies to convey his message
about society’s attitude toward drunkenness.
In the essay “Under the Influence” by Scott Russell
Sanders, he conveys a message that society uses humor
to hide the burden of alcoholism; therefore, people
never face the real problems alcohol causes. He uses
many rhetorical devices such as musical diction, tone
shifts from humorous to sarcastic, and allusions to
develop this message.
Never mention diction without an
adjective to describe it.
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Light-hearted diction
Informal diction
Humorous
Sarcastic
Childish diction
Diction full of alliteration and assonance
Musical diction
ICE
Analysis Question\ICE.doc
ICE: How to use evidence
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Introduce, Cite, Explain
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Integrate evidence into your OWN sentence.
Never begin a sentence with a quote or
paraphrase
Explanation = how this piece of evidence
helps prove your thesis
Citation depends on piece of writing:
AP essays, cite in intro (In paragraph 2, Sanders
uses the words…)
 Research papers, cite in intro or use parenthetical
doc.
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To Quote or Paraphrase?
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Quote when:
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Short, specific language is impt.
Ok to quote only part of a sentence, individual
words. Use ellipses (…) if you omit part in
the middle of a sentence.
Paraphrase when:
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Long, content is important but language is not
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In a well organized essay, explain how the writer uses rhetorical