Thesis Statements Presentation

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THESIS
STATEMENTS IN
ACADEMIC WRITING
Camille Mustachio
MA, English
LEARNING OUTCOMES
Define a thesis statement.
 Identify and discuss three key qualities of an effective
thesis statement.
 Locate effective thesis statements in academic writing.
 Create and discuss thesis statements.

A THESIS STATEMENT IS A SENTENCE
THAT…
clearly presents the main idea of an essay.
 appears in the introductory paragraph.
 goes beyond simply stating a fact or making an
announcement.
 provides a strong foundation upon which to build
an essay.
 contains a sufficiently-narrow topic, an opinion or
controlling idea about the topic, and a preview of
evidence in support of the argument.

THREE QUALITIES OF AN EFFECTIVE
THESIS STATEMENT
Topic
Opinion
Evidence
TOPIC, OPINION, AND EVIDENCE IN ACTION.




Year-round school.
Downtown revitalization projects improve the
community by spurring economic growth.
Parents should read The Cat in the Hat to their
children.
Clubs promote the personal growth of community
college students.
TOPIC, OPINION, AND EVIDENCE IN ACTION.

Year-round school.
TOPIC, OPINION, AND EVIDENCE IN ACTION.

Year-round school.
…should be discouraged because it creates child-care
dilemmas without academic benefits.
 …leads to student success as schools with year-round
schedules report higher standardized test-scores and
lower academic retention rates than schools with ninemonth schedules.

TOPIC, OPINION, AND EVIDENCE IN ACTION.

Downtown revitalization projects improve the
community by spurring economic growth.
TOPIC, OPINION, AND EVIDENCE IN ACTION.

Downtown revitalization projects improve
the community by spurring economic
growth.
TOPIC, OPINION, AND EVIDENCE IN ACTION.

Parents should read The Cat in the Hat to their
children.
TOPIC, OPINION, AND EVIDENCE IN ACTION.

Parents should read The Cat in the Hat to their
children.
…since early reading leads to future academic success.
 …because of the story’s whimsical plot, creative diction,
and entertaining images.

TOPIC, OPINION, AND EVIDENCE IN ACTION.

Clubs promote the personal growth of community
college students.
TOPIC, OPINION, AND EVIDENCE IN ACTION.

Clubs promote the personal growth of
community college students.
…by creating opportunities for involvement.
 …since clubs focus on student service, leadership,
and fellowship.

EFFECTIVE THESIS STATEMENTS IN ACADEMIC WRITING
 “In
‘College Pressures,’ William Zinsser notes the
disappearance of a time when college students
‘journeyed through college with a certain relaxation,
sampling a wide variety of courses— music, art,
philosophy, classics, anthropology, poetry, religion—
that would send them out as liberally educated men
and women’ (464). The change in college students’
focus is even more noticeable today than when
Zinsser wrote his essay, and it represents a real loss
for students. Taking a variety of different kinds of
courses can educate students about a wide range of
subjects, and it can also teach them about
themselves” (Kirszner and Mandell 455).
EFFECTIVE THESIS STATEMENTS IN ACADEMIC WRITING
 “In
‘College Pressures,’ William Zinsser notes the
disappearance of a time when college students
‘journeyed through college with a certain relaxation,
sampling a wide variety of courses— music, art,
philosophy, classics, anthropology, poetry, religion—
that would send them out as liberally educated men
and women’ (464). The change in college students’
focus is even more noticeable today than when
Zinsser wrote his essay, and it represents a real loss
for students. Taking a variety of different kinds
of courses can educate students about a wide range
of subjects, and it can also teach them about
themselves” (Kirszner and Mandell 455).
EFFECTIVE THESIS STATEMENTS IN ACADEMIC WRITING
 “In
‘College Pressures,’ William Zinsser notes the
disappearance of a time when college students
‘journeyed through college with a certain relaxation,
sampling a wide variety of courses— music, art,
philosophy, classics, anthropology, poetry, religion—
that would send them out as liberally educated men
and women’ (464). The change in college students’
focus is even more noticeable today than when
Zinsser wrote his essay, and it represents a real loss
for students. Taking a variety of different kinds of
courses can educate students about a wide range
of subjects, and it can also teach them about
themselves” (Kirszner and Mandell 455).
EFFECTIVE THESIS STATEMENTS IN ACADEMIC WRITING
 “In
‘College Pressures,’ William Zinsser notes the
disappearance of a time when college students
‘journeyed through college with a certain relaxation,
sampling a wide variety of courses— music, art,
philosophy, classics, anthropology, poetry, religion—
that would send them out as liberally educated men
and women’ (464). The change in college students’
focus is even more noticeable today than when
Zinsser wrote his essay, and it represents a real loss
for students. Taking a variety of different kinds of
courses can educate students about a wide range
of subjects, and it can also teach them about
themselves” (Kirszner and Mandell 455).
IT’S YOUR TURN!
On your own, write a thesis statement that
contains the three key qualities of topic,
opinion, and evidence.
 With a partner, compare thesis statements and
offer suggestions for improvement.
 As a class, share favorite thesis statements.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Move from topic to thesis statement by crafting a
sentence that contains a sufficiently-narrow
topic, an opinion or controlling idea about the
topic, and a preview of evidence in support of
the argument.
 Remember that writing skills improve with
practice, so be patient as your skills develop.
 Utilize your instructors, classmates, and peer
tutors for additional support.

WORKS CITED
Making Sense: A Real-World Rhetorical Reader.
Ed. Cheryl Glenn. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's,
2005. Print.
 Patterns for College Writing: A Rhetorical Reader
and Guide. Eds. Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen
R. Mandell. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2010.
Print.
 The Writer’s Workplace: With Readings. Eds.
Sandra Scarry and John Scarry. Boston:
Thomson Wadsworth, 2003. Print.

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