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English 101


Commonality: I evaluate your essays based on the ... You know you have a thesis if it can generate an antithesis. Antithesis Examples / Writer's position only ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: English 101

English 101 Thesis Statement
Requirements for Exemplification and
Argumentative Essays
Commonality I evaluate your essays based on the
effectiveness of your central idea and the
evidence you use to support it.
Carcinogens in work place
Water pollution
Home energy waste
Solid waste
Car emissions
Acid rain
Overcutting forests
Environmental Problems Problems
Narrowed focus controversial issue
Saving Rain Forests
Global warming
Developing alternative energy sources
Saving polar bears
Thesis structure
A common method of writing a thesis statement is
to simply present only your position on the
topic-- it is sometimes more formally called a
major proposition-- without including a
dependent element (phrase or clause) that would
commit you to countering some of the arguments
presented by the opposing side,
i. e., refuting.
This same statement may also include a divisional
section which outlines the major points to be
discussed in the body of the essay.
You know you have a thesis if it can generate an
  • We can save the Amazon rain forest by limiting
    tourist presence, boycotting goods made by
    companies that deplete the forest's resources,
    and generally educating people about the need to
    preserve the rain forest in order to preserve
    the earth's ecological systems.
  • We cannot save the Amazon rain forest since the
    companies that deplete its resources in their
    manufacturing are so widely spread throughout the
    world, so politically powerful in their
    respective countries, and wealthy enough to fight
    the opposition fully.

Antithesis Examples / Writers position only
SCC offers more user-friendly internet enhanced
classes than does South Mountain Community
SMCC offers more user-friendly internet enhanced
classes than does Scottsdale Community College.
Because the United States troops should not be
policing a civil war for which a political
solution seems remote, the administration should
begin withdrawing troops soon the House and
Senate should pass their respective spending
bills, and President Bush should not veto them.
Having a deadline for troop withdrawal by the
fall of 2008 is unrealistic if the current
administration is to pursue a politcal
resolution and hold the Iraqi government to
specific benchmarks thus the current legislation
in the House and Senate should be voted down or
vetoed by President Bush.
Alternate Structure
An effective thesis for an argumentative essay
may also consist of two parts an independent
clause stating the pro side of the argument--the
side you support--and a dependent element (clause
or phrase) stating the con side in which you
acknowledge the opposition. Common openers of
the dependent element are although, despite, and
despite the fact that. In addition, especially
for longer essays, an argumentative thesis is
often divisional it contains specific parts that
give the reader a clearer focus on the direction
and scope of the essay. Example Although the
U.S. government has made many efforts to advance
minorities, their upward movement through social
class is still hindered by obstacles in
employment, housing, lending, and education.
Regarding the United States involvement in what
the administration has labeled
genocide Possible thesis with divisions
  • To save the over two million people in regions of
    Sudan who are at risk of of dying wouldn't
    require troops--just a bit of gumption to declare
    a no-fly zone, to press our Western allies and
    nearby Arab and African states for help, to
    impose an arms embargo and other targeted
    sanctions, to push a meaningful U.N. resolution
    even at the risk of a Chinese veto, and to insist
    upon the deployment of a larger African force.

Example Thesis Statement
Broad Area Public Education Narrowed to
Alternatives to Public Education in Arizona
Narrowed to Home Schooling in Arizona Thesis
Specific Subject Predicate which asserts an
opinion about
the subject Example Although some parents in
Arizona think that teaching their own child might
undermine the youngsters education, home
schooling is a viable alternative to public
education because it enables the youth to seek
more academic and artistic freedom, permits him
or her to participate in the discussion of family
values and morals, and strengthens familial
Is this statement a thesis?
Approximately twenty percent of Arizona parents
think the states public education system has
significant problems and that alternative methods
of educating their children, like home schooling,
may offer better solutions.
Is this statement a thesis?
Even though Advanced Cell Technology has proposed
a way to produce human embryonic stem cells
without destroying an embryo, religious
conservatives have denounced it as ethically
unacceptable, which illustrates how much weight
morality places on this scientific enterprise.
Is this statement a thesis?
Because of the increase in blatant corruption,
the pervasive power of warlords and drug lords,
and a revived Taliban, the Bush administration
should focus more energy on bolstering
Afghanistans democracy--to displace the venality
and to prevent further violence in the south a
loss in this country will be a loss in the larger
struggle against terrorism.
Web sites to help you write a better thesis
  • Purdues OWL
  • Indiana University
  • University of North Carolina
  • St Cloud University

The next four slides are repetitive of the
handout I gave you in class regarding the thesis
An Effective Thesis
  • Is a complete declarative sentence
  • Is coherent
  • Is specific (often a divisional statement see
    slide seven)

An Effective Thesis
  • Shows the writers direction and purpose
  • Is explicit
  • Is argumentative (judgemental, evaluative,
    opinionated, editorialized, subjective)
  • Is the writers own words

A thesis statement is NOT
  • A fragment, lacking a subject or predicate nor an
    interrogative statement
  • Incoherent
  • Not over-generalized or too broad

A thesis is not
  • Nebulous
  • Implicit
  • Objective (reportorial, unbiased, impersonal)
  • Another persons words or original idea
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