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thesis statements, topic sentences, and transitions

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Amanda Karim Writing Lab TA A thesis statement is one sentence that briefly states your main point. A thesis statement must answer two questions for the reader: What ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: thesis statements, topic sentences, and transitions


1
thesis statements, topic sentences, and
transitions
  • Amanda Karim
  • Writing Lab TA

2
Thesis Statements
  • A thesis statement is one sentence that briefly
    states your main point.
  • A thesis statement must answer two questions for
    the reader
  • What is your topic?
  • What is your opinion, or how do you feel about
    your topic?

3
Thesis Statements
  • Your thesis statement cannot be an announcement.
  • In this paper, I will discuss whether murderers
    should go to jail.
  • Your thesis statement cannot be a fact.
  • Murderers are people who kill other people.
  • Your thesis statement must be something you have
    an opinion about and can argue.
  • All murderers should go to jail.

4
Working Thesis Statements
  • Your thesis statement does not need to be perfect
    before you write your paper.
  • Instead, write a working thesis statement for two
    reasons.
  • Working thesis statements help you organize your
    thoughts.
  • Once you organize your thoughts, you may want to
    change your thesis statement to make it more
    specific.

5
Specific Thesis Statements
  • Using specific information in your thesis
    statement helps the reader understand exactly
    what you will write about.
  • Not specific All murderers should go to jail.
  • Specific All murderers should go to jail because
    the law needs to be equal, they need to learn a
    lesson, and it will prevent them from murdering
    again.
  • The specific thesis statement tells the reader
    that you will write about three reasons why
    murderers should go to jail.

6
Topic Sentences
  • All body paragraphs need a topic sentence.
  • The topic sentence is like a thesis statement for
    a paragraph.
  • It tells the reader what you will talk about in
    that paragraph.
  • A topic sentence is usually the first sentence of
    your body paragraph.

7
Topic Sentences
  • A topic sentence cannot be an announcement.
  • This paragraph will tell you why the law needs to
    be equal.
  • A topic sentence cannot be a fact.
  • The law allows a jury to send murderers to jail.
  • Instead, your topic sentence needs to present an
    argument that supports your thesis statement.
  • If only some people who commit murder go to jail,
    then society will not trust the government to
    administer the law fairly.

8
Transitions
  • Transitions guide the reader through your essay
    from one idea to another.
  • You can transition from one idea to the next
    using transition words, i.e. first, second, then,
    after that, etc.
  • A good list of transition words can be found on
    page 216 of The DK Handbook by Anne Frances
    Wysocki and Dennis A. Lynch.

9
Transitions
  • You should not use transition words to start
    every paragraph because this is boring for the
    reader.
  • Instead, use synonyms or repeat crucial words,
    phrases, or concepts in the last sentence of one
    paragraph and the topic sentence of the next
    paragraph (Wysocki and Lynch 296).
  • This allows the reader to understand the
    connection because you have made the words in
    your sentences connect.

10
Transition Example
  • Murderers cannot kill other people and expect
    to continue their lives as if nothing happened.
    It is important that murderers go to jail so that
    they will learn the seriousness of taking a
    persons life.
  • To prevent people from committing crime,
    society needs to send all murderers to jail so
    that everyone will understand the serious
    consequences of murder.

11
Transition Example
  • The words highlighted in blue are an example of
    repeating words to connect ideas.
  • The phrases highlighted in orange show how you
    can use synonyms to connect ideas.
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