In , he conceived and began to create MindSparks , a project that focuses on primary source analysis, writing and debating skills, and the development of habits of historical thinking. A three-activity lesson teaching students what thesis statements are and how to use them effectively in writing Document Based Questions DBQs and other history essays. Students asked to write brief essays on historical topics often lack a clear sense that such essays have a distinct structure.
Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements
That structure varies with the topic the student is asked to address, but it usually consists of three tasks:. A clear thesis statement is crucial to managing these tasks. An effective thesis statement responds to all key components of the question posed. It provides an answer, or hypothesis, which the entire essay will support or explain. Finally, if the thesis is clear enough, it should suggest a structure for the entire essay, one that will deal with all key facets of the question or problem posed.
This lesson is based on the belief that students cannot master an essay component such as the thesis statement in the abstract, but will best learn its nature by studying it in the context of a concrete historical problem. Here are some helpful hints to get you started.
You can either scroll down or select a link to a specific topic. Almost all assignments, no matter how complicated, can be reduced to a single question. Your first step, then, is to distill the assignment into a specific question.
Brainstorm the topic. You find that you are interested in the amount of sugar Americans consume. Instead, it simply indicates a general subject.
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Narrow the topic. Your readings about the topic, however, have led you to the conclusion that elementary school children are consuming far more sugar than is healthy. This fragment not only announces your subject, but it focuses on one segment of the population: elementary school children. Furthermore, it raises a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree, because while most people might agree that children consume more sugar than they used to, not everyone would agree on what should be done or who should do it.
Take a position on the topic.
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After reflecting on the topic a little while longer, you decide that what you really want to say about this topic is that something should be done to reduce the amount of sugar these children consume. More attention should be paid to the food and beverage choices available to elementary school children. This statement asserts your position, but the terms more attention and food and beverage choices are vague. Use specific language.
You decide to explain what you mean about food and beverage choices , so you write:.
Experts estimate that half of elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar. It merely reports a statistic instead of making an assertion. Make an assertion based on clearly stated support. You finally revise your thesis statement one more time to look like this:.lialebcifarmve.gq
Easy Ways to Write a Thesis Statement | Owlcation
Because half of all American elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar, schools should be required to replace the beverages in soda machines with healthy alternatives. Your thesis changed to reflect your new insights. Remember that your thesis needs to show your conclusions about a subject. For example, if you are writing a paper for a class on fitness, you might be asked to choose a popular weight-loss product to evaluate. Here are two thesis statements:. This is a weak thesis statement.
First, it fails to take a stand. Second, the phrase negative and positive aspects is vague. Because Banana Herb Tea Supplement promotes rapid weight loss that results in the loss of muscle and lean body mass, it poses a potential danger to customers. Your thesis should indicate the point of the discussion. If your assignment is to write a paper on kinship systems, using your own family as an example, you might come up with either of these two thesis statements:.
How to Write a Great Thesis Statement
This is a weak thesis because it merely states an observation. While most American families would view consanguineal marriage as a threat to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families, like my own, believe that these marriages help reinforce kinship ties in an extended family.
This is a strong thesis because it shows how your experience contradicts a widely-accepted view. A good strategy for creating a strong thesis is to show that the topic is controversial.
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Readers will be interested in reading the rest of the essay to see how you support your point.