Thesis Statements - The Writing Center
Essays are not easy to write, even if it seems that there can be no problems in essay writing. Even if you have some bright ideas and strong arguments it is still necessary to present them in a proper way. Your essay has to be logical. The traditional goes as follows: introduction, essay main part, conclusion and references. In the main part you are expected to present several viewpoints, compare and contrast them in order to draw a conclusion in the end of the essay. If you violate this order you will probably get lower grade.
Thesis Statements - Indiana University
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Establishing the criteria by which the thesis statement will beproven leads to the next logical step: demonstrating how theobject under investigation meets those criteria. Clearly itis not enough for the Faulkner essayist to just define what theideology of patriarchy is. Their thesis is that Faulkner'swork criticizes that ideology. As a result, they will haveto point to specific things within the text and argue that theyrelate to those criteria IN A SPECIFIC WAYin this casethrough a process of criticism. This process of relatingthe object of investigation back to the established criteria isanother fundamental component of the body of the essay. Without it, the proof is not complete. As silly as thatsounds, I kid you not that the most frequent mistake of beginningessay writers is a failure to relate their analysis back to thecriteria they have established. Thus it is that anotherimportant norm for the academic essay is:
The academic essay is merely a specific writing genreasis the love letter, newspaper editorial, or pop-fiction. Asa genre, it functions within a set of norms, rules, andconventions. The purpose of this discussion is to makeclear to you what those rules and norms are, and how to use themto express your argument clearly. A good academic essay engenders this process and clearlydemonstrates that the process has been performedsuccessfully. With this in mind let's examinehow to write an academic essay. See, first, for different ways of getting your reader involved in your essay. The introductory paragraph should also include the thesis statement, a kind of mini-outline for the paper: it tells the reader what the essay is about. The last sentence of this paragraph must also contain a transitional "hook" which moves the reader to the first paragraph of the body of the paper.Following this norm allows you to cut to the chase. Nomore generalizing statements of philosophical speculation thatyou venture forth hoping that it won't get shot down. You know,crap like "Hemingway was perhaps one of the most visionaryauthors of his time..." or "The Western is perhaps themost uniquely American of all the genres..." Rather,if the purpose of the essay is to demonstrate that you haveappropriated a theory and applied it independently to produceresults, then the function of the introduction becomes morefocused: to introduce the theoryor theoreticalframeworkthat you have decided to use. Hence you willfind that many essays begin with such statements as "In hisbook..." Or, "In her essay..." Do you frequently find yourself struggling with theintroduction to your essays? Do you not know how to begin theessay? Do you find yourself searching for a generalizingstatement that will get things going, and trying to find adelicate balance between BS'ing and saying somethingmeaningful? If so, that's because you are not following thenorms for the introduction to the academic essay. Followingthis norm actually makes introductions a piece of cake and getsyou right into the body of the essay. Here is the norm: The thesis statement tells the reader what the essay will be about, and what point you, the author, will be making. You know what the essay will be about. That was your topic. Now you must look at your outline or diagram and decide what point you will be making. What do the main ideas and supporting ideas that you listed say about your topic?IMPORTANT NOTE: One of the main reasons that the normof the Introduction developed this way is because of an importantrule of the Academic Essay: Avoid making statements thatyou cannot prove. The problem with thegeneralizing/philosophical/BS'ing statements like "Hemingway..."and "The Western..." is that they cannot be proventhrough reasoned discourse. Moreover, to even try and do sowould require voluminous amounts of discourse for something thatis not even your thesis: what you actually ARE setting out toprove. As a result, the genre of the Academic Essay hasevolved into the above norm. It still meets anintroduction's purpose of orienting the reader, it just does soin a very specific manner. that contains the focus of your essay and tells your reader what the essay is going to be about. Although it is certainly possible to write a good essay without a thesis statement (many , for example, contain only an implied thesis statement), the lack of a thesis statement may well be a symptom of an essay beset by a lack of focus. Many writers think of a thesis statement as an umbrella: everything that you carry along in your essay has to fit under this umbrella, and if you try to take on packages that don't fit, you will either have to get a bigger umbrella or something's going to get wet.