Building a Stronger Thesis

Document created by Classroom Compass Administrator on Mar 24, 2016
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Ask each of these questions to your students to help consider whether their draft might need work on that issue. Be sure you your students have their draft handy so that they can easily make revisions.

 

Unclear Topic?

Ask: Could you define or state your topic more clearly?

 

If yes, tell your students to:

1.     Write out your current working thesis.

2.     Circle the words in it that identify your topic.

   

Working thesis: Adaptability is essential for World Action volunteers. [What, exactly, does the topic adaptability mean?]

 

3.     Rework the circled topic. State it more clearly, and specify what it means to you. Define or identify the topic in terms of your       purpose and the likely interests of your audience.

 

Revised thesis: An ability to adjust to, even thrive under, challenging circumstances is essential for World Action volunteers.

 

Unclear Slant?

Ask your students, Could you define or state your slant more clearly?

 

If yes, tell your students to:

1.     Write out your current working thesis.

2.     Underline the words that state your slant, attitude, or point about your topic.

       

Working thesis: Volunteering is an invaluable experience. [Why or in what ways is volunteering invaluable?]

 

3.     Rework your underlined slant. Jot down ideas to sharpen it and express an engaging approach to your topic.

4.     Refine it to accomplish your purpose and appeal to your audience.

 

Revised thesis: Volunteering builds practical skills while connecting volunteers more fully to their communities.

 

Broad Thesis?

Ask your students, Could you limit your thesis to develop it more successfully?

 

If yes, tell your students to:

1.     Write out your current working thesis.

2.     Decide whether it establishes a task that you could accomplish given the available time and the expected length.

 

Working thesis: Rock and roll has evolved dramatically since the 1950s. [Tracing this history in a few pages would be    impossible.]

 

3.     Restrict your thesis to a slice of the pie, not the whole pie. Focus on one part or element, not several. Break it apart, and pick     only a chunk. Reduce many ideas to one point, or convert a negative statement to a positive one.

 

Revised thesis: The music of the alternative rock band Wilco continues to evolve as members experiment with vocal moods and instrumentation.

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