Effective thesis writing

This style of thesis is perfect for a brief essay that contains only two or three body paragraphs. This basic five-paragraph essay is typical of middle and high school assignments. In the above persuasive thesis, you can see my opinion about Narnia followed by three clear reasons.

Effective Thesis Statements | English Composition I: Rhetorical Methods–Based

This thesis is perfect for setting up a tidy five-paragraph essay. In college, five paragraph essays become few and far between as essay length gets longer. Can you imagine having only five paragraphs in a six-page paper? For a longer essay, you need a thesis statement that is more versatile. Instead of listing two or three distinct points, a thesis can list one overarching point that all body paragraphs tie into. Good vs. In this thesis, I have made a claim about the theme in Narnia followed by my reasoning.

I am no longer limited in how many body paragraphs I can logically use. One thing I find that is helpful for students is having a clear template. While students rarely end up with a thesis that follows this exact wording, the following template creates a good starting point:.

Conversely, the formula for a thesis with only one point might follow this template:. When composing a thesis, you must consider not only the format, but other qualities like length, position in the essay, and how strong the argument is. Length: A thesis statement can be short or long, depending on how many points it mentions.

Where Should a Thesis Statement Be Placed

Typically, however, it is only one concise sentence. It does contain at least two clauses, usually an independent clause the opinion and a dependent clause the reasons. An essay is a written composition where you express a specific idea and then support it with facts, statements, analysis and explanations.

The basic format for an essay is known as the five paragraph essay — but an essay may have as many paragraphs as needed. A five paragraph essay contains five paragraphs. However, the essay itself consists of three sections: an introduction, a body and a conclusion. When you first start writing essays in school, it's not uncommon to have a topic assigned to you.

However, as you progress in grade level, you'll increasingly be given the opportunity to choose the topic of your essays. When selecting a topic for your essay, you'll want to make sure your topic supports the type of paper you're expected to write. If you're expected to produce a paper that is a general overview, then a general topic will suffice. However, if you're expected to write a specific analysis, then you're topic should be fairly specific.

For example, lets assume the objective of your essay is to write an overview.


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  7. Select a Topic.

However, if the objective or your essay is to write a specific analysis, then "RUSSIA" would be far too general a topic. If you're expected to choose your own topic, then the first step is to define the purpose of your essay. Is your purpose to persuade? To explain how to accomplish something? Or to education about a person, place, thing or idea? The topic you choose needs to support the purpose of your essay.

The purpose of your essay is defined by the type of paper you're writing. There are three basic types of essay papers:. Once you have defined the purpose of your essay, it's time to brainstorm.

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Don't choose just one topic right of the bat. Take some time to consider, contrast and weight your options. Get out a piece of paper and make a list of all the different topics that fit the purpose of your essay. Once they're all down on paper, start by eliminating those topics that are difficult or not as relevant as others topics.

Also, get rid of those topics that are too challenging or that you're just not that interested in. Pretty soon you will have whittled your list down to just a few topics and then you can make a final choice. Some students get scared to start writing. They want to make sure they have all their thoughts organized in their head before they put anything down on paper. Creating a diagram or outline allows you to put pen to paper and start organizing your ideas.

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Don't worry or agonize over organization at this point, just create a moderately organized format for your information. Whether you use a diagram or outline doesn't really matter. Some people prefer and work better with the flowing structure of a diagram. Others like the rigid and logical structure of an outline. Don't fret, once you get started, you can always change formats if the format you chose isn't working out for you. The following are useful steps for developing a diagram to organize ideas for your essay.

Outline The following are useful steps for developing an outline to organize ideas for your essay. Once you have an idea for the basic structure of your essay, and what information you're going to present in your essay, it's time to develop your thesis statement. Do not interpret results - save that for the discussion. Lay out the case as for a jury. Present sufficient details so that others can draw their own inferences and construct their own explanations.

Use S. Break up your results into logical segments by using subheadings Key results should be stated in clear sentences at the beginning of paragraphs. Describe the nature of the findings; do not just tell the reader whether or not they are significant. Writing for an Audience Who is your audience?

Researchers working in analogous field areas elsewhere in the world i. Researchers working in your field area, but with different techniques. Researchers working on the same interval of geologic time elsewhere in the world. All other researchers using the same technique you have used.

If your study encompasses an active process, researchers working on the same process in the ancient record. Conversely, if your study is based on the rock record, people studying modem analogs. People writing a synthesis paper on important new developments in your field. People applying earth science to societal problems i. Potential reviewers of your manuscript or your thesis committee. Editing Your Thesis.

Planning Ahead for Your Thesis. Writing for an Audience. Avoiding Ambiguity.

Effective Thesis Statements

Writing for an International Audience. Abstract A good abstract explains in one line why the paper is important. It then goes on to give a summary of your major results, preferably couched in numbers with error limits. The final sentences explain the major implications of your work. A good abstract is concise, readable, and quantitative. Absrtracts generally do not have citations. Information in title should not be repeated. Be explicit. Use numbers where appropriate.

Writing a Thesis and Making an Argument

Why did you do it? What question were you trying to answer? How did you do it? State methods. What did you learn? State major results. Why does it matter? Point out at least one significant implication. Table of Contents list all headings and subheadings with page numbers indent subheadings it will look something like this:.

How do you do this?


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  • Physical separation into different sections or paragraphs. Don't overlay interpretation on top of data in figures.

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