Thesis Statements

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WTG 7a: The Thesis Statement and Topic Sentences

The thesis statement concisely expresses your main idea to your audience and is supported by the body of the essay. Your thesis statement should do more than state a fact; rather, it should make an assertion based on your own ideas.

( Bad: iPods are devices that transport and play music. ( Good: iPods are the best source for transporting and playing music not only because they are compact and user-friendly but also because they store large amounts of music.

KINDS OF THESIS STATEMENTS
1. The enumerative thesis (a.k.a. “three-point” thesis[1]) lists the evidence that supports your primary argument. Each body paragraph discusses one piece of evidence. Example: The writers of Family Guy use irreverent humor to satirize pop culture, comment on the stereotypical American family, and explore controversial themes.

2. The umbrella thesis encompasses the entire argument in a concise statement without naming each piece of evidence that the author plans to use. Example: The irreverent humor used in Family Guy is not used simply to shock, but to comment on deeper societal issues.

HOW TO DEVELOP A THESIS STATEMENT
Think deeper! After writing a thesis statement, ask yourself, “So what?” Example: Family Guy is a humorous television show. (So what?) Revision: Family Guy is entertaining because of its controversial humor. (So what?) Revision: The irreverent humor used in Family Guy is not used simply to shock, but to comment on deeper societal issues.

Some ways to expand your thesis
Say why: For many student writers, procrastination is based on fear; this fear keeps students from improving their writing because they do not take the time to fully develop their ideas.

Say why your audience should care: Students should understand that worrying about grammar and spelling too early in the writing process will actually lead to a poor essay....
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