Saturday, April 28, 2012

How to write a strong thesis statement

Today I held a seminar on writing a good thesis statement and supportive details. I think it went very well. A few of the attendees came up to me afterwards and said they wished they had this information prior to the end of this semester. I now know to hold this this particular seminar early in the semester. Since this was my first seminar, I was a little nervous. I really did not expect many students to show up to a Saturday afternoon seminar, but I had a full class. In fact, I ran out of copies!

One of my former students was there and she told another student, "Professor Campbell is good and fast!" I like that...I guess? Well, since so I'm speedy, I'll share my tips for tthesis statements with you!

Thesis Statement = Fact + Opinion
ex. Because the Internet is filled with tremendous marketing potential, companies should exploit this potential by using Web pages that offer both advertising and customer support.

A good thesis statement should answer one question; therefore, it should have one main idea. If you have more than one main idea, then you may not have a clear focus for your writing!

A good thesis statement can be argued.
Ex. 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.
One could argue that the supplement promotes weight loss through the use of healthy, organic herbs.

The following questions can be used to guide your writing, especially when developing thesis statements and supporting details. These particular questions work well when writing an analysis paper on a piece of literature or journal article. I have my students complete current events activities. They choose one current event (usually an opinion piece) to wrto turn into an argumentative essay.
What is the writer’s position on this issue? Why is it important?
What benefits would be realized or what problems would be eliminated
What evidence (facts/statistics, personal examples, expert testimony) do you have in support of your argument?
What arguments go AGAINST your claim? What are the counterarguments? What could you say to rebut those counterarguments?

The above information is a snapshot of what we covered. Overall, remember that your thesis statement is the basis for your argument. It needs to be introduced early on in your
writing. Your thesis statement needs to state a fact and your opinion on that fact.

References: Indiana University

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