Others might feel that we should be spending more money on education. Make a list of the ideas you want to include in the essay, then think about how to group them under several different headings. Ask yourself these same questions and begin to compare Northern and Southern attitudes (perhaps you first think The South believed slavery was right, and the North thought slavery was wrong ). There isn’t one right answer; However, it’s still not clear what your analysis will reveal. Is the author referring only to America or to the global population? Example: Claims about value: These are claims made of what something is worth, whether we value it or not, how we would rate or categorize something.
Your professor is probably not interested in your opinion of the novel; And. Your instructors will often call this your thesis -- your position on a subject. An argument takes a stand on an issue. With the cash women earned from the sale of their butter and soap they purchased ready-made cloth, which in turn, helped increase industrial production in the United States before the Civil War. Idea 2. Write a sentence that summarizes the main idea of the essay you plan to write. Main Idea: Women's labor in their homes during the first half of the nineteenth century contributed to the growth of the national economy. Idea 3. Spend time mulling over your topic. Perhaps you are not sure yet, either. Example: Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person, thing, or event caused another thing or event to occur. Write an analysis of some aspect of Mark Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn. This will be easy, Why were the changes in their work important for the growth of the United States? Beginning thesis: Between 1820 and 1860 women's domestic labor changed as women stopped producing home-made fabric, although they continued to sew their families' clothes, as well as to produce butter and soap. You might want to think about where you imagine your audience to be on this topic and pinpoint where you think the biggest difference in viewpoints might be. There are only strong and weak thesis statements and strong and weak uses of evidence. Let’s look at another example. Your reader is intrigued but is still thinking, So what? This sentence is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you’ll make in the rest of your paper. A thesis statement: If your assignment asks you to take a position or develop a claim about a subject, you may need to convey that position or claim in a thesis statement near the beginning of your draft. First, what is included in the category drugs? First, the question asks you to pick an aspect of the novel that you think is important to its structure or meaning—for example, the role of storytelling, the contrasting scenes between the shore and the river, or the relationships between adults and children. Now you write: In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops a contrast between life on the river and life on the shore. Here’s a working thesis with potential: How are they different? You end up revising the working thesis into a final thesis that really captures the argument in your paper: While both Northerners and Southerners believed they fought against tyranny and oppression, Northerners focused on the oppression of slaves while Southerners defended their own right to self-government. Compare this to the original weak thesis. Contact to share your comments and concerns. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice at bottom. Summary: These OWL resources will help you develop and refine the arguments in your writing. Contributors: Stacy Weida, Karl Stolley
Last Edited: 2013-11-23 08: 15: 41An argumentative or persuasive piece of writing must begin with a debatable thesis or claim. For more ideas on how to get started, see our handout on brainstorming. If there’s time, run it by your instructor or make an appointment at the Writing Center to get some feedback. Example: Which type of claim is right for your argument? Which type of thesis or claim you use for your argument will depend on your position and knowledge of the topic, your audience, and the context of your paper. Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own. This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can craft or refine one for your draft. Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. You grab a pad of paper and write: Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel. Why is this thesis weak? Use of this site constitutes acceptance of. Your thesis is defenseless without you to prove that its argument holds up under scrutiny. But the question did not ask you to summarize; They state an argument and they reveal how you will make that argument. Included in this working thesis is a reason for the war and some idea of how the two sides disagreed over this reason. OWL at Purdue University care about accessiblity and content quality. How are they the same? Is the author talking about illegal drug use, recreational drug use (which might include alcohol and cigarettes), or all uses of medication in general? Example: Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution or policy approach to a problem. The assignment may not explicitly state that you need a thesis statement because your instructor may assume you will include one. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence. Both the argument and your thesis are likely to need adjustment along the way. Writers use all kinds of techniques to stimulate their thinking and to help them clarify relationships or comprehend the broader significance of a topic and arrive at a thesis statement. Finally, what does the author mean by society? Is drug use causing deaths (and is the author equating deaths from overdoses and deaths from drug related violence)?
A reader of this weak thesis might think What reasons? This form of persuasion, often called academic argument, follows a predictable pattern in writing. It does not tell the reader where you are heading. In college, course assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing. Maybe you decide that both sides fought for moral reasons, and that they just focused on different moral issues. Some people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. In other words, the thesis must be something that people could reasonably have differing opinions on. To prove thesis statements on historical topics, what evidence can an able young lawyer use? How can you use this evidence? Remember -- if in doubt, talk to your instructor.
Thanks to the web page of the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s Writing Center for information used in this handout. When reviewing your first draft and its working thesis, ask yourself the following: Suppose you are taking a course on 19th-century America, and the instructor hands out the following essay assignment: Think about what the reader would expect from the essay that follows: Second, in what ways are drugs detrimental? You persuade your roommate to clean up, your parents to let you borrow the car, your friend to vote for your favorite candidate or policy. Here are a few examples: These formulas share two characteristics all thesis statements should have: That presents a basic or main idea and an argument that you think you can support with evidence. Thinking about how you want to approach your topic, in other words what type of claim you want to make, is one way to focus your thesis on one particular aspect of your broader topic. Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or whether something is a settled fact. Eventually you will be able to clarify for yourself, and then for the reader, why this contrast matters. Further, all studies agree that pollution is a problem; Regardless of the type of claim you choose to utilize it is key to identify the controversy or debate you are addressing and to define your position early on in the paper. The Writing Lab The jury (i. e., your reader) will expect you, as a good lawyer, to provide evidence to prove your thesis. Often, you will see an organizational plan emerge from the sorting process. Idea 4. Use a formula to develop a working thesis statement (which you will need to revise later). What’s the point of this contrast? The OWL at Purdue now conforms to -validated and standards. Compare and contrast the reasons why the North and South fought the Civil War. That’s fine—begin to work on comparing scenes from the book and see what you discover. They simply disagree on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. Your thesis or claim must be supported by evidence. Still others could argue that corporations, not the government, should be paying to limit pollution. Another example of a debatable thesis statement: In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. Is drug use changing the moral climate or causing the economy to decline? Does the author make any distinction between the effects on children and adults? After examining the evidence and considering your own insights, you write: Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain’s Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave civilized Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships. It asked you to analyze. Suppose your literature professor hands out the following assignment in a class on the American novel: For guidance on formatting citations, please see the.
If you enjoy using our handouts, we appreciate contributions of acknowledgement. Your thesis can be a few sentences long, but should not be longer than a paragraph. You have highlighted an important aspect of the novel for investigation. Society and go back to nature. This final thesis statement presents an interpretation of a literary work based on an analysis of its content.
Do not begin to state evidence or use examples in your thesis paragraph. Your blueprint for writing: Your reader’s blueprint for reading: Idea 1. If your paper assignment asks you to answer a specific question, turn the question into an assertion and give reasons for your opinion. Assignment: How did domestic labor change between 1820 and 1860? You think. I loved Huckleberry Finn! Almost every assignment you complete for a history course will ask you to make an argument. Here are examples of weak and strong thesis statements. You are the best (and only! ) advocate for your thesis. You write: While both sides fought the Civil War over the issue of slavery, the North fought for moral reasons while the South fought to preserve its own institutions. Now you have a working thesis! It seeks to persuade an audience of a point of view in much the same way that a lawyer argues a case in a court of law. See for further information. Department of History
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Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1409Phone: If your thesis is something that is generally agreed upon or accepted as fact then there is no reason to try to persuade people. Example of a non-debatable thesis statement: This thesis statement is not debatable. Now, push your comparison toward an interpretation—why did one side think slavery was right and the other side think it was wrong? When in doubt, ask your instructor if the assignment requires a thesis statement. First, the word pollution means that something is bad or negative in some way. Some citizens might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective strategy. Although the scope of your paper might seem overwhelming at the start, generally the narrower the thesis the more effective your argument will be. The author could not cover all of the topics listed above, yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these possibilities open to debate. Example of a narrow or focused thesis: In this example the topic of drugs has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the detriment has been narrowed down to gang violence. Most likely a general, appreciative summary of Twain’s novel. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. This is a much more manageable topic. We could narrow each debatable thesis from the previous examples in the following way: Narrowed debatable thesis 1: This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just the amount of money used but also how the money could actually help to control pollution. Narrowed debatable thesis 2: This thesis narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just what the focus of a national anti-pollution campaign should be but also why this is the appropriate focus. Qualifiers such as typically, generally, usually, or on average also help to limit the scope of your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule. Claims typically fall into one of four categories. Fax: 319-335-2293 Even if you start with one type of claim you probably will be using several within the paper. You look again at the evidence, and you decide that you are going to argue that the North believed slavery was immoral while the South believed it upheld the Southern way of life. This final thesis presents a way of interpreting evidence that illuminates the significance of the question. Keep in mind that this is one of many possible interpretations of the Civil War—it is not the one and only right answer to the question. Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading an essay assignment. Persuasion is a skill you practice regularly in your daily life. When an assignment asks you to analyze, to interpret, to compare and contrast, to demonstrate cause and effect, or to take a stand on an issue, it is likely that you are being asked to develop a thesis and to support it persuasively. (Check out our handout on understanding assignments for more information. )A thesis is the result of a lengthy thinking process. This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue ( No one could reasonably argue that pollution is good. Example of a debatable thesis statement: This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find the latest publications on this topic. The broader your claim is, the more evidence you will need to convince readers that your position is right. Example of a thesis that is too broad: There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a working thesis What does it signify? You are asked to convince your reader of your point of view. It is NOT a description or a summary. A thesis statement is a sentence in which you state an argument about a topic and then describe, briefly, how you will prove your argument. A thesis makes a specific statement to the reader about what you will be trying to argue. Instead, she wants you to think about why it’s such a great novel—what do Huck’s adventures tell us about life, about America, about coming of age, about race, etc.? You turn on the computer and type out the following: The North and South fought the Civil War for many reasons, some of which were the same and some different. This weak thesis restates the question without providing any additional information. Of course, for the essay itself to be successful, you must now present evidence from the novel that will convince the reader of your interpretation. We consulted these works while writing the original version of this handout. Free write, make lists, jot down Huck’s actions and reactions. As you write the essay, you will probably begin to characterize these differences more precisely, and your working thesis may start to seem too vague. They are not specific enough, however, and require more work. As you work on your essay, your ideas will change and so will your thesis. Additionally, the site passes the. Copyright 1995-2017 by Thesis statement argument essay should.