College Writing Tips

College Writing Tip: Thesis Statement- What? How? Why? (Part Three)

Thesis Statements can be tricky, but they are not impossible!

This is Part Three of my three-post series talking all about those wonderful Thesis Statements. Regardless of the type of essay, I have three questions that you can (and should) ask whenever you start formulating your thesis statement.

What? How? Why?

Today we are going to look at the Argument Essay Thesis Statement and how my three questions apply to its development.

Argument Essay

This essay is clearly categorized as an argument (See the title of the essay). In this type of essay, you have to be arguing something, therefore it must include an opinion. Many students will jump on to hot-button topics like: abortion, immigration, trump, gun laws, etc. However, due to the corrosive atmosphere caused by such topics in classes, I always encourage my students to find a different topic. I have read papers by students who argue about: poaching, physical education, sexual misconduct in advertisement, driving laws, and drinking laws. Really the possibilities for argument topics are endless.

To begin your argument thesis you must first ask: WHAT am I going to argue?

  • Let’s stick with the world of writing shall we? Perhaps I might argue that traditional publishing is better than self-publishing. (Not necessarily my personal opinion, but for the sake of the argument. . .)
  • There, now I have a very clear opinion, but that is not enough.

Next, I must ask: HOW will I support my opinion? HOW will I address the counter-argument?

  • Indeed, in the argument essay, there are always two HOW questions. You cannot have a good argument without addressing the opposing opinion.
  • These questions drive me to think of criteria on which I will base my opinion. Some common factors included in publishing are: cost, marketing, ownership, ease of production, etc.
  • I might argue that traditional publishing is easier for the author because they do not have to pay the upfront costs of production, they have help with marketing, and they are given credibility.
  • But I would also need to address the opposing ideas that authors lose primary ownership with traditional publishing houses and they do not earn all of the profit.

Lastly, I have to address: WHY is this topic important? WHY am I writing about it?

  • This topic is important for all authors who are wanting to weigh their options. While this point will be clarified toward the end of the essay, it is helpful to hint at this in the thesis.

Argument Essay Thesis – here is the thesis combining all three of my questions.

Although self-publishing enables authors to maintain full ownership of and profit from their works, authors of any caliber should first consider publishing traditionally because publishing houses can assist with production costs, marketing ideas, and attribute credibility to the work itself.

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You know the drill! It’s your turn to try. Pick any topic that you have an opinion on and argue it with a well-thought out thesis based on what, how, and why!

 

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

College Writing Tips

College Writing Tip: Thesis Statement- What? How? Why? (Part One)

Thesis Statements can be tricky, but they are not impossible! Therefore, I am going to do a mini-series of post all about the thesis statement (can you tell I’m a nerd?). This mini-series will contain three separate posts about how to craft a thesis statement for your main three essays (Evaluation, Literary, and Argument) in composition courses. Indeed, regardless of the type of essay, I have three questions that you can (and should) ask whenever you start formulating your thesis statement.

What? How? Why?

Today we are going to look at the Evaluation Essay Thesis Statement and how my three questions apply to its development.

Evaluation Essay

The Evaluation Essay is (you guessed it) where you evaluate something. To evaluate really means to judge something based on a certain set of credentials. The easiest example of this is using a movie because we all evaluate movies the moment we finish watching them. Either we loved it, hated it, or we are somewhere in between.

I encourage you to do this exercise with me! Think about a movie that is your absolute favorite or a movie that you completely hate. Have one in mind?

Now, ask yourself: WHAT is the movie that you have chosen and what is your opinion?

  • For example, I will choose Love Never Dies. My opinion is that the movie fails as a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera.

Next, ask yourself: HOW can I support my opinion? (It’s usually crucial to choose at least three criteria to support your opinion)

  • Love Never Dies fails as a sequel because 1) it strays from realistic characterization, 2) there are plot holes between the two movies 3) the ending is unsatisfactory
  • BONUS! Add in a counter-argument that you will either concede to (agree with) or rebut (disagree with). My counter-argument: The music was fantastic!

Lastly, ask yourself: WHY is this important? Why should someone care? Why are you writing this essay? (and no the answer cannot be because your horrible, mean teacher forced you to). This question often verges on the “so-what,” which is one of the most difficult things to address so don’t feel to bad if this seems weird to you.

  • This evaluation should influence how people view the movie if they have already seen it and perhaps challenge their own opinions.
  • In some essays the so-what is more obvious, but in others its more of a motivating factor to keep in the back of your mind.

Finally, it is time to craft the thesis! We have answered all our questions now it is time to put it all together, be sure to include the what, the how, and (try to hint) at the why.

Here is my finished Evaluative Thesis Statement:

While the music within Love Never Dies is undeniably impeccable, the sequel for The Phantom of the Opera is ultimately a failure as it strays from realistic and consistent characterization, there are multiple plot holes between the two films, and the open-ended nature of the resolution is unsatisfactory at best.

There you have it folks, a clear, arguable Evaluative Thesis Statement that clearly demonstrates the layout for my essay.

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Pick a movie, any movie and show me what you got! I’m a nerd, remember? I would love to read your Thesis Statements and see how you answer: HOW, WHAT, and WHY.

Happy Writing!

©KaylaAnnAuthor

© KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to KaylaAnn and KaylaAnnAuthor.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.