Archive for category 4. Thesis Statements

Why are thesis statements important???

Hello freshman! I bet that you are really excited to start your life as college student, but I also know that it can be a bit overwhelming. Trust me when I say that in college you will do a ton of writing. You will have some sort of writing in every class you take, and every assignment will be asking for different things. I know that writing at the college level can seem a bit intimidating, but it only will be if you let it be. The one thing that will always help you become a better writer in all of your classes is having a strong clear thesis statement. Thesis statements are there in your paper to help not only the reader, but they are also there to help you out as a writer.

Thesis statements are really important in the structure of your paper. Thesis statements are like the foundation of a building. If you have a shaky foundation then your building will not be structurally correct, and having a shaky building is quite horrific! The same goes with thesis statements. If you have a terrible thesis statement then your paper will be unstable and this will probably lead to a bad grade. So it is really important to have a good thesis statement that is really structurally firm.

Thesis statements are also there to help you out as a writer. Having a structurally sound thesis statement will help you organize your paper better. Thesis statement will help you plan out the rest your paper and it will help you stay on topic. In college you will be required to write really long papers. (Ugh!) If you’re like me then it is really easy to get off track while writing these long papers. Your thesis statement is a tool that is there to help you stay on track while reading these papers. As a writer you should often go and reread it so that you know that you are staying on track. So it is really important to have a clear strong thesis statement so that you can successfully structure your paper.

Another important thing that thesis statements do is that they make is easier for the reader to understand your paper. In college you will have to read some really confusing articles assigned by professors that you have no idea what they are about. (Trust me; I’ve had to do that many times) A really good thing to do is to find the thesis statement of the article before you read the rest of the paper so you can get some idea of what the writer is trying to argue. The same rule goes for your own papers so if you don’t want to confuse the readers it a good idea to make a strong and clear thesis statement. This is important so that the readers can go back and read the thesis statement so that they can understand what your paper is about.

Writing in college is not as scary as you think. Just remember to make solid thesis statement and then you’ve already laid down the foundation for your paper. I hope you enjoy college life. Good luck!

Don’t Dread The Thesis Statement

You have made it to college! Remember all those times that your high school teachers would say “You need to know this for college”? Push those out the window. There are too many misconceptions about college writing. Some teachers say it is extremely difficult (its not), some say it is impossible to get an “A”(its not), and others have ridiculous notions that every paper you write will be 20 pages(longest paper I have written so far? 5 Pages). So in an effort to help your transition to college, and college writing, I am going to clear one up for you. The dreaded thesis statement.

In high school, my teachers would spend weeks talking about how to form a thesis statement. Every year it would change. One year they would say to place it at the beginning, the next at the end of the introduction. One year they would say every thesis follows the “In the document _____ by ____, the author asserts that_____” format. The next year it would have no specific format. When it comes to college writing it all becomes uniform. There is no other place to put a thesis, one place only(end of your introduction). There is no set format (say your thesis however you want). As a student who has gone through the college writing process, the best advice I can give you is to answer these questions when you begin writing your thesis.

1. Does my thesis answer the question of the assignment?

2. Does my thesis cover all of my topics?

3. Is my thesis clear?

Every assignment asks you to answer a question. Whether it be, what is your opinion, or to define a certain topic. Your thesis needs to answer the question. There is no deviation there. In order for you to stay on topic throughout your paper, answer the question right away in your thesis.

In a typical essay you have three different sub-topics to address in regards to your original topic. So after you have conducted all of your research and selected your three sub-topics, find a way to incorporate those into your thesis. If you were writing a paper about an author and example would be something along the lines of; “The author _____ address, (insert topic 1), (insert topic 2), and (insert topic 3), throughout their essays.” This format, or something along those lines, gives your reader a clear map to follow and will also let them know what exactly they will be reading about, and what order they will read about these topics. You want your reader to be hooked after they read your introduction because that is what keeps them interested.

When you are writing your thesis do not fill it with unnecessary details (that’s what your body paragraphs are for). Give your reader the sub-topics you will be addressing in your thesis statements so it becomes clear for the reader what exactly they are reading. Do not go to in depth within your thesis, and try to condense your sub-topics into as few words as possible. Your thesis is not another paragraph. It is one sentence that tells your reader what they will be reading about, what you will be addressing, and in certain cases, what your opinion is. As readers, we want to know what we are reading and we do not want to be bombarded with to much information right off the bat. If the reader has a clear map of what they will read, it makes them want to keep reading.

I know that this may seem like a lot of information. Take a deep breath. Once you get the hang of writing thesis statements, it will become very easy. On your first attempt with a college paper take your time. Do not get frustrated if you cannot form a thesis right away. You will go through many variations of statements, whether it be wording, or topic order, just keep writing. An old teacher of mine used to say “Don’t Think, Just Write.” You know your topic, you researched it, and you have been with this paper since the day it was assigned. You know it.  Do not think to hard, just start writing. If you close your computer after you finish reading this and walk away, just remember to answer the question, cover your topics, and make it clear. If you do these, it will make writing the rest of paper that much easier.

All writing is chaotic. Embrace the chaos and just write.

Evidence is the Key

Welcome to college. Get ready for some of the best four years of your life. Adjusting to college life can be hard. Having to learn how to live with another person, living on your own, and most importantly adjusting to your work load. It can be hard but trust me it will all be worth it.

I am sure the importance of a thesis statement has been drilled into your head since a young age. Your teachers expected it to be located at the end of the first paragraph, contain at least three sub topics to support your opinion on the one main topic, and required you to back it up with specific examples and information. Well have no fear college writing is pretty much exactly like that. You are still forced to form your own opinion on the topic at hand, place the thesis statement at the end of the introduction, and most importantly evidence is always required to back up the assertion in a thesis statement. A thesis statement is like the starting line to a race it is where everything starts and where everything ends. Starting out with a strong thesis statement and valuable evidence to back it up can be everything you need to win the race.

Now that a strong thesis statement is developed its time to collect evidence to back up the thesis statement. Evidence backing up the assertion in a thesis statement is what makes the paper. Evidence in a paper is like the meat to a sandwich. Without the meat in the sandwich there would be no sandwich, and without the evidence to back up the thesis there would be no paper. Throughout the paper evidence and information is always related back to the thesis statement. All evidence that is gathered

In order to find valuable information to back up a thesis statement research must be done on the topic. Make sure the source the information is gathered from is a valuable source. The library provides several resources that can aid in finding reliable information for a paper such as academic journals, books, articles, and much more. When adding evidence to your paper it starts out with an introduction to the quotation.  This usually informs the reader of what the quotation is about. When putting the evidence into a paper make sure everything is cited correctly so risk of plagiarism is lowered. Typical English papers are written in MLA format for more information on correctly citing sources check out A Pocket Style Manual Sixth Edition by Diana Hacker and Nancy SommersThis provides great information in correctly citing sources.

After the research is gathered and everything is cited in the correct format your paper will have all the evidence needed to back up your thesis statement. See I told you it is exactly like high school writing. So coming into college there is really not anything to worry about, just use what you have learned from high school and apply the new things you have learned throughout college and you should breeze through college English papers like a champ.

Practice Post

I’m very happy to be here at Longwood University


Practice Post

I am very happy to be here at Longwood University!