Lesson: Creating Thesis Statements

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  • A topic sentence is the sentence that conveys a central position of a paragraph.
  • Like a topic sentence, a thesis statement is a sentence that conveys your central position for a multi-paragraph essay.
  • Argumentative/Persuasive thesis statements must contain an arguable claim. Statements of fact are not argumentative thesis statements.
  • An argumentative/persuasive thesis statement must be a complete sentence with a subject (topic) and a commentary (also called a position or opinion).
  • More complex thesis statements also include specific explanations of the commentary (opinion).

1. Fill in the blanks:

A thesis statement is a complete sentence with a ______________ and ______________.  Sometimes thesis statements include an _______________ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ of the ___________________.

2. For each of the following thesis statements, circle the subject and underline the opinion. If the thesis statement includes an explanation of the opinion, underline it twice.

Example: High school graduates should be required to take a year off to pursue community service projects before entering college  in order to increase their maturity and global awareness.

a) School districts should require that all students wear uniforms in order to reduce classroom distractions and student conflicts.

b) Parents should participate more in the education of their children.

c) Thefederal government should devote more money to developing alternative energy solutions in order to reduce American dependence on foreign oil and improve the environment.

d) Only local school board members, not religious leaders or parents, should decide
which books high school libraries should offer.

e) Violence in the movies, television, and video games leads to an increase in violent behavior in young people.

3. Write down a subject (topic):_____________________________

4. Write 3 or 4 possible commentaries (opinions) about this topic.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5. Now write a thesis statement for your subject here:

 

6. In the sentence you just wrote above, circle the subject and underline the commentary.

Think of four more subjects that you know something about and write them down. Then, write a thesis statement for each of your four subjects.

­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­

11. In the four sentences you just wrote above, circle the subject and underline the commentary. If the thesis statement includes an explanation of the opinion, underline it twice.

Tips for good commentary:

  • Is the commentary an opinion or just stating a fact?
  • The commentary should be an opinion, but stated like a fact.
  • Is it specific enough to be interesting?
  • Not specific enough: School is good.
  • Specific: Attending school regularly is the best way to become a successful communicator.
  • Is it concise? Can you say it more briefly?
  • Is there enough “meat’ to develop the idea? Test: Brainstorm…list three or four main ideas that could support your thesis statement

12. REVIEW. Fill in the blanks for the two main parts of a thesis statement. A thesis statement is a complete sentence with a ______________  and _______________ (also called a position or an opinion). Sometimes thesis statements include ____________________ ­ ­ ­ ­ ­ of the ________________.

 

LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW IF YOU USED THIS HANDOUT IN YOUR CLASS. HOW DID IT GO? WOULD YOU DO IT AGAIN? DID YOU MAKE ANY MODIFICATIONS?

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