Creating Thesis Statements Activities

Creating Thesis Statements Activities-66
This lesson is based on the belief that students cannot master an essay component such as the thesis statement in the abstract, but will best learn its nature by studying it in the context of a concrete historical problem.Therefore, the lesson's activities are based on an introductory essay and a set of primary source documents on one historical topic—the Haymarket Square bombing in Chicago in 1886.Students asked to write brief essays on historical topics often lack a clear sense that such essays have a distinct structure.

This lesson is based on the belief that students cannot master an essay component such as the thesis statement in the abstract, but will best learn its nature by studying it in the context of a concrete historical problem.Therefore, the lesson's activities are based on an introductory essay and a set of primary source documents on one historical topic—the Haymarket Square bombing in Chicago in 1886.Students asked to write brief essays on historical topics often lack a clear sense that such essays have a distinct structure.

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In a DBQ (Document-Based Question) essay, the thesis must also be one the primary sources can support.

Finally, if the thesis is clear enough, it should suggest a structure for the entire essay, one that will deal with all key facets of the question or problem posed.

For students composing writing for class, the reality of articulating their argument can be a particular challenge.

Below, we offer some tips for instructors looking to help students find and state their argument confidently and convincingly.

These illustrate what makes thesis statements effective, as well some common problems or mistakes in writing clear thesis statements.

The lesson consists of the following handouts: Further tips on writing thesis statements from the Indiana University.Remind students that a thesis usually has two parts: a statement of the writer’s point of view and a summary of the reasons/evidence the writer will draw on to develop that point of view.It’s not uncommon to see a half-completed thesis statement--one that offers a claim but doesn’t pair that claim with any support.But most writers discover their argument as they draft, so their initial introduction and thesis often don’t accurately foreground the body of the essay once the draft is complete.As a result, writers should think of their initial thesis as being in the “working” stage.The Haymarket episode is a dramatic one that should also hold student interest well.A single DBQ on this topic and several alternate thesis statements are then used in three student activities.Simply claiming that her client is innocent won’t be enough for the jury; the lawyer must also explain that her client is innocent because...Writers can think of their thesis as a short summary of their entire essay—a summary that accounts for their position and their support for that position.So readers are left knowing what the writer thinks about a topic without having a sense of why the writer thinks the way he or she does.We try to emphasize to writers that they must explain “why” they think they way they do about a given topic, issue, problem.

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