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Thesis
• The main point you are trying to make in an
essay.
• Your entire paper “proves” your thesis.
• Sometimes, it is the answer to a question.
• It is a well-informed interpretation, not just
your opinion.
In other words…
• Think of the thesis statement as a contract
between you (the writer) and the reader.
The thesis makes certain promises to your
reader; it then becomes your job to fulfill
that promise using specific details or
analysis. The more clear your promise, the
easier it will be to find specific evidence to
support your argument.
A thesis should be:
• Specific
• Supportable
• Arguable
The thesis should be the LAST
SENTENCE OF YOUR FIRST
PARAGRAPH.
So what else goes in your first
paragraph?
Introduction
• Needs to start with a hook or a general
statement to introduce your topic.
• Must include the title(s) and author(s) of
the work(s) you are discussing.
• Should move gradually toward your
thesis statement.
• Must end with your thesis statement as
the last sentence.
Introduction
• Think of the introduction as being shaped
like a funnel. It starts out broad and then
gradually narrows to the specific thesis.
Introduction with a Hook
A slight but strong young woman raises her
bow, a fierce glint in her eye. The arrow flies
from the bow at the speed of light, and the
prey plummets instantly to its death. This
archer is Katniss, the 16-year-old heroine of
Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy.
Whether hunting for dinner for her family,
fighting for her life in armed combat, or
working to overthrow a repressive
government, Katniss displays bravery and
cleverness. Collins uses Katniss’s character to
show that a strong personality is composed of
courage, intelligence, and loyalty.
Introduction with a General Statement
For generations, poets have explored the
deepest emotions of the human heart. English
poetry of the early 19th century is particularly
expressive of personal thoughts on love. Three
poems from this time period, John Keats’
“Bright Star,” Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Love’s
Philosophy,” and Lord Byron’s “She Walks in
Beauty,” explore the beauty of romantic love.
All three poems use references to nature to
emphasize both the desirability and
inaccessibility of the beloved.
Introduction with a Question
How do we express the deepest emotions
of the human heart? Often we reach for the
language of poetry, and English poetry of the
early 19th century is particularly expressive of
personal thoughts on love. Three poems from
this time period, John Keats’ “Bright Star,”
Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Love’s Philosophy,”
and Lord Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty,”
explore the beauty of romantic love. All three
poems use references to nature to emphasize
both the desirability and inaccessibility of the
beloved.
Introduction with a Quotation
Helen Keller once said “The best and most
beautiful things of the world…must be felt
with the heart.” Poetry is the language that we
use to express what the heart feels, and English
poetry of the early 19th century is particularly
expressive of personal thoughts on love. Three
poems from this time period, John Keats’
“Bright Star,” Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Love’s
Philosophy,” and Lord Byron’s “She Walks in
Beauty,” explore the beauty of romantic love.
All three poems use references to nature to
emphasize both the desirability and
inaccessibility of the beloved.