9B: Revising yesterday’s thesis statements

Today we took the thesis statements you ended class with yesterday (see 9A’s post from today for a summary) and revised them. Using student examples from a previous thesis assignment, we used the following checklist to see what constitutes a solid thesis statement:

Today we took themes that we found in our graphic novels and tried to write thesis statements about them. Here’s a recap of class:

Length and format:
-Thesis statements are only 1-2 sentences
Tone:
-Reads like an argument or an opinion
-The argument or opinion is backed up with how the author is going to prove their argument
“So What?”
-Thesis statement specifically references your book or character by name
-Uses the character or book to explain something larger, like something about human personality or society.
Basically, why is this thesis idea important outside of the book?
-Uses strong verbs like “shows,” “demonstrates,” “reveals,”
-Uses key words like “because,” “since,” “however,” “despite” or other words that can connect two ideas
together

Apply this list of thesis characteristics to what you have written down. Does yours do all of these things? How can you add the missing points in to yours?

You should’ve left class today with a pretty solid working thesis statement. You’ll use this to write our first essay.

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9A: Developing a thesis statement

Today we took themes that we found in our graphic novels and tried to write thesis statements about them. Here’s a recap of class:

1) First, you should have brainstormed a list of thematic ideas (things, people, places, choices that came up over and over again in your graphic novel). Try writing more than one word. Instead of “depressing” maybe the better theme is “overcoming depression.”

2) Choose one of the topics you wrote down and do a free write: write for ten minutes about that topic in the book without stopping. If you can’t think of anything to write that doesn’t mean stop writing, it means keep writing “I don’t know what to write” until something else comes to mind.

3) Review what you wrote and underline any arguments or opinions you wrote down.

4) This is the hard part: turn those underlined phrases or sentences into a thesis statement.

This checklist should help:

Length and format:
-Thesis statements are only 1-2 sentences
Tone:
-Reads like an argument or an opinion
-The argument or opinion is backed up with how the author is going to prove their argument
“So What?”
-Thesis statement specifically references your book or character by name
-Uses the character or book to explain something larger, like something about human personality or society.
Basically, why is this thesis idea important outside of the book?
-Uses strong verbs like “shows,” “demonstrates,” “reveals,”
-Uses key words like “because,” “since,” “however,” “despite” or other words that can connect two ideas
together

If you left class today unsure today about what you did, we’ll revisit this tomorrow. The goal is that everyone will leave class tomorrow with an excellent and analytical thesis statement.

Seniors: Presentations

Today we heard from the Post-Colonial and Feminist groups. Nice work to both of them — I think we came away with a much better understanding of those lenses and how to apply them to Macbeth.

The other four groups are slated for tomorrow. We’re gonna start right away, so make sure you’re ready to go when you come in. I had some trouble connecting to the internet on my laptop today, so be prepared in case of emergency.