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
-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

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.


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