Writing Thesis-Based Essays By Cathy Marvin Reformatted by Patricia Burgey a thesis-Based Essay Has



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Writing Thesis-Based Essays

  • By Cathy Marvin
  • Reformatted by Patricia Burgey

A Thesis-Based Essay Has

  • Thesis Statement
  • Introductory Paragraph
  • Body Paragraphs (A good body paragraph has 7-9 sentences.)
    • Idea sentence
    • Supporting Sentences and quotations
    • Wrap-Up Sentence or Concluding Sentence
  • Conclusion Paragraph

WritingThesis Statements

  • Make sure you know what theme you will use.
  • Make sure you have three examples of how your theme is illustrated in the text.
  • Use the following “formula” to write your theme.

Formula for Thesis

  • __1__ illustrates the theme of ___2 ___ in __3__ through the use of _____4_______, __5_________, and ______6________.
  • Author’s Name
  • Theme you will use
  • The title of the novel (underlined)
  • 4-6.The three examples you will use to develop your thesis.

Sample Thesis Statement

Your thesis statement is the last sentence of your introduction.

  • DO NOT write any of the following sentences in your introduction:
    • In this paper I will . . .
    • This paper will show you that . . .
    • The purpose of the paper is to . . .
  • So how DO you
  • write an introduction?

Writing an Introduction

  • Sentence 1: Mention the author, the book and some general statement about the plot of the book.
  • Sentence 2: Write a sentence that sort of sums up the plot.
  • Sentence 3: There are many themes that the author develops throughout the story.
  • Sentence 4: Some of these themes include . . . (list themes other than yours).
  • Sentence 5: Thesis Statement.
  • Wanna see an example?

Sample Introduction

  • Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is a poignant story about Scout and her brother Jem, and the trials they face growing up in Alabama in the 1930s. Scout and her brother Jem learn many lessons about their town, their father, and themselves. There are many themes Harper Lee emphasizes in the novel. Some of these themes include loss of innocence, love, prejudice, and fairness. Harper Lee develops the theme of hypocrisy in To Kill a Mockingbird through Aunt Alexandra, Miss Gates, and Mrs. Meriweather.
  • Your turn. Now you try it!!!

How to write a body paragraph

  • Body paragraphs are composed of:
  • Main idea sentence
  • Supporting detail sentences (2-3)
  • Quotations from the novel that prove your point
  • A wrap-up sentence
  • A good body paragraph
  • has 7 – 9 sentences.

Main Idea Sentence

  • TRANSITION
  • One way Harper Lee develops the theme of hypocrisy is through Aunt Alexandra, Scout’s aunt who comes to live with the Finch family during the Tom Robinson trial.

Supporting Detail Sentences and Quotations from the Novel

  • The purpose of Aunt Alexandra’s visit is to teach Scout how to be a lady. Upon her arrival to Maycomb, Alexandra explains to Scout, “We decided that it would be best for you to have some feminine influence (Lee 127). However, Scout does not want to learn how to be a lady. Alexandra also confuses Scout by her attitude toward people such as Walter Cunningham. She tells Scout that she should be “gracious to everybody” (127), but that she should not invite some people to their home because they are trash. Scout does not understand how anyone could be gracious and not invite someone home.
  • Mix the two elements together. Don’t have two quotations together.

Wrap-up Sentence

Put it all together. . .

  • One way Harper Lee develops the theme of hypocrisy is through Aunt Alexandra, Scout’s aunt who comes to live with the Finch family during the Tom Robinson trial. The purpose of Aunt Alexandra’s visit is to teach Scout how to be a lady. Upon her arrival to Maycomb, Alexandra explains to Scout, “We decided that it would be best for you to have some feminine influence (Lee 127). However, Scout does not want to learn how to be a lady. Alexandra also confuses Scout by her attitude toward people such as Walter Cunningham. She tells Scout that she should be “gracious to everybody” (127), but that she should not invite some people to their home because they are trash. Scout does not understand how anyone could be gracious and not invite someone home. Aunt Alexandra’s views are
  • indeed hypocritical, and Scout, though only
  • eight years old, recognizes the hypocrisy.
  • Now you try!!!
  • Give it a whirl!!!

Writing a Conclusion

  • Include the following in your conclusion:
  • A quotation from the novel of some sort that deals with the theme in some way.
  • A re-stated sentence from the first body paragraph.
  • A re-stated sentence from the second body paragraph.
  • A re-stated sentence from the third body paragraph.
  • A clincher sentence that leaves the teacher dazzled!
  • This the HARD part!!!

I knew you would ask!!!

  • Here is a sample conclusion:
  • After Aunt Alexandra’s conversation with Jem and Scout about Walter Cunningham, Jem makes an insightful remark about Boo Radley, their neighbor: “I think I’m beginning to understand why Boo Radley’s shut up inside the house all this time . . . it’s because he wants to stay inside” (227). There might be some truth to Jem’s comment because Boo recognizes how hypocritical some of Maycomb’s folks are. Aunt Alexandra holds hypocritical views regarding family background. Miss Gates is a hypocrite because she despises Hitler for persecuting the Jews, yet she feels the same toward the Negroes that Hitler feels toward the Jews. Mrs. Meriweather also shows her hypocritical side at the missionary meeting. Harper Lee strikes a sensitive nerve with the treatment of the theme of hypocrisy in her novel by showing that even children can recognize a hypocrite.

Let’s get writing!!!

  • Now that you know the formula for a good thesis statement and a great essay, let’s get busy!!!


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