How to Write A Killer Thesis Statement

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English I EOC Assessment Clear Thesis
Thesis
Essay Writing Writing Elements and Process
Language English Language

Transcript

00:22

But your thesis statement should aim to… kill… with eloquence, suspense, intrigue,

00:28

originality, and clarity.

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Here’s an example:

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Humans are not genetically required to be meat-eaters, so vegetarianism is the only

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moral choice to avoid the senseless killing of animals. [cow, turkey and girl holding vegetables]

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It states a valid point, expresses a strong opinion, and can be supported with facts.

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Doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true, but it can definitely be debated. [student caveman vs student hippie]

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A thesis statement is that thing at the very beginning of your paper that tells your reader

00:58

what this whole thing is going to be about.

01:01

Right out of the gate, it tells your reader roughly what elements you will develop in

01:04

the coming paragraphs…

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…and exactly how you feel about it.

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The thesis is the most important part of your essay. It is the heart, soul and brain of

01:13

your paper. [flaming heart and brain in between thesis statement sign]

01:15

Once you’ve got that puppy figured out, you’re at least halfway home. [puppy with bone on the road home]

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How do you get to this promised land? Well, first you must establish an issue or problem.

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Think… humankind’s negative effects on rainforests…

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The factors that enable politicians to become corrupt…

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The slow death of the film industry.

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Anything ripe for the picking… and preferably something that is not without a little controversy.

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The thesis shouldn’t be something like… the sun makes it hot outside…

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…because you’re not going to hear much argument from anyone on that point.

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Instead… it should be something interesting… something that perhaps your reader hasn’t

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previously considered [lion with a flower for a mane]

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Don’t hold back… go right for the gut.

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To make sure you’ve got an interesting topic, ask yourself questions someone else might

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ask you.

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Play devil’s advocate with yourself, until you’re certain you’ve covered all the

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bases. [angel and devil on student's shoulder]

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Is it something only you would find interesting, like… how affectionate your dog is right

02:15

after you finish walking him?

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or would it appeal to a wide range of readers, like… oh, anything having to do with the

02:24

Kardashians? [large crowd gathers]

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Is it something that can be argued empirically… like the rise and fall of the stock market…

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or is it pretty much just going to be pure opinion… like what the… best color is? [color wheel spins]

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Keep in mind that you’re not just laying down the facts… you also want to get your

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message across… …so be sure to express your own thoughts

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on the issue.

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Take a strong position. [girl flexes muscles]

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It’s not enough to state that… for the last twenty years, America has actually become

02:52

more racist than it was in the 1990s…

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…if your position is that… hm, yeah, maybe, I don’t know, could be.

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It’s an intriguing proposition… but it’s not going to go anywhere if you plan on being

03:03

wishy-washy. [girl spinning in washing machine]

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Either argue strongly for or against the idea. It’s the only way you’re going to bring

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your reader to their knees. So… what’s a good thesis, and what’s

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a bad one?

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Good thesis: World travel is an essential element of any young person’s well-rounded

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education.

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Bad thesis: There are some great places to visit in Europe.

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Good thesis: More than anything else in our society, video games are responsible for the

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dumbing down of America

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Bad thesis: People are dumb.

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Good thesis: When an elderly person is deciding on a pet, adopting a cat is a far better option

03:45

than adopting a dog.

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Bad thesis: Cats rule, dogs drool.

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Get the idea?

03:53

It should be broad enough that a large portion of your audience will be able to relate…[light bulbs go off]

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…but specific enough that you can zero in on a particular topic and really dissect it. [topic gets sliced in two]

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Finally, you can’t just state your thesis, drop the mic and walk off stage.

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You’ll need to bring some supporting points to the table…

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…so be prepared to back your thesis up with some actual, factual pieces of evidence.

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And while quality is certainly more valuable than quantity…[a few nice strawberries next to a mound of small ones]

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…have at least three supporting points.

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Any less, and your thesis is going to be a bit… flimsy. [thesis falls down]

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Put all this together, and you should have a killer thesis statement.

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If you’re absolutely stumped and can’t come up with one on our own…

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…you can borrow ours.

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It gets out on parole

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in about three months. [killer thesis statement inside cage]