Today was all about thesis statements! Students will begin a big project, the Mockingbird Collaborative Essay Assignment. This is a group essay written paragraph by paragraph. Instead of students having to respond to teacher-written prompts, which are boring at best and impossible to answer at worst, students will devise their own essay topics. This is a key skill in upper-level English classes and in college! Also, it makes the essay more interesting to write because you have say over what you’re writing about. So today we learned how to select a topic.
First, we went through this sheet: Writing a Thesis Statement Mockingbird (W7)
In 4A we took notes on thesis statements, but we didn’t get to it in 1A. We’ll do that next time. Here are the notes: Thesis Statements
Here are the notes to fill in:
What is it? A statement of a position you will prove to be true
Why do I need one? It tells your reader where your essay is going
How long is it? Usually one sentence, up to three sentences [You should only use more than one sentence if you are a very confident writer or if your topic is very complex.]
Where does it go? The last sentence(s) of your introduction before your first body paragraph.
When do you use it? Persuasive essays, i.e. all History and English essays
A good thesis statement has the strength of DADS:
Debatable: Can you have an argument about it?
Analytical: Is it relevant to the field (i.e. English or The Outsiders studies) or is it your random opinion? [Example of your random opinion: If Jem were a historical figure, he would be Abraham Lincoln. This is random and unrelated.]
Defensible: Can you prove it? Is there evidence?
Specific: Does it answer the questions how and why?