Thesis Statements - Web Worksheet


Thesis Statements – Web Worksheet
By Nancy Armstrong
I. Functions and Purposes of a Thesis Statement
To announce the topic to the reader
To reflect a judgment about the topic
To provide the reader with a blueprint for what is to come in the paper
II. Prewriting Techniques
A. Word Map
– use circles, etc. to show relation between ideas
B. Scratch Outline
– briefly highlight the main points of your paper
C. List
– list any and all ideas/items about your topic that you can
think of
D. Question & Answer– ask as many questions as you can think of
E. Free-write
– be the creator, not the editor of your work
It is extremely helpful to do some type of prewriting activity as a way of
figuring out what you do and do not know about the topic
Prewriting allows you to develop a basic claim
Developing the Basic Claim – on the road to Thesis
A. Broad vs. Narrow Thesis Statements
B. Topic – Comment Approach
There are several ways to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a thesis
First, Broad Thesis Statements are claims that are vague, ambiguous or
overreaching. These are claims that do not meet at least two of the 3 criteria
above and/or attempt to address a topic with too many issues to deal with in
the given writing assignment
Second, Narrow Thesis Statements are claims that do not meet at least two of
the 3 criteria above and/or are too specific and single-minded to be
developed into a thorough essay
Next, use the topic-comment approach to specifically identify what you
believe to be your topic and the comment about that topic
By isolating the topics from the comments, writers can evaluate the strengths
and weaknesses of the comments they are attempting to put forth
Use the attached worksheet to practice these assessments
Generating a Working Thesis
After practicing with the worksheet, practice developing your own thesis
statement for any current writing assignment
Use narrow/broad & topic/comment techniques to evaluate and revise thesis
Finalizing the Thesis- visit a C.L.A.S.S. writing tutor to discuss your final draft


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