Blog #3. Refining Thesis Statements

randy-thesis

This helpful illustration of how paragraph topic statements relate to a paper’s thesis statement is reproduced from a page created by Randy Rambo in 2006 for his English Composition Course at Illinois Valley Community College. Click the image to view a larger copy, or follow the link to Randy’s page.

In a short (1,200 to 1,800 word) paper that is due before 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26th, you will make an original argument about a teen film. The crux of this argument will be expressed in a bold faced thesis statement meeting the criteria described in the handout posted on TLEARN. Please be sure to review the thesis statement handout before you start this blog assignment.

Your thesis statement should be unified, restricted, clear, original, energetic, and specific. Throughout the paper, you will flesh out your argument with a series of body paragraphs. Each body paragraph will be organized around a key idea, and this idea will be expressed as the topic sentence of that paragraph.

In your next blog posting, due before class on Monday (10/17), you should explain a bit about your movie, advance your preliminary thesis statement (be sure to bold-face this thesis statement), and identify at least three potential topic sentences for body paragraphs in your paper. Your ideas and thesis statements are not set in stone; these are just drafts of potential chunks of your paper. The goal is for you to think now about the paper you will write next week.

You can use bullet points to organize your ideas, but your thesis statement and your potential topic sentences should all be complete sentences. You do not need to worry about including captioned images and external hyperlinks in this blog posting, although you are welcome to do so. As always, writing mechanics are important.

Please revise your thesis statement for specificity a few times before you finalize your blog posting. It always takes several rounds of revision to sufficiently narrow thesis statements. The more you revise now, the easier it will be to write your paper later.

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