Writing a bad thesis statement

Our civilization is decadent, and our language so the argument runs must inevitably share in the general collapse. Well, we're getting there, but that's still an awfully big topic, something we might be able to handle in a book or a Ph. D. Writing a bad thesis statement. It should present the topic of your paper and also make a comment about your position in relation to the topic. The thesis will inevitably change as you revise and develop your ideas—and that is ok! Now we have a focus that we can probably write about in a few pages (although more, certainly, could be said) and it would have a good argumentative edge to it.

It ought to be one of the last things that we fuss with in the rewriting process. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. On the other hand, if we discover that our paper has done adequate work but the thesis statement appears to include things that we haven't actually addressed, then we need to limit that thesis statement. Do not assume, for example, that you have the same understanding of what “society” means as your reader. If necessary, write the thesis statement that way the first time In order to write a successful thesis statement: Your thesis statement should be as clear and specific as possible. Now we're narrowing down to something useful, but once we start writing such a paper, we would find that we're leaving out so much information, so many ideas that even most casual brainstorming would produce, that we're not accomplishing much. Frankly, it's probably not a good idea for beginning writers. Avoid announcing the thesis statement as if it were a thesis statement. In order to be as clear as possible in your writing: These words tell the reader next to nothing if you do not carefully explain what you mean by them. Being specific in your paper will be much more successful than writing about general things that do not say much. At best, such a paper would be vague and scattered in its approach. The sentence that captures your position on this main idea is what we call a thesis statement. A thesis statement focuses your ideas into one or two sentences. Wright St., Urbana, IL 66856
tel: 767-888-8756 It needs to be as clear as possible. 767-888-9876 What if we wrote about the problem of community colleges in Connecticut being so close together geographically that they tend to duplicate programs unnecessarily and impinge on each other's turf? If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step towards political regeneration: Or In this paper, I will attempt to. Shape your topic so that you can get straight to the meat of it. Dissertation, but certainly not in a paper meant for a Composition course. It's a matter of limiting our discussion to the work that can be accomplished within a certain number of pages. The thesis statement should remain flexible until the paper is actually finished.

Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: In other words, avoid using phrases such as The purpose of this paper is. Can we write a paper about problems within the community college system in Connecticut. So that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers. . Such phrases betray this paper to be the work of an amateur. Everything that follows in this essay, then, would have to be something that fits under the umbrella of that thesis statement. Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. To avoid misunderstandings, be as specific as possible. Compare the original thesis (not specific and clear enough) with the revised version (much more specific and clear): The thesis statement should do more than merely announce the topic It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. It's not a matter of being lazy A few suggestions below show how specific word choice sharpens and clarifies your meaning. Use your own words in thesis statements You will discover that some writers will delay the articulation of the paper's focus, its thesis, until the very end of the paper. It is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. Compare this original thesis (too general) with three possible revisions (more focused, each presenting a different approach to the same topic): Your thesis statement is no exception to your writing: Never assume that the meaning of a sentence is obvious.
Click to see what we think is the thesis sentence of this essay.

Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. Which of these sentences would you say is or are the thesis statement of the essay which is to follow? Search for concrete subjects and active verbs, revising as many to be verbs as possible. It can be the first sentence of an essay, but that often feels like a simplistic, unexciting beginning. . It more frequently appears at or near the end of the first paragraph or two. It must reveal what position you will take in relation to that topic, how you plan to analyze/evaluate the subject or the issue. Check to see if you need to define your terms (”socialism, conventional, commercialism, society ), and then decide on the most appropriate place to do so. The argument(s) you make in your paper should reflect this main idea. Your thesis statement should tell your reader what the paper is about and also help guide your writing and keep your argument focused. The thesis statement is also a good test for the scope of your intent. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes. Every paper you write should have a main point, a main idea, or central message. Developed by Meanwhile, here are five specimens of the English language as it is now habitually written. It might help you determine, in fact, that this is your thesis statement. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. The point is that the process is reversible. I will come back to this presently, and I hope that by that time the meaning of what I have said here will have become clearer. You will gain credibility by grabbing the reader with your own ideas and words. A well-crafted thesis statement reflects well-crafted ideas. If we discover new information in the process of writing our paper that ought to be included in the thesis statement, then we'll have to rewrite our thesis statement. Don't settle for three pages of just skimming the surface. The opposite of a focused, narrow, crisp thesis is a broad, sprawling, superficial thesis. Can we write a good paper about problems in higher education in the United States? That is possible if it is clear to thoughtful readers throughout the paper what the business of the essay truly is Crafting an original, insightful, and memorable thesis makes a distinct impression on a reader. If the thesis statement is something that we needed prior approval for, changing it might require the permission of the instructor or thesis committee, but it is better to seek such permission than to write a paper that tries to do too much or that claims to do less than it actually accomplishes. The thesis statement usually appears near the beginning of a paper. 7568 University of Illinois Board of Trustees Check your thesis: Your thesis should be limited to what can be accomplished in the specified number of pages. They work well to get a rough draft started, but will easily bore a reader. Here is the first paragraph of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. 's essay The Crisis of American Masculinity. Notice how everything drives the reader toward the last sentence and how that last sentence clearly signals what the rest of this essay is going to do. The first paragraph serves as kind of a funnel opening to the essay which draws and invites readers into the discussion, which is then focused by the thesis statement before the work of the essay actually begins. The point you make in the paper should matter: Compare the following: Avoid formula and generic words. It signals a writer who has intelligence, commitment, and enthusiasm. Center for Writing Studies: 788 English Building, 658 S. Can we write a good paper about problems in higher education in Connecticut? You will lose credibility as a writer if you become only a mouthpiece or a copyist Start with a tentative thesis and revise as your paper develops.
Avoid, avoid, avoid generic arguments and formula statements. fax: To back up such a thesis statement would require a good deal of work, however, and we might be better off if we limited the discussion to an example of how two particular community colleges tend to work in conflict with each other. Avoid quoting.