Topic – Thesis

Create your thesis sentence

Sherlock with magnifying glass
 

 

Your thesis sentence:

SHOULD

 – focus and direct the essay

 – include the topic and your attitude or opinion about it

 – include a statement (not a question)

 – appear at the end of the introduction (usually, but may be anywhere within the introduction)

NEVER

 – announces itself  "I'm going to talk about …"

 – personalizes  "I think …"  or " I believe…"

 – questions   "Is English hard to learn?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topic

Subject v. Topic

 

 

 

A SUBJECT

A subject is very general.  It is not limited in time, location or kind.

immigration

alcoholism

astronomy

free speech

archaeology

A TOPIC

A topic is focused. It is limited in time, location and kind.

illegal immigration in the United States
(with a later reference to present day)

teen alcoholism in Finland

theoretical astrophysics

free speech on the Internet

archaeological digs in eastern Crete

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Controlling Idea

Fact & Opinion

 

 

 

FACT

A fact reports data.

affects the economy of the country

is associated with high suicide rates

uses government funds

is unlimited

have revealed new finds

OPINION

An opinion includes words and phrases expressing  attitude and opinion: good, bad, surprising, unlikely, may, might, must have been, etc.

adversely affects the economy of the country

is caused by sub-standard family support

is a waste of government funds

is virtually unlimited

have revealed shocking new reasons for the disappearance of the ancient civilization

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thesis

Topic + Controlling Idea

 

 

 

Topic + Controlling Idea

TOPIC CONTROLLING IDEA

IMMIGRATION

Illegal immigration in the United states adversely affects the economy of the country.

ALCOHOLISM

Binge-drinking by teens has a significant economic impact on the healthcare system in California.

ASTRONOMY

Astrophysicists' latest findings about the origins of the universe may be just speculations.

FREE SPEECH

The government wastes resources censoring pornography on the Internet.

ARCHAEOLOGY

Lord Elgin's removal of the friezes of the Parthenon from Greece was a crime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Analyzing an Essay

police
 

 

Read

  In my country, street crimes are commonplace. Almost everyone has a story to tell about having a purse or a wallet stolen. In the U.S., where street crimes appear in the news headlines every day, people may think they have a serious problem with street crimes; however, they usually only occur in the big cities, where there are homeless street-people.
THESIS:                    

  While we often have non-violent crimes, we rarely have murders. If someone gets murdered, it is usually because of a disagreement, in which someone gets mad and seeks revenge.  In the U.S., we often hear about someone getting killed randomly. The victim doesn't even know the murderer. He or she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  In both countries, there are revenge murders. Recently, a woman in California murdered a man whom she suspected of sexually abusing her child. In my country, we often hear of jealous husbands or wives killing their spouse's lover. These are 'crimes of passion' that occur in both the U.S. and my country.

  While the assassination of President Kennedy is a well-known crime in the U.S., in fact, political crimes rarely happen in the U.S.   In my country, assassinations are planned by the Mafia or by terrorist groups. Terrorist attacks occur a lot more in my country than in the U.S. Frequently, in both countries, these attacks are executed by aliens who want political influence.

CONCLUSION:                    

street crime n. (non-count) – a concept or an abstraction;

street crimes n. (countable) – several occurrences, He committed three street crimes in one night.

The conclusion will always depend on the thesis sentence and the points developed in the body of the essay. The final sentence should tie together the opinion or intent stated in the thesis with the supporting statements in the essay and lead the reader to a logical conclusion.

 

 

 

 

Answer the questions about the essay above.

  1. Select your response
  2. Read the feedback.

 

1.
What is the topic?








2.
What is the controlling idea?








3.
Which is a good thesis sentence for this paragraph?








4a.
A thesis sentence may  (select one or more)


4b.

4c.

4d.

4e.

4f.

4g.

4h.

5a.
Which of the following could be a thesis sentence?


5b.

5c.

5d.

5e.

5f.

5g.

5h.

5i.

 

 

Additional Resource

"150 Resources to Help You Write Better, Faster, and More Persuasively" Open Education Database, 19 Feb 2013. Web. http://oedb.org/library/features/150-writing-resources 9 June 2013