Outline Essay on Identity
Lesson 1 of 7
Objective: SWBAT establish strong claims, setting the foundation for a strong essay, by planning ideas in an outline and examining samples of strong thesis statements.
Students Outline Their Essay
Writing a Stronger Thesis
After I see that the majority of students have a thesis, a working thesis, I interrupt them and ask for their attention. I want to show them samples of weak and strong thesis statements and discuss why they are so. I explain to students that a thesis statement establishes a central idea and that it must be arguable. I have to give my students a clear picture of what "arguable" means so I communicate the following points and give them examples.
- to be arguable basically means that it needs to be proven
- not everyone will agree with it. In fact, the best ones are the ones that people either strongly agree or strongly disagree with.
- states a perspective and point of view.
Once this is communicated, I show them some samples and talk about the samples in terms of the three bulleted points above. The samples are on page 9-11 of this UC Davis student workbook on writing applications. This packet is meant to help students practice for the CAHSEE, the California High School Exit Exam, but I use today, because it includes these helpful pages on the difference between a weak and strong thesis statement. This resource is also helpful because the topics, wearing school uniforms and murder and the death penalty, elicit strong opinions from my students, which helps make the point. In this video, I explain how I use these pages.
I let students continue working on their outline the rest of the period and ask them to finish it for homework.
These are some sample thesis statements my students produced.