Developing a Thesis/Claim for Your Cause and Effect Research Essay
Lesson 2 of 5
Objective: SWBAT write a supportable thesis/claim for their cause and effect essays.
Introduction and Context
THIS LESSON IS PART 2OF A 2 PART SEQUENCE TO DEVELOP A TOPIC, THESIS, AND RESEARCH QUESTION(S) FOR THE FINAL MAJOR ESSAY OF MY COURSE ...
Now that students have selected a topic, located at least one bit of data re: that topic, and designed questions in order to investigate that topic it is now time for students to craft their actual thesis statements for the project ...
This thesis statement will guide the rest of the work on the project, including future research, so it needs to be well developed (yes) and to establish a pattern of organization for the essay itself (yes, yes). I find when approaching this sentence it is good to call upon my students' traditional training in the "three-pronged" approach to thesis writing -- that is a sentence with a three part subordinate clause, the mainstay of the five-paragraph-essay.
It is, also though, absolutely crucial at this phase to make sure students are writing a cause and effect analysis and not a report or an editorial (which they how are past). I speak to the issue of "misunderstood reasoning" in the reflection attached to this section.
Following my general summary to students of the aforementioned ideas, I share with them a Google Doc example of my own thesis "worksheet" -- they are to make their own that is similar ...
After I scroll through my "Thesis Worksheet" and explain its parts, I ask students to locate and load their "6x6" list, and I state that they will be using these lists for the next phase of the essay project. As you will notice, then, there is a direct relationship between the "factoids" and the "declarative statements" of the "Thesis Worksheet," namely that the "factiods" become the "Declarative Statements" of the Worksheet.
After students use, maybe, one factoid, they must find additional ones and form these into "declarative statements." This set of statements should "speak for itself" -- that is the "declarative statements" imply that there is clearly a problem to be articulated.
From the "declarative statements" grows the "outcome statement" which is the first instance of student judgement in this process; from this the thesis itself is born.
I have attached the example "Thesis Worksheet" as a .pdf resource, and I trust the color coding is helpful ...
I allow several minutes of student drafting and re-drafting of the thesis based on the ideas of the Worksheet. Also, I find it useful for students to find a peer-editor who can read their statement for validity and accuracy.