Thesis Statement Creation: Synthesizing Information and Creating an Argument

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SWBAT write arguments to support claims by drafting and refining thesis statements.

Big Idea

Yesterday we gathered evidence. Today we need to synthesize it into a guiding statement for our choice novel essays.


10 minutes

We will start class with ten minutes of reading. I will read with students during this time. 

Thesis Drafting Pointers

10 minutes

To help students turn yesterday's work and brainstorming of polemics into useful support and structure for an essay, I will do a mini-lesson on constructing a thesis statement, which I think is an essential first step to crafting argument. If students don't know what they want to prove, it is much harder to gather evidence and support.

This is not the first time that we have worked through thesis statements, so I will mainly use this time to remind them of three key things: 

  1. A thesis needs to both introduce a topic and provide a claim about said topic so that all of your evidence will be connected to your main idea. (W.9-10.1)
  2. In order for a thesis to be arguable, it needs to be specific, rather than general (W.9-10.1a). 
  3. For these papers, a thesis needs to set the academic tone for the rest of the essay. Therefore, it should not have first or second person pronouns. 

I will give them a few examples or what not to do, such a "Oppressive government is bad" and ask them to help me revise (W.9-10.5). This thesis statement, for example, is way too vague and doesn't show specific information about a book or what makes the oppressive government "bad."


Thesis Drafting Work Time

10 minutes

Any remaining time will be spent working on thesis statements. I will do my best to circulate the room to help students as I can. I will ask them to write their thesis statements on a 3x5 card as an exit slip just in case I can't see everyone. This will let me read all of their thesis statements and provide feedback prior to their essay writing tomorrow. 

To get them started, will share a simple formula for their thesis statement (In (my novel's title) the author argues (polemic) through the strategy of (dystopian theme/literary device/structural choice/etc.).) I will not require them to use this, but I hope that having a fill in the blank formula will help those who are totally stuck. 

This work time will bring up right up the bell during this short class period. Hopefully the students will use it well.