The thesis statement is the most challenging for me to write. Every. Time.
And Im not sure why! I mean, I think I do fairly well when it comes to writing. My essay papers tend to stay within the A to A- range. I did have a paper or two that’s gotten a B+ but that’s usually due to formatting issues and I did have a paper that got a low B because I didn’t use the required amount of sources. And I’m not saying this to brag or anything, but the one issue that usually stops me from getting an A+ is because while I had a strong intro, my thesis lacked structure or my thesis was weak. And that would be very accurate because when I write my papers, I never start off with a thesis. I just jump into it.
Well, if you know what’s wrong why don’t you fix it? It’s simple enough.
No it’s not! *says in a whiney voice*. It’s not simple for me. The one time I actually put thought into my paper, I got a B. I actually thought it through and got it done early enough for me to proofread it twice and I got a B! Serves me right for not procrastinating. But I’m serious. If I start too early or think about it too much, I don’t do so well. And it’s because of this that I just jump right into and start writing. I read through the material, come up with a basic outline–more or less, and then just start writing. And actually, I don’t study the material every day until I’m ready to write, I usually just read it through a time or two when I first get the assignment and then I think on it. I let it sit in my mind until I’m ready to write and then I review the materials again.
You’re avoiding the question. You know you’re weak on thesis statements, so why don’t you fix it?
I suppose I am making excuses to avoid the question. Truth is, I don’t know. I don’t know why I can’t fix it. Which is why I’m writing this post so I can think things through seriously enough to sit down and think about it.
General outline of a thesis, according to Purdue OWL (and I’m using Purdue because my course syllabi loves to reference Purdue OWL a lot. Everyone of them):
- The thesis statement must be debatable – For the most part, I think I get this.
- The thesis needs to be narrow – Fail. I fail miserably on this is. I mean, I have a hard time narrowing things down and I think it’s because I don’t know what direction I want to take until I’m already on that road.
- Figure out the type of claim that fits you’re argument
- Claims of fact or definition
- Claims of cause and effect
- Claims about value
- Claims about solutions and policies
If I can follow these three simple rules I should be able to reach that A+, right?
Sighs. One could hope. I could only hope. Anyway, another thing to keep in mind is that thesis statements are like road maps to your paper. And this I understand. I do my best to make sure my intro covers a basic outline of what my paper will be on, which is why I usually get high marks for organization. Just that darned thesis statement.
Hopefully writing this out in a post will help seal it in my brain. I can do this. I got this … right?