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Thesis handout - ENGL 278Sita r GUIDE TO CONSTRUCTING A...

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ENGL 278—Sitar GUIDE TO CONSTRUCTING A THESIS STATEMENT Dos and Don’ts A thesis statement should : be one sentence long be a specific claim or argument be a claim or argument that could be challenged legitimately or argued against guide and control the entire essay invite development, discussion, and elaboration argue about what is interesting or valuable about a text or subject function as a roadmap to the rest of the essay stick to the parameters of the text and assignment (almost always) come at the end of the opening paragraph A thesis statement should not : be a simple, self-evident observation that no one could challenge legitimately diverge from the text into personal opinion be mere agreement or disagreement be based around pure value judgments (using words such as “good,” “correct.” “important,” etc.) be so large in scope that it is not possible to prove (especially in 4-5 pages) Examples: 1. Avoiding the thesis that makes no claim or argument, the thesis in which no issue is
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