Thesis Building Handout

Thesis Building Handout - many forms. Think of it as the...

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English 123—Mikolavich Building a Thesis From the Ground Up Think about constructing a thesis the way a building is constructed, one floor or level at a time. Here’s how this way of thinking breaks down: 1 st Level: describes the topic; gives the facts; makes an observation. This level is not yet a true thesis because it makes observations that are non-controversial, i.e. no reasonable person would disagree with them. A person reading such a statement immediately thinks “Yes. This is true.” 2 nd Level: interprets, gives points of view on, and/or adds controversy to the focus of the first level. By adding controversy, I mean it takes a position on the facts, which is not obvious, a position which a reasonable person could disagree with. A person reading a 2 nd level thesis thinks “That’s an interesting point of view—now prove it to me.” 3 rd Level: relates the 2 nd level thesis to the bigger picture, explains its significance. This is the most difficult type of thesis to describe (and write) because it can take so
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Unformatted text preview: many forms. Think of it as the answer you get when you ask of a 2 nd level thesis so what? The reader should say: I see why this argument matters. Think of the three levels of thesis development in this way: observation + opinion + significance Examples: 1 st Level: The cathedral Carver alludes to in the title is the central image of his story. 2 nd Level: As the central image of his story, the cathedral symbolizes(here I would give my opinion about the various things it symbolizes) 3 rd Level: As the central image of his story, the cathedral symbolizes(here I would give my opinion about the various things it symbolizes), suggesting(here I would connect my observation and opinion about my observation to the bigger picture of the storys meanings and what Carver may be attempting to get at) This handout was adapted from two handouts from the Student Learning Center at U.C. Berkeley...
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This note was uploaded on 11/22/2011 for the course ENG. 123 taught by Professor Saenahong during the Spring '11 term at Diablo Valley College.

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