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What is a Thesis - What is a thesis The thesis statement is...

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What is a thesis? The thesis statement is one of the (if not the) most important parts of your paper. It should be introduced in the first paragraph and serve as the focus of your analytic argument. The thesis is the thread (a strong one!) that ties together your interpretations of all the significant moments, patterns, developments, changes, and/or contradictions that you will develop in the body of your paper. Think of the thesis statement as a contract between you (the writer) and the reader. The thesis makes certain promises to your reader; it then becomes your job to fulfill that promise using specific textual moments. The more specific your promise, the easier it will be to find specific passages to support your argument. This sheet offers general guidelines on writing thesis statements, but it's important to remember: thesis statements are NOT formulas, and a successful one cannot be reduced to its parts. Successful theses provoke thought, they read beautifully, they elaborate on an essential theme of the work, and they consider a specific issue. Your thesis should include three components: WHAT, HOW, and WHY: WHAT—your claim about the text HOW--the literary devices, concepts, general themes etc. that you choose to prove your claim WHY--the significance of your idea in terms of understanding the text as a whole (answers the dreaded “so what?” question) Example: Although the speaker of Robert Browning's “My Last Duchess” attempts to
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