Assertion For An Essay

Thesis Statement Guide Development Tool

Follow the steps below to formulate a thesis statement. All cells must contain text.

1. State your topic.

2. State your opinion/main idea about this topic.
This will form the heart of your thesis. An effective statement will

  • express one major idea.
  • name the topic and assert something specific about it.
  • be a more specific statement than the topic statement above.
  • take a stance on an issue about which reasonable people might disagree.
  • state your position on or opinion about the issue.

3. Give the strongest reason or assertion that supports your opinion/main idea.

4. Give another strong reason or assertion that supports your opinion/main idea.

5. Give one more strong reason or assertion that supports your opinion/main idea.

6. Include an opposing viewpoint to your opinion/main idea, if applicable. This should be an argument for the opposing view that you admit has some merit, even if you do not agree with the overall viewpoint.

7. Provide a possible title for your essay.




Thesis Statement Guide Results

Thesis Statement Model #1: Sample Thesis Statement

Parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch.

Thesis Statement Model #2: Thesis with Concession

Notice that this model makes a concession by addressing an argument from the opposing viewpoint first, and then uses the phrase "even though" and states the writer's opinion/main idea as a rebuttal.

Even though television can be educational, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch.

Thesis Statement Model #3: Thesis with Reasons

Here, the use of "because" reveals the reasons behind the writer's opinion/main idea.

parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans, it inhibits social interaction, and it isn't always intellectually stimulating.

Thesis Statement Model #4: Thesis with Concession and Reasons

This model both makes a concession to opposing viewpoint and states the reasons/arguments for the writer's main idea.

While television can be educational, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it inhibits social interaction, shortens children's attention spans, and isn't always intellectually stimulating.

Remember: These thesis statements are generated based on the answers provided on the form. Use the Thesis Statement Guide as many times as you like. Your ideas and the results are anonymous and confidential. When you build a thesis statement that works for you, ensure that it addresses the assignment. Finally, you may have to rewrite the thesis statement so that the spelling, grammar, and punctuation are correct.

Thesis Statement Guide: Sample Outline

Use the outline below, which is based on the five–paragraph essay model, when drafting a plan for your own essay. This is meant as a guide only, so we encourage you to revise it in a way that works best for you.

Introductory Paragraph

Start your introduction with an interesting "hook" to reel your reader in. An introduction can begin with a rhetorical question, a quotation, an anecdote, a concession, an interesting fact, or a question that will be answered in your paper. The idea is to begin broadly and gradually bring the reader closer to the main idea of the paper. At the end of the introduction, you will present your thesis statement. The thesis statement model used in this example is a thesis with reasons.

Even though television can be educational , parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans, it inhibits social interaction, and it is not always intellectually stimulating

Paragraph #1

First, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch because it shortens children's attention spans.

Notice that this Assertion is the first reason presented in the thesis statement. Remember that the thesis statement is a kind of "mapping tool" that helps you organize your ideas, and it helps your reader follow your argument. In this body paragraph, after the Assertion, include any evidence–a quotation, statistic, data–that supports this first point. Explain what the evidence means. Show the reader how this entire paragraph connects back to the thesis statement.

Paragraph #2

Additionally, it inhibits social interaction.

The first sentence of the second body paragraph should reflect an even stronger Assertion to support the thesis statement. Generally, the second point listed in the thesis statement should be developed here. Like with the previous paragraph, include any evidence–a quotation, statistic, data–that supports this point after the Assertion. Explain what the evidence means. Show the reader how this entire paragraph connects back to the thesis statement.

Paragraph #3

Finally, the most important reason parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch is it is not always intellectually stimulating.

Your strongest point should be revealed in the final body paragraph. Also, if it's appropriate, you can address and refute any opposing viewpoints to your thesis statement here. As always, include evidence–a quotation, statistic, data–that supports your strongest point. Explain what the evidence means. Show the reader how this entire paragraph connects back to the thesis statement.

Concluding Paragraph

Indeed, while television can be educational, parents should regulate the amount of television their children watch.

Rephrase your thesis statement in the first sentence of the conclusion. Instead of summarizing the points you just made, synthesize them. Show the reader how everything fits together. While you don't want to present new material here, you can echo the introduction, ask the reader questions, look to the future, or challenge your reader.

Remember: This outline is based on the five–paragraph model. Expand or condense it according to your particular assignment or the size of your opinion/main idea. Again, use the Thesis Statement Guide as many times as you like, until you reach a thesis statement and outline that works for you.

To Assert: To state or declare
Assertion: A declaration or statement

When making an argument in your writing for this class, you will likely use two types of assertions: (1) a factual or summary statement (2) an analytical assertion.

Factual Assertion/Summary Statement: A declaration that presents the situation or general idea(s) included in the subject. These statements do not lead to analysis and therefore should never be used as thesis statements or topic sentences.

EX: The letter A is a symbol in the novel The Scarlet Letter
EX: This passage is about the punishment Hester endures for her sin.
EX: The Scarlet Letter expresses the theme of revenge.

WHEN do I use a factual/summary statement? You can include these assertions in the body of your paragraphs or as part of your supporting discussion. These assertions are not arguable and therefore cannot be used as statements that will drive or frame your analysis.

Analytical Assertion: A statement that functions as a point of reference for analysis; a statement that indicates what you will prove in the writing that follows.

An analytical assertion frames your analysis. It gives you something to prove. In order to write a strong analytical assertion you must include the following:

(a)   a WHAT – identify an element of the text that you want to discuss
(b)  VOCABULARY OF CRITICISM – an analytical verb that helps you articulate the author’s purpose in including the element of the text you have identified
(c)   a WHY – indicate why the author includes this element; express why it is important.

EX: Miller creates a sparse setting in Act I to emphasize Puritan beliefs – specifically their focus on simplicity.

              WHAT: sparse setting
              WHY: to mirror Puritan beliefs

EX: Arthur Miller’s portrayal of Abigail Williams as a threatening and intimidating figure who elicits fear in the girls suggests she is a driving force behind the hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials.

              WHAT: portrayal of Abigail Williams
              WHY: cause of the hysteria

EX: Miller’s characterization of Reverend Parris as selfish indicates greed is one of the causes of the Salem Witch Trials.

              WHAT: characterization of Reverend Parris
              WHY: greed is a motivation for the accusations at the trials

EX: Miller’s characterization of Mrs. Putnam as a grief-stricken woman presents the motivations behind the trials as emotional and not scientific or factual.

              WHAT: characterization of Mrs. Putnam
              WHY: irrationality of trials that focused on emotion and not fact.

BACK to Junior Writing

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