The Purpose of this Blog

Your task on this blog is to write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was ill or missed the lesson can catch up with what they missed. Over the course of the term, these 'class scribe' posts will grow to be a guide book for the course, written by students for students.

With each post ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this good enough for our guide book?
2) Will your post enable someone who wasn't here to catch up?
3) Would a graphic/video/link help to illustrate what we have learned?

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

What is a thesis statement?

We began the lesson discussing what makes a thesis statement great. We did this by comparing two thesis statements:

The character of Ben in Arthur Miller’s Death of A Salesman serves a complex dramatic function.


Ben personifies the defeat of Willy’s hopes in regards to both material success and the proper role of a father. 

We concluded that the second one is better because it answers the question and the reader can pick out the foundation of the essay, therefore the main body of the essay will consist of evidence supporting the thesis statement.

A thesis statement:
tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the essay.
directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself.
makes a claim that others might dispute.
is usually a single sentence somewhere in your first paragraph that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organises evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.

Overall, the main outcome of the lesson was to understand a thesis statement- presents an arugment rather than re-phrasing the question. Also a thesis statment DOES NOT state facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it's possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument.

HOMEWORK: work on coursework, bring it in next lesson to work on during class. Also comment on what you have just read :D

Kind regards, Aisha


  1. This is really informative.
    Really helped me when thinking of a thesis statement..
    Thank you for your excellent post Aisha.
    I hope one day I can post something as good as this..

    'Sonny F.

  2. how is this for a thesis statement?

    Willys age is the gap between where Willy is now and what his own expectations are, that derives him rightful place in society

  3. good blog it really helps people understand what a thesis statement is