Esol Essayist


Writing an Outline
Introduction Paragraphs
Body Paragraphs
Concluding Paragraphs
Going Public With Your  Writing
 
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

What is a thesis statement?

The thesis statement is a sentence. It may be the most important sentence in an essay. It normally appears in the introduction paragraph.

The thesis is like a preview that you see when you go to the movies. If you read the thesis statement alone, you should be able to tell what the entire essay will be about.

The thesis acts like a signpost for readers by telling them in what direction the essay will go. It has two important functions:

1. The thesis statement presents the main idea of the essay.
2. The thesis statement helps organize the essay.


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Why do you need to have a thesis statement?

Having a thesis statement helps both the writer and reader.

For the writer, the thesis statement helps to organize and develop the ideas of the essay.

For the reader, the thesis provides a guide or map to the essay.

Steps to writing a thesis statement.
After you have brainstormed, chosen, and narrowed your topic you can begin to write your thesis statement.


1. State the main idea of the essay
2. Include information about the supporting details you will discuss.
3. Use specific language.

 

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The following features make a good thesis statement:

1. The thesis statement is a complete sentence, but is not written as a question.
2. The writer's opinion is included in the thesis statement.
3. The thesis statement narrows a broad topic to something more specific that can be covered in a five-paragraph essay.
4. One main idea is expressed in the thesis statement.
5. The thesis statement helps to organize the essay.

Now, look at an example thesis statement found in a paragraph written by an ESOL student.


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Now, look at an example thesis statement found in the following paragraph written by an ESOL student. The thesis statement is highlighted in green.

 


.....To become a successful writer, students should follow some important steps. Just attending class is not enough. There is a need for a good background in grammar and vocabulary, skills in writing essays, and skills in editing. Learning to be a successful writer involves a lot of hard work.

1. Do you think the thesis statement is a strong statement?
2. How could it be improved?


Opportunity for class discussion or small group discussion here.

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What does Sarah say?
1. Do you think the thesis statement is a strong statement?
2. How could it be improved?


Yes. I think this is a good thesis because:

1. It is a complete sentence.
2. It has my opinion.
3. The topic is narrow.


You can tell that my plan is to write about:


(A) grammar and vocabulary
(B) writing skills and
(C) editing skills

.

To become a successful writer, students should follow some important steps. Just attending class is not enough. There is a need for a good background in grammar and vocabulary, skills in writing essays, and skills in editing. Learning to be a successful writer involves a lot of hard work.
play


What does Ms. Frescas say?
Click Next to find out.

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What does Ms. Frescas say?
How does drawing an idea map help you to narrow the topic?


Mostly. Sarah is right.
It is a complete sentence.
It has her opinion.
The topic is narrow.
And, her thesis does organize the essay.

We know that Sarah is going to write about three things:
(A) grammar and vocabulary
(B) writing skills and
(C) editing skills
This is the hardest part of writing a thesis, so she has done a great job.

There is only one thing. It is good that we know those specific details, but what we don't know is the main idea.

Remember, we said the thesis is like a movie preview. If you read the thesis statement alone, you should be able to tell what the entire essay will be about. Let's look at the thesis alone.


Maybe we could guess that the author is going to talk about writing somehow, but this thesis doesn't give us enough of a preview to understand what the essay will really be about. We might re-word this thesis.

If we take a look at the thesis inside of its paragraph, we can tell that the thesis is talking about ways to become a successful writer. Therefore, it can be improved by adding a subject-- Writers.

.

Old
There is a need for a good background in grammar and vocabulary, skills in writing essays, and skills in editing.
New
Writers require a good background in grammar and vocabulary, skills in writing essays, and skills in editing.

play

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Now, It's time to test yourself. Click here to begin. When you are finished, return here and click the "next" button to take a look at an example.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Your Turn
Now, it's your turn. You can download and print the "Your Turn" Activities. This section has two: self check and peer edit. Don't forget that you should be keeping all your "Your Turn" activities in your portfolio.

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