Blog #4. Refining Thesis Statements


This helpful illustration of how paragraph topic statements relate to a paper’s thesis statement is reproduced from a page created by Randy Rambo in 2006 for his English Composition course at Illinois Valley Community College. Click the image to view a larger copy, or follow the link to Randy’s page.

In a short (1,200 to 1,800 word) paper that is due on Wednesday (10/30), you will make an original argument about a conspiracy film. The crux of this argument will be expressed in a bold faced thesis statement meeting the criteria described in the handout posted on TLEARN. Your thesis statement should be unified, restricted, clear, original, energetic, and specific. Throughout the paper, you will flesh out your argument with a series of body paragraphs. Each body paragraph will be organized around a key idea, and this idea will be expressed as the topic sentence of that paragraph.

In your next blog posting, due before 6:00 am on Wednesday (10/23), you should explain a bit about your movie, advance your preliminary thesis statement (be sure to bold-face this), and identify at least three potential topic sentences for body paragraphs in your paper. Your ideas and thesis statements are not set in stone; these are just drafts of potential chunks of your paper. The goal is for you to think now about the paper you will write next week.

You do not need to worry about including captioned images and external hyperlinks in this blog posting, though you are welcome to do so.

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