how do i write a thesis statement for a narrative essay
Example of weak thesis:
Although narrative essays tell a story, the events of the story on their own aren’t enough to compose a narrative essay. All narrative essays should have a point, a point that is often best communicated in a thesis sentence. The Santa Barbara City College Writing Center advises students to set the scene and provide a “hook” to get the reader’s attention. Depending on the type of narrative you’re sharing with the reader, the thesis sentence could offer a lesson learned, identify a theme or simply start the story with the first event.
Set the scene for readers by letting them know relevant details of the the who, what, where and and where of your essay. For example, if you are assigned to write a narrative about a physical challenge, an effective thesis sentence would look at your personal reason for sharing the essay’s story. Looking at what is unique about the story you tell in your essay is crucial part of setting the scene. An opener might be, “My father teaching me how to swim the summer I turned 8 made me appreciate my dad’s patience and willingness to spend time with me.”
-America is still a misogynistic nation.
-The American workforce should imitate European work habits more often.
As you will see from the weak thesis statement outlines, some of them are terrible, but some of them are just too simple.
The thesis statement usually appears near the beginning of a paper. It can be the first sentence of an essay, but that often feels like a simplistic, unexciting beginning. It more frequently appears at or near the end of the first paragraph or two. Here is the first paragraph of Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.’s essay The Crisis of American Masculinity. Notice how everything drives the reader toward the last sentence and how that last sentence clearly signals what the rest of this essay is going to do.
The thesis statement is also a good test for the scope of your intent. The principle to remember is that when you try to do too much, you end up doing less or nothing at all. Can we write a good paper about problems in higher education in the United States? At best, such a paper would be vague and scattered in its approach. Can we write a good paper about problems in higher education in Connecticut? Well, we’re getting there, but that’s still an awfully big topic, something we might be able to handle in a book or a Ph.D. dissertation, but certainly not in a paper meant for a Composition course. Can we write a paper about problems within the community college system in Connecticut. Now we’re narrowing down to something useful, but once we start writing such a paper, we would find that we’re leaving out so much information, so many ideas that even most casual brainstorming would produce, that we’re not accomplishing much. What if we wrote about the problem of community colleges in Connecticut being so close together geographically that they tend to duplicate programs unnecessarily and impinge on each other’s turf? Now we have a focus that we can probably write about in a few pages (although more, certainly, could be said) and it would have a good argumentative edge to it. To back up such a thesis statement would require a good deal of work, however, and we might be better off if we limited the discussion to an example of how two particular community colleges tend to work in conflict with each other. It’s not a matter of being lazy; it’s a matter of limiting our discussion to the work that can be accomplished within a certain number of pages.
- Establishing the purpose of your paper
- Stating your position on the topic
- Guiding the reader through your argument
- Keeping your writing focused
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