Brainstorming your Thesis Statement


photo from Wikimedia Commons:

Why are thesis statements so difficult for students?

Why are they so hard to teach?

Is it a matter of development to craft a good thesis statement?

Throughout the years, I have gathered and created more resources on thesis statement than for any other research skill.  To write one sentence which is so full, yet so concise is the goal.  As an adult, I can pretty much throw a thesis sentence down on paper, edit a bit, and walk away relatively happy.  For our 13-19 year old students that we teach, how can we expect them to have vocabulary skills along with the organizational skills to categorize all of their topics into one big envelope?  We have to help them and it is quite ironic that we need to offer an abundance of instructional support to yield a simple sentence.  …but we do.

To start, there is the conceptual piece.  Should students receive a really good foundation in the concepts of the role of the thesis statement and its inter-relatedness to the outline and body of the paper or do they get these concepts easily and it is just a matter of writing a really good one?

If they are struggling with the writing, will more examples and models help or are workshop methods more effective?

These are the questions that we ask.  Below, I offer resources that I have gathered or created throughout this piece for readers to access.  Please feel free to answer and reflect on any question above or share resources that you use.

Brainstorming your Thesis Statement Workshop:

Easiest Way to Write a Killer Thesis Statement

Sometimes analogies help students if they are trying to understand the concept of a thesis statement:

Thesis Statement Analogies

Using this organizer, as a class, you can discuss the inter-related aspects of the thesis statement, outline, and body of the paper.

Concept Sort: Thesis, Outline, Body

Finally, here is a checklist for them to assess the quality of their statement.
Good luck teaching this skill.  We really vary the number of supportive resources dependent upon the group and the skills that they have coming into the lesson.

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