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Literature Thesis?

#1
In the past, I've always been quite confident when coming up with thesis statements for essays and papers. It took me a few minutes, but once I had my train of thought going I never doubted the result. I had even taken a few reading & writing courses outside of school for further practice, and I was generally successful with my assignments.

However, recently I have begun to doubt the things that I've written, most specifically my thesis statements. After some thinking and analysis of my previous theses, I have detected a recurring issue that I previously either missed or was simply unaware of.

In nearly all of my theses I always incorporate my three supporting ideas (of the body paragraphs). However, in doing so, I end up relying upon the three ideas as the main argument behind my thesis rather than establishing a separate argumentative perspective. If that sounded confusing, here's an example:

PROMPT: Consider how an individual's response to conventions or circumstances has been reflected and developed.

THESIS: When an individual is presented with a circumstance that conflicts with their pre-established, conventional perspective, they will respond with shock, shame, and uncertainty.

I initially thought this thesis was pretty solid, addressing both the question in the prompt as well as my three main supporting ideas, but I became more and more hesitant as I read it further.

It appears as if I haven't stated a clear perspective towards the prompt at all and that I am simply relying upon the three supporting ideas as my argument. In addition, after reconsideration, my three supporting ideas are actually all quite related and overlap quite significantly, which is something that worries me as I may potentially stray off topic and into another idea when writing a body paragraph.

This conflict I am experiencing in regards to developing a strong thesis stems from my inability to fluently connect an argumentative perspective with three main body paragraphs. Perhaps I'm worrying too much and I just need more practice, but in my few attempts after my acknowledgement of the mistakes in my writing I have realized that it is extremely difficult for me to establish both a strong argument as well as three distinct and supportive ideas.

If I come up with a strong perspective towards the prompt, I can't seem to develop three fully coherent and independent supporting ideas. If I focus upon the supporting ideas, I end up not developing a perspective towards the prompt at all.


Sorry for this long rant, but this issue has been bothering me recently. My writing abilities is something I usually take pride in, so realizing such a gaping hole in a fundamental aspect of all essays is slightly worrying to say the least. I might just be rambling like a madman. Maybe my theses are fine, and I'm just over analyzing them. Any suggestions, comments, and replies are appreciated.
 

Onmyoji

Unyielding Resolve
#2
For academic writing it is important to support your statements with references to other literature. For example, if you write that a person will respond with shock, shame and uncertainty, you can say that The Author XXXX reported his research in the "Paper about people reaction" in 2015 and this point of view was supported by multiple other authors.
This will add credibility to your work.
 
#3
For academic writing it is important to support your statements with references to other literature. For example, if you write that a person will respond with shock, shame and uncertainty, you can say that The Author XXXX reported his research in the "Paper about people reaction" in 2015 and this point of view was supported by multiple other authors.
This will add credibility to your work.
Definitely, and for academic purposes there are a list of provided texts to refer to in support of the thesis.

But I just don't know how to formulate a good thesis statement that incorporates both an arguable perspective as well as three supporting ideas. I've thought of developing theses that are simply the argumentative perspective without even mentioning the supporting ideas, but I've never done it before and I'm a little wary.
 

Penumbra

The Devil's Advocate
#4
The main issue I with your prompt is that sadness, shock, and anger are all basically the same point, which you already acknowledged. I mean, you can argue all three as emotional responses.

I think another direction it could be taken in are the physical and social responses, in addition to emotional. It's difficult to provide an example without more information about the assignment, but "conflicts with their pre-existing conventional perspective" sounds just like "change." The environment around them has changed, so it now conflicts with their beliefs about... whatever it is they believe. Change can escalate into a crisis, which in addition to their emotions, affects both a person's physical body (stress) and their relationships with others.

Usually I don't tell people what they can put in their papers, but I hardly ever see anything about writing arguments on RPN, I just get a little excited. c: I just wanted to give you an idea of three related but diverse points you can use in pretty much any kind of argument about people, their environment, or their habits. The physical/emotional/social split can also generate ideas for hooks and counterarguments, and it's very popularly used.

Good luck with your essay!
 

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