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Subject:
Literature & Language
Type:
Essay
Language:
English (U.S.)
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MS Word
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$ 5
Topic:

English

Instructions:
Develop a clear, analytically rigorous thesis statement in response to the question – Your thesis is the analytic heart and soul of your essay and should be clearly laid out in your essay's introductory paragraph. Your thesis is the argument / interpretation you propose to advance / defend over the course of your essay. If history is, as an old adage goes, philosophy reasoning by example, then the thesis statement of any historical work (such as a history exam essay) is the philosophy as yet embellished by example, the analysis as yet buttressed by evidence, the spool of interpretive thread that you will subsequently unravel and weave throughout the body of your essay (for more on weaving your thesis, see #4 below). Depending upon the length of your essay, your thesis may vary in length from a single sentence to a few sentences. To illustrate, here is a sample essay question followed by 4 thesis statements, each of which is better than the one that precedes it:
Content:
M a r k B r i l l i a n t D e p a r t m e n t o f H i s t o r y P r o g r a m i n A m e r i c a n S t u d i e s U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l i f o r n i a , B e r k e l e y El e m e n ts of an Ef fe c t i ve H i s to r y Ex am Es s a y ( 1) R e f l e c t b e f or e w r i t i n g – K e e p i n m i nd t ha t a n e xa m e s s a y i s a n e xe r c i s e i n a r gum e nt a t i on, not r e gur gi t a t i o n . Y e s , you a bs ol ut e l y m us t d r a w u pon – a nd de m ons t r a t e a m a s t e r y of – hi s t or i c a l e vi de nc e f r om t he r e a di ngs a nd l e c t ur e s ( s e e #3 be l ow ) – not a s a n e nd i n i t s e l f , t hough, but r a t he r a s a m e a ns t o t he l a r ge r e nd of d e f e ndi ng a t he s i s . T hus , do N O T j u m p r i g h t i nt o w r i t i ng , r us hi ng t o du m p a l l t he di s c r e t e hi s t or i c a l de t a i l s you know a bout t he que s t i on ont o t he pa ge . I ns t e a d, r e f l e c t on t he que s t i on f or a bi t . A s you do s o, t hi nk o f a nd j o t dow n s om e qui c k not e s on t he t he s i s you w a nt t o e s t a bl i s h, t he e vi de n c e you pl a n t o m a r s ha l t o s uppor t you r t he s i s , a nd t he or ga ni z a t i ona l s t r uc t u r e t ha t w i l l be s t a l l ow you t o pr e s e nt your e s s a y's a r gum e nt . ( 2) D e ve l op a c l e ar , an al yt i c al l y r i gor ou s t h e s i s s t at e m e n t i n r e s p on s e t o t h e q u e s t i on – Y our t he s i s i s t he a na l yt i c he a r t a nd s oul of you r e s s a y a nd s houl d be c l e a r l y l a i d out i n you r e s s a y's i nt r oduc t or y pa r a gr a ph. Y our t he s i s i s t he a r gum e n t / i nt e r pr e t a t i on you pr opos e t o a dva nc e / de f e nd ove r t he c our s e of you r e s s a y. I f hi s t or y i s , a s a n ol d a da ge goe s , phi l os op hy r e a s oni ng by e xa m pl e , t he n t he t he s i s s t a t e m e nt of a ny hi s t or i c a l w or k ( s uc h a s a hi s t or y e xa m e s s a y) i s t he phi l os ophy a s ye t e m be l l i s he d by e xa m pl e , t he a na l ys i s a s ye t but t r e s s e d by e vi de nc e , t he s pool of i nt e r p r e t i ve t hr e a d t ha t you w i l l s ubs e que nt l y un r a ve l a nd w e a ve t hr oughout t he body of your e s s a y ( f or m or e on w e a vi ng you r t he s i s , s e e #4 be l ow ) . D e pe ndi ng upon t he l e ngt h of your e s s a y, your t he s i s m a y va r y i n l e ngt h f r o m a s i ngl e s e nt e n c e t o a f e w s e nt e nc e s . T o i l l us t r a t e , he r e i s a s a m pl e e s s a y que s t i on f ol l ow e d by 4 t he s i s s t a t e m e nt s , e a c h of w hi c h i s be t t e r t ha n t he one t ha t pr e c e de s i t : E xa m Q ue s t i on : H ow a nd w hy di d A nne H ut c hi ns on pos e a t hr e a t t o t he e s t a bl i s he d s t r uc t ur e s of pow e r a nd a ut hor i t y i n P ur i t a n M a s s a c hus e t t s ? B a d T he s i s : A nne H ut c hi ns on pos e d a t hr e a t t o t he e s t a bl i s he d s t r uc t ur e s of pow e r a nd a ut hor i t y i n P ur i t a n M a s s a c hu s e t t s . ( N ot e how t hi s t he s i s s t at e m e nt s i m pl y r e phr a s e s t he as s i gnm e nt que s t i on i n t he f or m of an ans w e r , of f e r i ng no c l ue as t o w hat e x ac t l y t he w r i t e r i nt e nds t o pr ov e . ) B e t t e r T he s i s : A nne H ut c hi ns on pos e d a t hr e a t t o t he pow e r a nd a ut hor i t y o f t he P ur i t a n l e a de r s hi p be c a us e s he w a s a w om a n, a popu l a r p r e a c he r , a nd be c a us e of he r r e l i gi ous c onvi c t i ons . ( N ot e how t hi s t he s i s i s m or e s pe c i f i c t han t he pr e v i ous one , but i s s t i l l t oo br oad, e s pe c i al l y f or a s hor t e s s ay . I t al s o pr ov i de s l i t t l e br i e f i ns i ght i nt o w hy t he s t at e d f ac t or s pos e d s uc h t hr e at s . ) E ve n B e t t e r T he s i s : T he l e a de r s of A nne H ut c hi ns on's c om m uni t y not on l y f e l t une a s y a bout A nne H ut c hi ns o n's r ol e a s a publ i c f i gur e , b ut w e r e f u r t he r t hr e a t e ne d by he r be l i e f t ha t i ndi vi dua l s c oul d c om m uni c a t e di r e c t l y w i t h G od. ( N ot e how t hi s t he s i s i s e v e n m or e s pe c i f i c and f oc us e d t han t he pr e v i ous t w o. St i l l , i t c oul d go a bi t f ur t he r i n s he ddi ng l i ght on t he om ni pr e s e nt “ w hy ” que s t i on . ) S t i l l E ve n B e t t e r T he s i s : W hi l e
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