how to make a thesis from nothing
Every English essay needs a thesis.
Basically, a thesis is a one-sentence statement that makes an argument.
1. The most common English essay thesis I have seen is:
X + Y by (1), (2), and (3)
X and Y are things in the novel that are related to each other and affect one another. One of these things is usually identified in your topic question. The numbers 1, 2, and 3 are three different ways X and Y are related to each other.
Essay topic is, "Discuss compassion in Novel”
Thesis: In Novel, Bob shows compassion by nursing an injured bird, adopting an abandoned kitty, and rescuing an abused puppy.
Bob is (X), Showing Compassion is (Y), and the three points are (1,2,3)
What makes this type of thesis even stronger is if 1, 2 and 3 can be summarized by a common category. The previous example-thesis can be shortened into:
Ex. In Novel, Bob shows compassion by taking care of helpless animals.
You can use this type of thesis when you are short on time, such as during exams... or the night before even. This type of thesis gives the reader a clear sense of the main point and its relevance to the topic.
2. My personal go-to thesis formula I use is:
Pattern + Explanation
Pattern is something that is happening or being used a lot. The best patterns are categories of things.
Explanation is the reason why this pattern is occurring.
Basically, I find something that is described or used often in a novel, and explain why this pattern is important.
Ex. In Novel, scenes of fancy dinners show people's lack of compassion towards others.
The reason why I like this type of thesis is because patterns naturally provide a lot of examples to work with. A good number of examples shows you're familiar the source material and have something to say about it.
Think of a science experiment. A science experiment starts off with a hypothesis. Similarly, an English Literature essay puts out a claim - the Thesis - which the reader will be initially skeptical of. In science, a hypothesis is more easily accepted when we see a lot of examples of it happening around us. Same thing in English Essay Writing. A Thesis is more likely to work if we use Pattern + Explanation.
So what kind of patterns can you use?
It can be anything that is shown repeatedly. Think of something that you see many times in the novel. A strong thesis for English essays is one that can connect a pattern to the essay topic.
Here are some examples:
- the colour red
- men crying
- people using disguises
I have written on all of these patterns before, because they were categories of things or actions that just so happens to be mentioned a lot in my assigned source material. Since they appeared frequently, I could comment on them and their purpose/function in the source material.
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