# 8.5: Where to Put a Thesis

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## HOW DO I KNOW WHERE TO PUT A THESIS?

Research shows that you comprehend better when the thesis is directly stated, particularly when it is stated at the beginning of an essay. Such an initial thesis statement offers a signpost briefing you on what to expect and overviews the author’s message. Unfortunately, writers do not always follow this pattern. In a research study using psychology texts, the main idea was clearly stated in only 58 percent of the sampled paragraphs. Thus, you should be skilled in identifying stated and implied thesis statements.

 An introductory statement of the thesis is given at the beginning of the paragraph: A concluding statement of the thesis appears at the end of the paragraph: Thesis Context Context Context Context Context Context Context Context Thesis Details are placed at the beginning and end to arouse interest, with a statement of the thesis in the middle of the paragraph: Both the introductory and concluding sentences state the thesis: Context Context Thesis Context Context Thesis Context Context Context Context Thesis

For Implied Thesis Statements:

 Details combine to make a point but the thesis is not directly stated: Context Context Context Context
##### Practice: Locating Thesis Statements

Don’t meddle with old unloaded firearms, they are the most deadly and unerring things ever created. You don’t have to take any pains with them at all; you don’t have to have a rest, you don’t have to have any sights on the gun, you don’t have to take aim even. No, you just pick out a relative and bang away, and you are sure to get him. A youth who can’t hit a cathedral at thirty yards with a Gatling gun in three-quarters of an hour, can take up an old empty musket and bag his grandmother every time at a hundred.
---Mark Twain, “Advice to Youth”

In The Oracles: My Filipino Grandparents in America, Pati Poblete gives her account as a young girl growing up in America being raised by her culturally foreign grandparents, and the results reverberate with her well into her adult years. Her parents, on the other hand, play a deafeningly silent role throughout the upbringing of Pati. The failure of Pati’s parents to provide her with guidance, attention and to control her exposure to popular media at a young age prevented her from having a healthy relationship with her grandparents and a healthy identity. Ron Taffel, a child-rearing expert, advised: “Even as kids reach adolescence, they need more than ever for us to watch over them. Adolescence is not about letting go. It's about hanging on during a very bumpy ride.” Pati unfortunately didn’t have this support so seemed to hit every bump.

---Student paper on Pati Poblete’s The Oracles:My Filipino Grandparents in America

In the 1940s, George Orwell warned “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past” (Orwell 30). In the 1990s a band called Rage Against the Machine, the name itself referring to a people’s movement to fight against control (corporation, government or otherwise) used this mantra in their song “Testify,” a warning to not silently endure oppression. This warning is not only relevant to the 20th century, but has been applicable since human beings started forming structures of power to control and oppress one another. This can vividly be seen during the times of slavery in the United States when blacks were enslaved for two and a half centuries. In Frederick Douglass’s novel Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Douglass reveals how this long and brutal control of human beings was partly accomplished through control over literacy. The control and limitations over reading and writing during slavery sought to make slaves like Douglass ignorant, powerless, and therefore more easily controlled, and this control over literacy and education is still happening in the world today.

--Sample essay on Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

A TV set stood close to a wall in the small living room crowded with an assortment of chairs and tables. An aquarium crowded the mantelpiece of a fake fireplace. A lighted bulb inside the tank showed many colored fish swimming about in a haze of fish food. Some of it lay scattered on the edge of the shelf. The carpet underneath was a sodden black. Old magazines and tabloids lay just about everywhere.

---Bienvenidos Santos, “Immigration Blues”

Mark Twain, “Advice to Youth”

 Begins with thesis Thesis: Don’t meddle with old unloaded firearms, they are the most deadly and unerring things ever created.

Student paper on Pati Poblete’s The Oracles:My Filipino Grandparents in America

 Thesis in the middle Thesis: The failure of Pati’s parents to provide her with guidance, attention and to control her exposure to popular media at a young age prevented her from having a healthy relationship with her grandparents and a healthy identity.

Sample essay on Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

 Ends with thesis Thesis: The control and limitations over reading and writing during slavery sought to make slaves like Douglass ignorant, powerless, and therefore more easily controlled, and this control over literacy and education is still happening in the world today.

Bienvenidos Santos, “Immigration Blues”

 Thesis implied The thesis is implied and not stated. The reader must put together the clues from the title, author’s name and description of the immigrants’ accommodations to figure out the author’s opinion as he appears to have sympathy for the immigrants who suffer poverty, long hours of work, and limited education.

This page titled 8.5: Where to Put a Thesis is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Skyline English Department.