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5.5.3: Generating a thesis

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    Reviewing the Thesis Statement \(\PageIndex{1}\)

    1. Of the following choices, what should you not do in your thesis statements? _____

    a. Include phrases like "I believe," "I think," or "in my opinion"

    b. Offer a claim about your essay's topic

    c. Write one or two sentences

    d. Be as specific as possible

    2. Of the following choices, which best defines a thesis statement? _____

    a. An announcement of your topic

    b. A well-known fact about your topic

    c. A paragraph about your reasons for believing what you believe about your topic with a subject and verb

    d. One or two sentences that indicate an arguable or demonstrable opinion, or main idea, about your topic


    1. A; 2. D

    Creating a Thesis Statement for a Classification Essay

    It is fairly easy to see how you may wish to organize an essay that uses classification as a primary rhetorical mode. The following models show a five-paragraph essay with generic categorization choices:

    Sample Outline and Thesis \(\PageIndex{2}\)

    You can make one category or set of criteria and arrange the topic of each body paragraph so it exemplifies the thesis statement's rules of classification.

    I. Introduction and thesis statement

    II. Topic 1

    III. Topic 2

    IV. Topic 3

    V. Conclusion

    Can you think of a thesis statement that would be appropriate for this type of classification outline?

    Possible Answer

    Although everyone will think of a different grouping, you might think of good teachers or role models as a possibility.

    Sample Thesis

    Not all teachers make their lessons memorable, but the most effective ones employ novel approaches while maintaining a supportive, community-oriented classroom environment.

    Another Sample Outline and Thesis \(\PageIndex{3}\)

    Other ways to break down a topic into a classification-essay outline approach is to think of several topics and several groupings, or one topic and several groupings.

    I. Introduction and thesis statement

    II. Body Paragraph 1: Criterion and examples

    III. Body Paragraph 2: Criterion and examples

    IV. Body Paragraph 3: Criterion and examples

    V. Conclusion

    Can you think of a thesis statement that would be appropriate for this type of classification outline?

    Possible Answer

    One topic that has several categories of classification is the humble ghost. Some wear sheets and carry drip, some are stuck in an eternal cycle of breaking their hip, and then there are the Amityville Horror types. Spooky stuff!

    Sample Thesis

    A ghost, or spirit, can be placed into one of three categories: demon, poltergeist, or revenant.

    Note: this thesis statement also lends itself to definition writing because it interprets the meanings of words and differentiates between them, which is where classification shows. By defining ghosts and offering different categories to place them in, there is even an argumentative aspect to this thesis, which is that ghosts are real or worth writing an essay about to begin with!