Thesis Statements in Literary Essays

Thesis Statements in Literary Essays


Hi class, I’m just finishing grading some
Candide essays, and after reading everyone’s work, I wanted to talk to you
a little bit more about thesis statements. A thesis statement is the
dominant idea around which an entire essay is organized. In a literary
interpretation or analysis, a thesis statement is necessarily your opinion
about a work of literature. It’s probably an interpretation, like “The main message
of Candide is that we will never be happy” or perhaps an assessment of a text’s
form, for example, “In Candide the function of satire is to show readers that
expectations don’t always work out the way the readers and characters want them
to.” Whatever the big point of your essay is, everything else in the essay should
be organi zed around proving. Paragraphs in your essays then are main points
which support thesis statements. These paragraphs should generally be organized
around just one main point that supports your thesis statement. In a literary
interpretation or analysis the paragraphs should include a very brief
quotation or paraphrase and detailed analysis explaining how pieces of
evidence support your thesis. Your thesis might not be completely clear to you
until you begin the process of drafting. As you approach revision of your papers,
ask yourself if all the main points in your essay relate back to the thesis
statement. If they don’t, consider revising the thesis so that it in some
way addresses all of the main or eliminating the parts of the paper
which don’t support your thesis statement. I hope this is helpful, and I
look forward to reading more of your work this term.

local_offerevent_note October 11, 2019

account_box Matthew Anderson


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