Examples Of Thesis Statements
In the past, I asked the following question in US History up to 1865:
Compare and contrast the early histories of colonial New England and Virginia. How were they similar; in what ways were they different? What prompted colonists to travel to these two regions? How did that lead to differences in the two societies? Overall, what was the single most important reason why colonists traveled to the New World? Explain.
Here is an example of a good Introduction/Thesis Statement written by a student answering that question (the Thesis Statement is highlighted in red):
The early histories of colonial New England and Virginia were very similar, but different. The colonists traveled to these two regions for a variety of reasons in the early 1600s. The differing motivations led to the development of unique societies in each colony. Overall, the single most important motivation for traveling was to improve themselves economically.
The above is a great introduction because:
It clearly states a stand and lets the reader know exactly what the essay will prove. It's going to prove that colonists came to improve themselves economically.
It provides a rough time period of the 1600s.
It previews some of the paper's focus by mentioning that people traveled for a variety of reasons, and also foreshadows that it will focus on the development of unique societies in each colony.
Below is another introduction which answers the same question, but it's not as strong:
The early histories of colonial Virginia and New England and the different motivations for coming are clearly shown in the diversity of the two societies.
The above is a good start, but fails because:
I have no idea what the essay will prove. The question asks, "overall, what was the single most important reason why colonists traveled?" There should be a statement saying "they traveled for religious reasons", or "economic reasons," or "because they were forced," etc.
It does not mention a rough time period. When did these events take place...? It doesn't have to have a specific date, but a rough time period would help.
As my Third Grade Teacher, Sister Fedalia, often said, "One sentence does not a paragraph make." One sentence is not enough. More information/detail is needed for this introduction to be stronger.
It's a good start because it does mention both Virginia and New England and it does foreshadow the possibility of a focus on motivations and society, but it's not enough.
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