How to Write a Literary Thesis Statement

hi everybody today I would like to talk about how to write a thesis statement for a literature paper just as a reminder the thesis statement is the single most important sentence of the essay it appears at the end of the introduction it announces well presents the idea that the paper is about to prove now for a literature thesis statement there are some items that must be present in your thesis statement and I’m going to review those first and foremost you must present the author’s name and the title of the story poem play or novel that you are about to discuss you cannot assume that your reader has read the piece of literature you are about to discuss that is key always remember that the literature you are about to discuss is completely foreign to your reader so your thesis statement needs to present enough background information so that the reader can follow along ok now your thesis statement must also tell me what is your idea here what are you what are you saying about the literature what does it mean you also need to present to me how the literature presents that meaning and ultimately why is that important why is your idea important to learn ok so there are five components of the thesis statement for a literature paper and I’m going to go and give you some examples right now okay okay I’m going to encourage you to pause right now and read this thesis statement before I read it give yourself a second to digest the thesis statement and look at the different items inside of the thesis statement okay so take a pause alright I’m going to read right now so this piece of statement is Jamaica Kincaid uses structure and diction in her story girl to create the feeling of suffocation so that the reader as well as the girl are overwhelmed by the rules and regulations placed on women okay so this sentence really spells out exactly the direction of the paper there is no guessing game here so the reader is fully aware of where this paper is headed okay first we know that the author of the literature is to make a Kincaid we know that we’re talking about a story called girl all right we know that the story is about the feeling of suffocation the feeling of being trapped now how does Jamaica Kincaid present this idea she uses structure and diction now finally why is the feeling of being trapped and suffocated important why in the world is this an important idea to study well I believe that Jamaica Kincaid is also making the social commentary that the rules and regulations placed on women are suffocating okay so there was a relationship between what the story is about and why it’s important to read or learn okay so look at these items again now do they does your thesis statement have to appear in author title what how and why does it have to appear in that order the answer is no okay you can vary the order of the items you just need to remember that a thesis statement for a literature paper has a job to do and you do need to present a certain amount of information okay I’m going to give you another example now again I’m going to encourage you to pause and read this thesis statement so that you can digest it on your own okay so take a second read and think all right I’m going to read now Kate Chopin in her short story the story of an hour uses imagery and irony to convey the idea that women are always trapped and ultimately a woman can only be free in death alright so we have our items and we know what this paper is about to discuss and what this paper is about to prove the author of Kate Chopin we’re talking about her specific short story the story of an hour now King Japan uses imagery and irony that’s for how to convey the idea that women are always trapped now why is this important why why do we care that a woman is trapped well because a woman can only be free in death that’s the important sort of why why is it important to learn okay so just like the last piece of statement you’ll notice that these two thesis statements talk about two types two elements of fiction so it depends on how long your paper will be but let’s just say for fun that your paper is going to be a four paragraph essay so introduction to body paragraphs and a conclusion so you would have one paragraph about imagery and one paragraph of that irony let’s say your paper is going to be longer let’s say your paper is a six paragraph essay an introduction for body paragraphs and a conclusion so now let’s say you have three body paragraphs on imagery and one body paragraph on I ready so please notice that this thesis statement does have an element of a list in it so that it helps direct your body paragraphs so your body paragraphs have a purpose and have control there is a specific direction the paragraph is good to talk about one specific element of fiction or poetry or drama and it’s going to prove how how that device proves what the story’s about and why it’s important okay so I suggest going back and thinking about thesis statements again the thesis statement will appear in the last sentence of your introduction it must provide context information by the name of the author and the title of the story or poem or or play you must tell me what the story is about and why important and ultimately how the author conveys this alright so I hope this helps and good luck on your first essay

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