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Whether you call it a thesis or a claim,

it's purpose is the same.

As simply stated as possible, your thesis is your answer to the prompt and it consist of three parts:

the subject, your opinion about the subject, and the reason why you feel the way you feel.

You may see the acronym


(subject, opinion, because)



(subject, opinion, and reasons)

Look at the image below. It uses "topic" instead of "subject" and "position" instead of "opinion"; guess what?

It doesn't matter because those are synonyms. All three breakdowns of a thesis contain the same elements.


Your thesis statement should contain ONLY your subject, your opinion about the subject, and the reason(s) for your opinion. It should NOT contain background information, history, descriptions, etc. unless they are important to your opinion/ claim.

Look at these example thesis statements from the Center for Writing Studies

1. Original thesis:

Although the timber wolf is a timid and gentle animal, it is being systematically exterminated.

The original does not give a reason for the extermination of the timber wolf.

2. Revised thesis:

Although the timber wolf is actually a timid and gentle animal, it is being systematically exterminated because people wrongfully believe it to be a fierce and cold-blooded killer.

The revised version does contain a reason: "because people wrongfully believe it to be a fierce and cold-blooded killer."


3. Original thesis:

In this paper, I will discuss the relationship between fairy tales and early childhood.

The original DOES give a subject - the relationship between fairy tales and early childhood - but it does not state what the relationship is, it does not give an opinion about the relationship, and it gives no reasons for the relationship.

The original makes two extra mistakes. 1. Never refer to your paper (In this paper) and avoid referring to yourself (I will discuss).

4. Revised thesis:

Not just empty stories for kids, fairy tales shed light on the psychology of young children.

The revised version states an opinion (Fairy tales are "not just empty stories.") and gives a reason (They "shed light on the psychology of young children.")


5. Original thesis:

We must save the whales.

The original DOES have a subject (whales) and an opinion (We must save them.) but it does not tell why.

6. Revised thesis:

Because our planet's health may depend upon biological diversity, we should save the whales.

The revised version DOES tell why and notice that the reason is at the beginning of the sentence, not the end.

Addressing the Prompt

Let's considers these two prompts from ThinkCERCA and sample thesis responses.

A: Are the benefits of air conditioners worth the environmental cost?

     - I'd say no...

     - No, because air conditioning is just making global worming worse.

     - The benefits of air conditioners outweigh the environmental impact because air conditioning prevents

        thousands of heat-related deaths.

B: What was the bigger threat to the Everglades: draining the swamp or the Burmese python? 

     - the python 

     - Draining the swamp was because it caused more harm.

     - Draining the swamp was a bigger threat to the Everglades because its impact covered a greater area than

        that affected by the Burmese python.

Clearly, the green thesis statements are the way to go.

It takes time to write a proper thesis, and an introduction, and a full essay takes time.

It's not something you can throw together at the last minute.

For more study, take a look at

Practice #1

If you're live, I want a handful of you to type your answers into the chat.

Everyone else can create a Google Doc and share it with me.

Write an SOaR claim/ thesis in response to the following simple questions.

1. Which is better - cars or trucks?

2. Which is better - virtual class or face-to-face class?

3. Which is a better snack to take to school - apples or bananas?

4. What is the most important item to bring to school on the first day we're face-to-face?

5. Should WAMS have a recess period this year?

Practice #2

Now that you have the hang of it, follow this link to complete today's assignment.

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