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Five Common Problems with Thesis Statements

by Jessica Ruppert | 26 Dec 2016
Resource Description: This purpose of this lesson is to teach students to properly identify inappropriate components of thesis statements.  
Audience: University
Audience Language Proficiency: Advanced
Duration: 60 minute class period
Language Skill: Writing
Content Area: English for academic purposes 
Materials and Technology: Attached powerpoint supplement and worksheets are needed.  Worksheets are intended to be used for group activity after information is presented via powerpoint.  
Objective(s): Writing/analyzing thesis statements
Outcome(s): Students will be able to write and analyze thesis statements with knowledge of appropriate components necessary for an effective thesis statement.  

Present power point on the five common problems with thesis statements.

 Assign students to groups.

 Have students complete accompanying worksheets in groups to analyze thesis statements for inappropriate content/problems.

Have students rewrite problematic thesis statements as homework assignment.  

Assessment: Assessment of rewritten thesis statements (homework assignment) is used to measure lesson outcomes.  
Differentiation: In subsequent classes, have students demonstrate rewritten thesis statements from homework assignment either on visualizer or whiteboard.  As a class, analyze each thesis statement for appropriateness, effectiveness, and any problems.  Identify the topic and focus of each thesis statement.  
References: Dollahite, N. E., Haun, J., & Dollahitehaun (2011). Sourcework: Academic writing from sources (2nd ed.). Boston: Heinle/Cengage Learning.
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