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The Thesis Equation

 

For Z, X is Y because {a, b, c}.

 

where

  • X = essay subject narrowed to a length suitable for assignment

  • Y = writerís attitude about subject or what he/she is going to tell us about the subject

  • {a, b, c} = reasons to support X/Y statement, formulated as topic sentences in the body section of the essay (# of reasons vary per paper)

  • Z = limiting/focusing factors, such as audience and context of essay

Note: a thesis statement does not always include Z and {a, b, c}, but it should always have an X and Y. However, your essay must always make clear what the Z and {a, b, c} are to the reader. Z begins in the introduction and continues throughout the essay in the choice of reasons to suit the audience and context as well as the tone and diction levels. {a, b, c} come directly from the X/Y statement and the Z because they are reasons that logically support the essayís thesis and also will appeal to the essay reader.

 

Example:  Students should not complain about tuition hikes at Seminole State College because the money provides many useful services to them in computer labs, the library, and in classrooms.

X

=

SSC tuition hikes

Y

=

students should not complain

{a, b, c}

=

money provides services in computer labs, the library, and in classrooms

Z

=

the limiting factors are: students (the audience and complainers) and SSC (where the tuition hikes are occurring)

 

Thesis statements are not:

1.   Statements of fact: SSC raised tuition this year.

2.   Statements of the obvious: Students donít like paying tuition.

3.   Announcements of intent: This essay will explain how SSC uses tuition money in ways beneficial to students.