Sample Thesis for a Critical Analysis with an Outline Shell

Thesis Statement Example for Ch. 2 -- William Berkeley's "Declaration and Remonstrance" taken from Ch. 2 "Revolt on the Virginia Frontier: Nathaniel Bacon and William Berkeley.''' ( You can find this on p. 30 of green book and p. 29 of the blue book).

In this critical analysis, I examine the rhetorical situation that was present when William Berkeley wrote his statement to the Virginian colonists, entitled "Declaration and Remonstrance" in May of 1676. I discuss and explore the following components of the rhetorical situation: the historical context associated with this text, the rhetor and his motivation for writing the text, his purpose for writing, and the intended audience. I argue that Berkeley put forth an effective argument in this piece of writing by using ethos, pathos, and logos to persuade and convince his audience that Bacon was out of line when he "set out to solve Virginia's Indian Problem" without proper authorization (Hollitz 25).

Historical Context --

Where and When--Jamestown, Virginia in the 1670s

Who -- Berkeley, the Governor of Virginia and his rebellious nephew, Bacon

What is the issue? It's complicated but it had to do with tobacco, freed indentured servants, taxes, and problems with the indians.

  • Berkeley is the leader of colonial Virginia appointed by the King of England. Subsequently, he is in charge of making military decisions about the problems with the Indians.
  • Berkelely's cousin, Bacon, takes matters into his own hands and raises a small army to wage war against the Indians.
  • Bacon was discontented with the economic situation in Virginia and so were many of the freed indentured servants. Bacon was able to capitalize on their unhappiness and leading them to revolt against the Virginia government.