Thesis & Outline Practice

  1. Get into your groups.
  2. Come up with an outrageous/weird opinion statement (If one of your group members has a particular "pet peeve", you might build your statement around it). See if you can build a thesis and outline around it that includes:
    • Your opinion on the issue
    • The arguments you are going to make in support of that opinion

Here's an example:

  • Your opinion on the issue
    • Snoring is a huge problem that needs to be dealt with
  • The arguments you are going to make in support of that opinion
    • It can be an indication of health problems such as obesity, sleep apnea, or breathing problems
    • It makes couples hate each other
    • Lack of sleep related to snoring leads to car wrecks and acts of violence

Using these parts, I could build a thesis statement such as this: "Though snoring is not currently against the law, Americans should band together in support of legislation that segregates snorers on their own island."

My outline with the points I would make would include my arguments: "because snoring is a health hazard, a public safety hazard, and a major contributor to the decline of the family."

  1. Thesis: Though snoring is not currently against the law, Americans should band together in support of legislation that segregates snorers on their own island.
    1. Argument 1: Snoring is a health hazard.
      1. Primary source information
    2. Argument 2: Snoring is a public safety hazard.
      1. Primary source information
    3. Argument 3: Snoring is a major contributor to the decline of the family.
      1. Primary source information

OK, now that you have an idea, go ahead and come up with your thesis statement. You'll present them to the class for discussion, so designate a spokesperson!


Advice from Dr. Costanzo!

For your history paper, you can think about developing a thesis that answers a "why" question.

Examples of historical "why" questions (NOT APPROPRIATE FOR THIS PAPER):

  • Why did World War II happen?
    • World War II happened because Hitler attempted to build a German empire.
  • Why did the United States develop the atomic bomb?
    • The United States developed the atomic bomb to establish the U.S. as a world power.

In your groups develop a thesis statement for the following question (ALSO NOT APPROPRIATE FOR THIS PAPER):

  • Why did Christopher Columbus encounter the New World?