• Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. You're getting closer to finishing one of the most important things you will do this semester! Freewrite for 5-10 minutes about becoming an participant in the discourse of the academe.

Claim Vs. Thesis

What is a claim? Is it any different from a thesis statement?

  • Good question. Some people look at the claim as the position you want your readers to accept, whereas the thesis statement is the claim + your reasons (i.e. the evidence to support your claim). It is helpful to think of them as two different entities because people try to tell us all the time what to think, but without giving us good reasons why, it's not very convincing. In fact, it's just annoying. For instance, if you told me to stop drinking coffee, I'd probably react somewhere between rolling my eyes and wanting to choke you. However, if you told me to stop drinking my cup of coffee because you just saw a roach crawl into it, I'd probably be pretty convinced and react by thanking you profusely. That's a silly example, but you get the idea. The point is that your thesis statement needs to contain both your claim and your reasons up front.

What is a thesis statement?

  • A thesis statement is:
    • One or two sentences that establish the theme of the essay. In this case, you are setting up the theme for your third portfolio!
    • An opinionated statement (something that a reader may or may not agree with)
  • A thesis statement is NOT:
    • A question!
    • A generalization. Be clear about the reasons you have for asserting your opinion.
    • The "Roadmap" Mentality
      • A good thesis statement should be the equivalent of drawing a roadmap for someone. Your goal is to get them from point A (where they're at) to point B (where you want them to go--in this case, you want to convince them to act on your issue). The thesis statement should define for the reader where you want them to go and how you're going to get them there.
    • Thesis Statement Activity


  • Bring copies of your negotiation report draft!
    • If you bring them in physical form, make sure to have three seperate copies
    • In electronic form, make sure that you have them saved somewhere accessible from the classroom.
      • Your best bet is to email them to yourself!