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Thesis Statement
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A thesis statement is the main point or controlling idea of an essay or presentation and it defines your opinion or position on a specific topic. A thesis statement should be a short, specific sentence capturing the central idea of your speech. Steven Beebe and Susan Beebe recommend five guiding principles when considering your thesis statement.
The thesis statement should:
be a declarative statement;
be a complete sentence;
use specific language, not vague generalities;
be a single idea;
reflect consideration of the audience.
For example, if you plan to inform a general audience about the Ford Mustang, a good thesis statement might be, “Ford produced five ‘generations’ of the Mustang, each with a distinctive body style that audience members can learn to recognize.” If you plan to persuade a group of investors that a beachfront property could be threatened by rising sea levels, a good thesis statement might be, “Sea levels are predicted to rise because of global warming, and if these predictions are correct, the beachfront property my audience is considering investing in may be threatened.”
The thesis statement is key to the success of your speech. If your audience has to work to find out what exactly you are talking about, or what your stated purpose or goal is, they will be less likely to listen, be impacted, or recall your speech. By stating your point clearly in your introduction, and then referring back to it during your speech, you promote the cognitive strategies of emphasis, clarity, and conciseness, and help your audience to listen while meeting the expectations of the rhetorical context.
Writing Exercise: Developing a thesis statement
Choose five (5) topics from the list below and write a sample thesis statement for each. Include your initial draft along with the final revision. Reference Beebe’s guidelines above to help create an effective thesis statement.
Share and compare your results and observations with classmates.
Initial response 20 points Peer responses 10 points each (Maximum 20 points)
TOPICS:
Should there be a law preventing cyber-bullying?
Should marijuana be legalized at the national level?
Self-driving automobiles
The impact of cybercrime in the business
Can everything be solar powered?
What is the future of the Internet?
Can virtual reality substitute for an actual reality?
How did cloud technologies change data storing?
How to motivate employees?
Modern work environments
How to achieve business leadership?
Important aspects of workforce regulations
Defining the targeted audience
Learning from home
Modern teaching methods
The efficiency of self-regulated schooling
Discrimination in education
Policing schools
Permit corporal punishment
What are the most successful anti-bullying programs at school?
What makes students cheat on exams?
The impact of the FERPA concept on education
Metal detectors at schools

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