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edimarco93's avatar

Is this is strong thesis statement?

Asked by edimarco93 (78 points ) April 3rd, 2011

hi,
I’m writing an essay on the consequences of the lack of self-identity. So far this is my thesis statement:
the inability to obtain one’s truest identity will result in a life of utter chaos. one of my arguments is Erikson’s identity crisis.

how was my thesis? any advice is good advice!
thank you

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10 Answers

Talimze's avatar

It would be better if you could find a way to say what your argument is going to be by working it into the thesis itself, not just stating that it will be your argument. Besides, for an argumentative paper, I don’t think you should reference yourself at all.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

@Talimze is right. Never ever use the first person POV in an essay (unless you’re allowed to). I think it needs more work. I’ve always learned that a good thesis statement must be specific and argumentative.

crisw's avatar

The statement is pretty meaningless. It needs definitions- what is “truest identity”? What is “a life of utter chaos”?

Also, I presume you’ll use correct capitalization in your actual paper?

the100thmonkey's avatar

No, it’s very weak.

You’ve basically said that you’re going to let Erikson do your talking for you, and that you’re not going to take any kind of critical stance to what they wrote.

The sentence about Erikson is actually irrelevant anyway – the thesis is that “an inability to obtain one’s truest identity leads to a life of utter chaos”. Keep it short and simple; your introduction will allow you to expand on your thesis statement.

blastfamy's avatar

The statement takes a stand, which is good. I would preface it with something, though, to frame your discussion in some context:

As seen in such and so, the inability to obtain…

…“Truest Identity” can stay if and only if you define it before you use it in your thesis. It needs to be a short definition, enough to explain what it is simply. You cannot assume that something as vague as “truest identity” will be universally understood, but your paper is on the effects of not having this identity, not the identity itself. Assuming you are allowed outside references, which I imagine you are, here, I would cite someone else’s concept of truest identity, as pertinent to your paper. This will allow your definition to stand on theirs, taking some of the burden of explanation off of your shoulders. You still need to frame someone else’s explanation in your words to your paper though:

As source has shown in source document, truest identity is define it.

A thesis should be as un-vague as possible, grounded in facts the reader already knows. Every term in the thesis needs to either be well known (and you’d be surprised to find the number of things that are not well known), or needs to be defined beforehand. Pre-defining “truest identity” will ground your thesis in a known starting point, so that after having been brought up to speed by a small blurb on identity, the thesis statment can stand on its own.

Also, unless you have a working definition of “utter chaos” that is already understood pre-paper, I would avoid giving that as a terminal state in your thesis. It makes a good sound-byte, but skirts around what you’re really trying to say. Chaos may be a good descriptor of the state one may be in without a sense of identity (this is what your paper is exploring), but it is not an effect. Being in a state of utter chaos will do something to someone. That something is your effect, and you should write to develop that effect on someone. It is up to you to determine this effect.

PhiNotPi's avatar

The thesis statement should clearly state the topic of the paper and what side of the argument the paper will take. “The inability to obtain one’s truest identity will result in a life of utter chaos” does not completely tell either. The thesis statement tells what the paper will try to prove. Your thesis statement is saying that the paper is trying to prove that “the inability to obtain one’s truest identity,” which is an unclear/vague phrase, will cause “a life of utter chaos,” another unclear/vague phrase.

If the paper is about the lack of self-identity, then the thesis statement should use the words “lack of self-identity,” or a similar phrase. The thesis statement should also be clear as to the consequences of a “lack of self-identity.” “A life off utter chaos” takes further explaination, which needs to be avoided. Someone should be able to read the thesis statement, without reading any other part of the paper, and understand exactly what the paper is about.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I’d try one of the following instead:

Failing to personify one’s innermost identity will result in a life of utter chaos, exemplified by Erikson’s own identity crisis.

Erikson’s own identity crisis is a prime example of how failing to embrace one’s true self can lead to a life of utter chaos.

AllAboutWaiting's avatar

Needs refinement – Unique and interesting topic.

MRT's avatar

what is the relation between chaos and fractal?

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