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bloosom's avatar

Need a Topic Sentence for this Thesis Statement?

Asked by bloosom (1points) February 25th, 2011

The Demise of my Grandmother made me a stronger person because I was shelted. The demise als o helped me deal with loss as well as how to value people.

The demise of my grandmother me a stronger person because I was sheltered. It helped me deal with loss. And it made me value other people.

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13 Answers

Pk_JoA's avatar

Second one. When in doubt, always go with shorter and simpler.

Jeruba's avatar

If you’re asking us to write your topic sentence for you, that’s not how it works here. We don’t do people’s homework for them, but we can offer guidance and feedback to someone who’s stuck. Why don’t you try composing two or three topic sentences and letting us respond to them?

And welcome to fluther.

janbb's avatar

(@J I think the details are actually two topic sentences.)

I think the second example works if you change “was sheltered” to something like “had been sheltered up until then.” I would also combine the second and third “sentences” because the third is only a fragment as it stands.

WasCy's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

“The demise of my grandmother” sounds pretty detached and aloof. I’m getting the feeling that you want to impress with big words more than you want to describe real feelings.

I would be very careful of verb tenses, too. It sounds like you mean something on the order of “My grandmother’s death made me a stronger person because I had been sheltered up to that point.” Saying “I was sheltered” is ambiguous: were you sheltered before or after her death?

Jeruba's avatar

(@janbb, then where’s the thesis statement referred to as “this thesis statement”? I’m confused. I thought these amounted to a summary of the entire planned essay.)

wundayatta's avatar

A thesis statement describes the problem (or the question, i.e., how did your grandmother’s death affect you?) You can end up with something like “My grandmother’s death: another fucking learning opportunity.” I trust you can’t copy that one, lol.

You’ve got all the answers in what you put in the question, and that’s inappropriate. You need to write a paper that will end with your conclusions. You don’t put the conclusions up front because a) it you give away all the answers up front and b) it sounds like you decided where you are going to end before you began.

Jeruba's avatar

@wundayatta, why shouldn’t you know where you’re going to end before you begin? The writing could be a process of discovery, but it doesn’t have to be. The person might already have reflected on the experience and what it taught him or her, and the paper simply recounts that process.

Also, sometimes papers do start with the conclusion and then show how the author arrived at it. But I agree that that would seem a little more sophisticated than is called for here. This student seems to need some very basic help.

Jeruba's avatar

Looks like we’re taking a fresh start here.

janbb's avatar

I’ve often taught that you say what you are going to say, write about three paragraphs stating why you came up with that, and then reiterate in the conclusion what your topic sentence or opening paragraph stated – in other words. This would seem to be a fairly basic assignment and I think following a pattern like that would help the writer as long as the details and corroborating evidence are fresh.

wundayatta's avatar

@Jeruba and @janbb. You are both right about both saying things a number of times and stating the end at the beginning. That is especially true when using the essay format.

The reason why I said what I did is that this seemed to me to be a different kind of essay—one more like a story than a traditional essay. And of course, even in a story you can state the ending first. I think I should have made my advice specific to this particular essay. Of course, others disagree, but that’s fine. That’s my take on what would work with this, given the paucity of information we have about it.

In this case, I want a thesis that is a hook. It should grab me. I don’t think this writer has enough command yet to write a thesis that contains beginning and end and still get people to want to read it.

I don’t know. What do you think? Does that seem defensible?

janbb's avatar

Yes it does but I would settle for a workmanlike effort in this case if that’s what is possible.

elspethe's avatar

The loss of my Grandmother opened up my sheltered world to the profound value of others?

global_nomad's avatar

How about something like:

My grandmother’s death made me a stronger person because before then I had been sheltered from pain and loss. Her death taught me to value other people more and was an important lesson in dealing with grievance.

Or, it is often a good idea to simply list the topics your paper will deal with in the thesis sentence. That way you lay out all of the topics you will discuss cleanly and succinctly. Plus, it helps the reader know what each paragraph will be about. Here’s an example:

Though death is never a positive thing, it is something we all have to deal with and my grandmother’s death lead me to grow in several ways. It helped me to become a stronger person, taught me to value others more, and was an important lesson in dealing with loss.

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