Do these thesis statements look familiar?
- This essay will be about....
- Harper Lee does a great job showing that empathy is important...
- Have you ever thought about what it takes to be courageous?
How to Write a Literary Analysis Thesis Statement will give your students the framework to help them craft powerful, arguable thesis statements. And it will save you from tearing your hair out after reading "In this paper, I will discuss..." thesis statements!
This 2-page handout walks students through writing a thesis statement for literary analysis essays. The first page breaks down the parts of a good thesis statement and provides high quality examples that show how to connect details from the text to the author's overall meaning and purpose. In the beginning of the school year, I allow my freshmen to borrow heavily from these examples; however, by mid-year, they are off and running with their own fantastic thesis statements.
The second page gives students a space to brainstorm their ideas about what the author does, how the author does it, and why the author does it. On this page, they also write out a few versions of thesis statements (much like the examples from the first page) to try out different sentence structures.
The results I've had with my students have been outstanding. My top kids see they can (and should) write high-level statements that reveal the complexity of their thinking, and my lower students like the framework this provides to take the "I dunno" factor out of writing.
** This document pairs up perfectly with my "Plump Paragraphs" and "How to Write an Analytical Paragraph." Check them out!