Thesis Statement Topic: Title and Author Maybe add a Theme or Topic from the piece Ex. The portrayal of women in Ernest Hemingways Soldiers Home Controlling Idea Your take on the piece, your interpretation Arguable Ex. The portrayal of women in Ernest Hemingways Soldiers Home makes women emblematic of societys constraints.
Look at Your Fish Patterns: Several of these can add up to a controlling idea The first stanza is optimistic, while the second stanza is pessimistic The rhyme scheme is solid at the beginning of the poem but uses slant rhymes at the end The poem moves from abstract ideals to concrete details George Nelsons War is No Good uses the structure and content of his poem to mimic the loss of innocence in wartime.
Look at Your Fish Problems: Coming up for an answer to a problem in a piece can be your controlling idea Whom is the speaker absolving in The Poet as Hero Why is the German mother singled out in Glory of Women? Why does Krebs leave for Kansas City at the end of Soldiers Home?
Look at Your Fish Listing: Grouped ideas can add up to your controlling idea Use of personification Change in tone toward the end Surprise endings in lines and in the poem Theme of wars annihilation Sara Teasdales There Will Come Soft Rains lulls the reader into identifying with Nature only to ambush him or her with extinction.
Look at Your Fish Themes: Link themes to stylistic choices for simplest thesis or show tension for more complex thesis Simple: Rupert Brookes poem The Soldier enhances its patriotic theme through its use of poetic form, natural imagery, and personification of England. Complex: While Rupert Brookes poem The Soldier enhances its patriotic theme through poetic form, its imagery and syntax reveal an uneasiness with the powers of patriotism.
Types of Controlling Ideas Straightforward Opposing View: take a first reading of the poem and argue its opposite Hidden Clues Secondary Theme: While Wilfred Owens poem Dulce Et Decorum Est certainly provides an argument against propaganda, its use of imagery and poetic form suggest a prejudice against soldiers suffering from shell shock. Two Ideas Pieced Together: In John McCraes In Flanders Fields, the speaker celebrates the body of the soldier but denigrates the process of war. In The Poet and War, Albert Ehrenstein uses poetic form to show the speakers isolation from other soldiers and uses imagery to show his craving for death.
Things to Avoid Too Obvious: In the poem Glory of Women, Siegfried Sassoon mocks the women who stay home during the war. Too Broad: The Mother uses many different techniques to show its themes. Too Specific: The Mother uses alliteration to show complacency. Need Too Much Outside Information: Sassoons Lamentations mocks the established honor system of the British army during WWI in order to show the hypocrisy of their rankings.
Critique these Thesis Statements
In-Class Writing Write your working thesis at the top of a horizontal sheet of paper Look over your list of evidence Free-write for additional ideas. How would I convince someone that this was true? Go back for more evidence: Look at your fish!