I have been know to say to older students that a thesis need not be contained in one sentence- in fact -some writers never explicitly point out their thesis but let the whole essay imply it- and their final paragraph packs the "punch". However- for the high school students reading this, please be aware that for the most direct way to get your meaning to your audience, who is often your classroom teacher, the thesis statement is looked for near the end of the introduction. The quote below is from a Norton Anthology of English Literature and worth remembering, but as always, do follow the class teacher`s rubric.
" A thesis is to an essay what a theme is to a short story, play, or poem: it’s the governing idea, proposition, claim, or point. Good theses come in many shapes and sizes. A thesis cannot always be conveyed in one sentence, nor will it always appear in the same place in every essay. But you will risk both appearing confused and confusing the reader if you can’t state the thesis in one to three sentences or if the thesis doesn’t appear somewhere in your introduction, usually near its end.`
And to the Post Secondary students who are reading ahead over the summer, see if you can identify basic themes and create your own study ahead system.
To continue the quote: “Regardless of its length or location, a thesis must be debatable—a claim that all readers won’t automatically accept. It’s a proposition that can be proven with evidence from the text. Yet it’s one that has to be proven– " And the student`s work is to prove this point within his or her paper.
To recap: A reading is assigned. You, as student must decide why- what is important within this particular reading. If there is an obvious point of view, do you agree or disagree and can you defend your opinion- remember –you must defend your opinion for it to move beyond a simple “knee-jerk“ reaction.
Enjoy Learning- Yes this is a directive!
Only best wishes, from Alison (ali)