Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying.
First, the question asks you to pick an aspect of the novel that you think is important to its structure or meaning—for example, the role of storytelling, the contrasting scenes between the shore and the river, or the relationships between adults and children. That’s fine—begin to work on comparing scenes from the book and see what you discover.
Now you write: Here’s a working thesis with potential: you have highlighted an important aspect of the novel for investigation; however, it’s still not clear what your analysis will reveal. Free write, make lists, jot down Huck’s actions and reactions.
You will expand on this new information in the body of the essay, but it is important that the reader know where you are heading. ” Ask yourself these same questions and begin to compare Northern and Southern attitudes (perhaps you first think, “The South believed slavery was right, and the North thought slavery was wrong”).
A reader of this weak thesis might think, “What reasons? Now, push your comparison toward an interpretation—why did one side think slavery was right and the other side think it was wrong?
If there’s time, run it by your instructor or make an appointment at the Writing Center to get some feedback.
Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own.
Your reader is intrigued, but is still thinking, “So what? Eventually you will be able to clarify for yourself, and then for the reader, why this contrast matters.
After examining the evidence and considering your own insights, you write: This final thesis statement presents an interpretation of a literary work based on an analysis of its content.
You’ve read countless primary source documents, written dozens of outlines and thesis statements, and timed your essay writing more times than you’d like to count.
Don’t worry, though; it’s not as bad as you’d think.