Why is this thesis weak? Think about what the reader would expect from the essay that follows: most likely a general, appreciative summary of Twain´s novel. But the question did not ask you to summarize; it asked you to analyze. Your professor is probably not interested in your opinion of the novel; instead, she wants you to think about why it´s such a great novel_what do Huck´s adventures tell us about life, about America, about coming of age, about race, etc.? 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. Now you write: In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops a contrast between life on the river and life on the shore.
Is your thesis statement original? Avoid, avoid, avoid generic arguments and formula statements. They work well to get a rough draft started, but will easily bore a reader. Keep revising until the thesis reflects your real ideas. Tip: The point you make in the paper should matter: Be prepared to answer "So what?" about your thesis statement. Be prepared to explain why the point you are making is worthy of a paper. Why should the reader read it?.
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