Examples Of College Essay Thesis


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Step Two: In your conclusion paragraph, try one or more of the following techniques:

Technique #1: Explore the consequences.

  • Address the negative consequences by asking: What happens if we don’t learn the lesson of the thesis? What has been (or what will be) the negative impact?

  • Address the positive consequences by asking: What can we do learn from the thesis, and what positive benefit will be gained if we do employ it?

Technique #2: Raise a counter-argument, then debunk it.

Bring up a point someone might make against your college essay. Then say why that person is wrong.

  • Tip #1: Make sure you’re using a counter-argument that you can debunk!

  • Tip #2: Be careful not to contradict or disprove your original thesis.

Technique #3: Provide a Call to Action.

Ask: What must we do as a result of this thesis/lesson?

Technique #4: Raise an Unexpected Value

Ask: What else may we learn or gain a result of this thesis/lesson? 

Tip: this one works well within a "Not only... but also..." construct.

Sounding kinda’ vague? Keep reading.

Remember the key is to:

  1. Clarify the thesis.

  2. Answer “So what?”

Here's an example thesis and some possible directions for the conclusion:

  • Thesis: Children should be taught the value of other cultures and religions from a very young age.

  • Negative Consequences: What might happen if children aren’t taught the value of other cultures and religions?

  • Positive Consequences: What might happen if they are?

  • Counter-argument—debunked: What might someone argue as a barrier/potential downside to teaching children about the importance of other cultures’ values and religions? (Example counter-arguments: Children might lose sight of their own values/religions (or) they may be uncomfortable at first… both are easy to debunk.)

  • Call to Action: If we believe children should be taught about other cultures and religions from a young age, what must we do? Either individually or as a society?

  • Unexpected Value: What else might we (as Americans, as humans) gain from this?

For an example of how a really awesome writer did this in Time magazine, read Jeffrey Sachs’s one-page article Class System of Catastrophe.

Take note of the:

  • Thesis

  • Supporting evidence/examples

  • Consequences

  • Counter-argument debunked

  • Call to Action

  • Unexpected value

Check out my annotated version of this article here.

To re-cap: first clarify your thesis. Then ask:

  1. What are the positive/negative consequences of this?
  2. What's a counter-argument I can debunk?
  3. What's a call to action--what must we do as a result?
  4. What's an unexpected value--something else we'll gain if we learn or employ the lesson of the thesis?

Got it? Email me with questions.

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