A terrific 3-part thesis statement

Here is the introductory paragraph in a 5-paragraph English paper by Illinois Valley Community College student Jamie Fast:

In the short story “Miss Brill,” penned by Katherine Mansfield in 1922, a Sunday afternoon is spent with an elderly woman during her weekly ritual of visiting a seaside park. The woman, Miss Brill, enjoys her habitual outing to hear the band play and soak in the atmosphere, but most of all she relishes the chance to sit in on the lives of others by listening and watching. Mansfield’s “Miss Brill” illustrates the old woman’s attempt to alleviate loneliness by creating an alternate reality for herself, yet she is ultimately forced to face the self-deception for what it truly is.

THE THREE PARTS OF HER THESIS STATEMENT:

1. Mansfield’s “Miss Brill” illustrates the old woman’s attempt to alleviate loneliness   2. by creating an alternate reality for herself,   3. yet she is ultimately forced to face the self-deception for what it truly is.

AND AGAIN:

  1.  “Miss Brill” is trying to feel less lonely…
  2.  …by creating an alternate reality for herself,
  3. yet she is ultimately forced to face the self-deception…

The topic sentences used by this student:

  1. Miss Brill’s ritual of visiting the park every Sunday helps her to cope with loneliness.
  2. Miss Brill alters her perception of reality to avoid facing unpleasant aspects of her life.
  3. A series of events leads to Miss Brill’s illusion being shattered and forces her to realize the self-deception.

This student’s paper, along with her instructor’s comments, have been posted here by Randy Rambo, an instructor at Illinois Valley Community College.

This is the most useful exemplar I’ve come across thus far. Wonderful.

Well worth your time to read the story, the paper, and the comments. (To see the comments, click on numbers 1 – 12 inside the text.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s