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Is the following statement a good thesis for Katherine Mansfield's story "Miss...

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bella19 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 3, 2010 at 12:07 PM via web

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Is the following statement a good thesis for Katherine Mansfield's story "Miss Brill"?

This is my thesis:

Miss Brill, Katherine Mansfield demonstrates isolation through the revelations of sensitive, lonely and vulnerable.

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beezer03 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 4, 2010 at 2:54 AM (Answer #1)

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This is not a solid thesis statement. A good thesis statement should give the reader the main idea of your paper. The thesis should be a well written, descriptive sentence, that illustrates what you are writing about. It also needs to be a complete sentence, and should be the last sentence of the first paragraph of your paper. It can be two sentences in some circumstances. Who is Miss Brill? Where does Katherine Mansfield demonstrate isolation? In what piece of work? A thesis needs to be specific and explain what your paper is going to be about.

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted October 18, 2011 at 1:36 PM (Answer #2)

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Sadly, this is not a good thesis as it stands for several reasons. The first is that it is not written in correct English grammar. Therefore, it is not understandable.

The second is that (even allowing for corrected English grammar) it is not clear whether you intend to prove that Katherine Mansfield demonstrates Miss Brill's isolation or whether you intend to prove Miss Brill's isolation is revealed through her sensitivity, loneliness and vulnerability--or something else entirely.

The third reason is that, as already indicated, the relationship between Miss Brill's isolation and the revelations of someone (presumably Miss Brill) being sensitive, lonely and vulnerable is not clear.

Based upon my best ciphering of what you might possibly actually mean, I suggest you rewrite your these in this way:

In "Miss Brill," author Katherine Mansfield demonstrates Miss Brill's isolation through revelations of Miss Brill as being sensitive, lonely and vulnerable.

In this thesis, you will be proving through textual quotations and inferences that Miss Brill (1) is sensitive, lonely and vulnerable and that (2) these proofs reveal that she is isolated. As an aside, when writing your essay, be certain that each sentence contains a Subject (the acting, responsible Agent of the sentence) and a Verb (what the Agent precipitates or is):

The author demonstrates something.
The character is something.
The isolation proves something.
The sensitivity is revealed by something.

Be sure each part of a complicated sentence is properly organized alone, as in the above illustrations, before you try to join it to another sentence to form an entire complicated thought and concept.

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