The Things They Carried Questions and Answers
by Tim O’Brien

The Things They Carried book cover
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I need to write a thesis for my essay about Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried. Can someone please help me and give me an example of a thesis? I don't know how to write one or what a thesis looks like.

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Nicholas Montfort eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Things They Carried is an excellent book for developing a thesis around. There are so many levels and nuances to the novel and its characters that you will have no issue coming up with a thesis to defend. I'll first start in how to go about developing a thesis, and then I will give you an arguable thesis idea related to Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried.

The mistake a lot of people make when developing a thesis is that they make their thesis too broad in scope. It is important to focus on a specific idea and then defend it. A thesis is like an argument. You put up your argument and then you use facts to support that argument. If you try and make the thesis statement too broad, it is too difficult to defend because your argument is stretched too thin.

A good argument that has a solid focus for The Things They Carried could be this thesis: "Tim O'Brien's work, The Things They Carried , argues that there are things we will never know about one another; there are things we carry that will...

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Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Lynnette Wofford eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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user1928029 | Student

Thank you, I love it. This is perfect and contains all I want to write about.

harmon324 | Student

Tim:

Your thesis statement is a good start!

Since each soldier has its own way of coping with the physical and mental stress of war, while not understanding its purpose at all, you can see how each carried around what was important to them. 

How about something like, " Soldiers participating in a war they do not understand, suffer physical and mental anquish trying to cope with the horrors of it all.

You can discuss issues such as abandonment, hopelessness, drug abuse, etc. 

You could discuss the different types of physical and mental strain.