In an essay on "The Story of an Hour" by Kate Chopin, how can the thesis statement be found?  How do you find a thesis statement in an essay?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Different instructors will provide different guidelines as to what is sought when constructing thesis statements.  However, in terms of locating them in an essay, I think that there are some basic elements for which one must be aware.

The thesis statement is an argument.  It is something debatable.  The thesis statement has a distinct opinion to it and will be explored throughout the course of the paper.  When searching for a thesis statement in a paper's introduction, one seeks to find a sentence that "reveals perspective" and "like any good argument," its "perspective must be one which is debatable."  In terms of writing about literature, the thesis statement is going to make a particular statement.  In this case, we should be looking for something about Chopin's story.  The thesis statement in an essay about Chopin's "The Story of An Hour" should be some type of statement that deals with the literary elements of the story such as characters, theme, or even Chopin itself. Common elements of a thesis statement might be comparative, in linking Chopin's work with another work, or seeking to "deconstruct it" where a "particular world view" is explored. Despite different approaches with the content of thesis statements, it will be framed as an argument. 

A thesis statement is going to be found when this argument presents itself. It will present itself as providing the focus of the paper.  The thesis statement "is debatable, controversial even" and "the rest of a paper with this argument as its thesis will" use "specific examples from the text and evidence from scholars."  This is how it becomes that one has found the thesis statement. This argument is essential.  

The thesis statement's location in a paragraph is going to vary. There is not one set place where the thesis statement will appear.  Sometimes, it might open the paper and set the tone from its exposition.  In other instances, the thesis statement is established through an introduction and the closing sentence of this phase of the paper is the thesis statement.  From this, the thesis statement will be supported by research and analysis from Chopin's text itself and outside thought on it.  It is in this aspect where the paper grows from its root of the thesis statement.

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