I need help with my thesis statement on Henry David Thoreau. I have to put free thought, importance of nature, and self reliance all into a thesis statement, no questions. Current thesis statement: "Henry David Thoreau was not like the average American because he was not materialistic, which is showed in his free thought, importance of nature, and self-reliance?"

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I like it. The initial thesis draft is solid. It could use some tweaking, but it is starting in a good place. Make sure the final punctuation of the thesis is not a question mark. A thesis statement is exactly that; it is a statement, not a question. Additionally, it needs to be a statement that argues something. It can't be "Thoreau lived during the Transcendentalist movement." There is nothing to prove, because that's a statement of fact.

The other thing that I would consider with the thesis statement is whether or not you want the thesis statement to be a positive argument about Thoreau or a negative argument against Thoreau and his worldview. The initial premise provided to eNotes does show that you already realize that Thoreau is an outlier. He is not like the average American, and your thesis could be about how and why that is a good or bad thing. You could certainly argue that his eschewing of materialism and emphasis on free thinking and self reliance is ultimately...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 495 words.)

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