Henry David Thoreau

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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:...

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

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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...

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jkab714 | Student

Another possible thesis statement:

Henry David Thoreau was an unconventional, anti-materialist writer who advocated the power of free thought and meditated on the importance of nature in building not only self-reliance, but also individual conscience and self-actualization.