I need help writing a thesis statement on "The Life You Save May Be Your Own."How do you write a thesis statement?

Asked on by bonnay

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The purpose of a thesis statement is to tell your reader what your essay will be about.  Before you write a thesis statement, decide what you want to prove by the end of the essay.  If your thesis statement is clear, then your entire essay will revolve around it.  You need to include your thesis right in your introduction.  It might be the first sentence of your paper, or your paper might start with a hook related to the introduction. 

To write a good thesis statement, begin with the prompt or topic of the essay.  If a question is asked, answer the question in your thesis.  If you do not have a prompt, the best way to write a thesis is to choose a theme from the essay and write a thesis statement around it.

For example, your thesis might be:

The most important theme in “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” by Flannery O’Connor is the search for the meaning of life. 

You will then go on and explain that in the rest of your essay.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

A thesis statement is the main idea of an essay. Much like a topic sentence, a thesis statement can take the form of "limited subject is precise opinion." For example, a student could write, Being an acrobat can be dangerous. (The subject is about being an acrobat; the limit to this subject is the precise opinion that it can be dangerous.)

With regard to Flannery O'Connor's "The Life You Save May Be Your Own," the student could write an essay on the topic of certain characteristics of Flannery O'Connor's writing that are exhibited in this particular story.

Therefore, one thesis statement that could be used is the following:

In her short story, "The Life You Save May Be Your Own," Flannery O'Connor exemplifies her preoccupation with the ideas of man as grotesque, and she employs the unexpected turn in the narrative, as well as the use of a unresolved ending. These three points, then, become the topic sentences of the body paragraphs.


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