What is a thesis statement for an essay about the book "One Good Turn"?

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mrs-tolley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Writing a thesis statement is a valuable skill that you will use over and over for the duration of your academic career. While I can't tell you the thesis statement for an essay I haven't read, I can tell you how to come up with a thesis statement, and then you can write a thesis statement for an essay about the book "One Good Turn" and any other essay that comes your way.

A thesis statement includes the statement you intend to prove in your essay (which is actually called the 'thesis'). It then usually includes the main points you will be exploring to prove your thesis.

So before you can write a thesis statement, you have to figure out what your thesis, or main idea, is. To do this, you should begin by asking a question. Since your essay is about the book "One Good Turn," you need to begin by jotting down all the questions you had while reading the book. For example, you might ask yourself, "What is the meaning of the wordplay in the title?" After you've jotted down a few questions, you must select one to answer in your essay.

Then you need to try to figure out the answer to your question. You should be able to find the answer as you read the book, but you might need to do further research to find the answer. Since my example is for a literary essay, there is probably a complex answer with several strands, and you will have to find it by inferencing, or reading between the lines. For the above question, you might decide the answer is, "The wordplay in One Good Turn refers to tools that need to be turned." If you decide to write a research essay, you will have to come up with a question that CANNOT be answered by reading the book, and requires further research. You might ask, "Who invented the auger?" You will need to look beyond the pages of Rybcynski's book to find more information about the origin of the auger.

As you read, research, and inference, write down all the ways you can find to answer your question. These are going to be your main points in your essay. For example, you might notice that the book is based on an essay about screwdrivers, finds the origin of the word "screwdriver," and has several illustrations of early screwdrivers. These are your main points that you will use to explain the wordplay in the title, "One Good Turn." For each main point, you're going to need to write a full paragraph to explain how it supports your thesis, with reference to the book.

So your thesis, for the example above, would read something like: "In the book, One Good Turn, the wordplay in the title refers to the turn of a screwdriver and the turns in the historical development of the screwdriver, which is evidenced by Rybczynski's earlier essay on screwdrivers also entitled "One Good Turn," his explanation of the origins of the word screwdriver, and many illustrations of early screwdrivers."

If you need to write a research essay, your main points will have to come from your research.

I hope this helps! Good luck with your thesis statement, and your essay!

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One Good Turn

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