Need help with an essential question and thesis which can be used to write a synthesis essay regarding works from three literary movements?Literary movements...

Need help with an essential question and thesis which can be used to write a synthesis essay regarding works from three literary movements?

Literary movements include: Transcendentalism, Romanticism, Naturalism, Classicism, Realism, Harlem Renaissance,

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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As you think about writing this essay, before you get to the essential question and thesis statement, you are going to have to make some decisions and do some brainstorming.

First, decide from the provided list, which three movements you want to focus on in your essay.  My best advice is to choose the three you are the most familiar with, or like the best.  This will make the essay seem easier.

Once you've decided on the three movements, you can compose a list of possible essential questions.  The essential question is going to be the open-ended question that guides your thesis statement, and ultimately, your essay.  Considering the assignment is to synthesize the three movements the first thing I would start with is to compare and contrast [the three literary movements you choose].

Then, it is time to brainstorm.  Make a long list of similarities and differences between the three movements.  This should be lengthy enough to write a more detailed essential question.  Look for categories or ways to group the similarities and differences.  Keep in mind, your EQ should remain open-ended, but should probably be more specific than "compare/contrast."

Notice that all of these movements can be related to American Literature.  You might want to examine the impact each made on American Literature.  You could also look at each movement from an historical perspective and ask a question like, "What impact did historical context have on [each of the movements you choose]?"

This essay prompt has been left wide open for multiple approaches.  It will be very important for you to narrow down your focus through a specific question that allows you to examine each movement through the same lens, but show how each is a separate entity.  Your thesis, then, will be the overall answer to your essential question.  You will go into detail and prove this in each body paragraph.

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