Words by Sawyer Bullock
My guess is that most of you reading this
are high school students that are not big
fans of English class. Your goal is to get the
highest grade possible while putting in the
least amount of work.
Well, my friends, you have come to the
I have never considered myself a good
writer and have invested a great amount of
time and thought in order to now express
myself in a semi-understandable fashion.
Here are my tips on one of the core
components of persuasive writing: that is,
the thesis. You cannot have a strong essay
without a clear thesis and an organized
structure; persuasive writing says something meaningful and in a way which makes
sense. So, check this out and see if you find
something helpful for your next school
A thesis is a statement which is put forward
to be proven; it’s the point or idea that you
are trying to convince the reader of. When
constructing a thesis, ask yourself if it is 1)
meaningful, 2) relevant, and 3) focused.
Take a look at possible theses for an essay
about Romeo and Juliet.
“Love is dope” – Not focused. Both the
terms “love” and “dope” are far too vague
and are not related in any way to the text.
A good thesis is zeroed in on one particular
thing, even if it is talking about a topic as
broad as love, for example.
“Romeo sucks at freestyling” – Not
relevant. While this thesis is more focused
than the previous, Romeo’s rap battle skills
are not relevant in any way to the story. A
good thesis doesn’t get caught up arguing
trivial details or abstract concepts which are
not related to the topic.
“Romeo thinks Juliet is pretty” – Not
meaningful. The whole play is about the
love of two characters, so while stating that
Romeo likes Juliet is focused and relevant,
it is not saying anything new. A good thesis
is something that people can take either
side on. If you are proving a point that
no one disagrees with, you may want to
reconsider your thesis.
“The parallel between Romeo’s first and
final monologues as well as Shakespeare’s
twentieth sonnet suggests that Romeo
was contemplating suicide hours prior
to meeting Juliet” – Focused. Relevant.
Meaningful. This thesis gives insight into a
main character and into a main plot event.
It is provocative and probably something
which the reader has not thought about
Now that you have a world-changing thesis,
make an outline of how you will prove it.
Usually the sentence following your thesis
looks like this:
“This will be shown through ___________,
__________, and ____________.
Each blank space is a point which you will
expand into a paragraph. After those three
paragraphs, you conclude your essay by once
again restating your thesis and how you
Simple enough, huh?
Fight to keep your essay reigned in, though.
Make an outline and actively return to it
during the writing process.
If you do these things well, you will have an
organized essay which makes a persuasive
case. Clarity, focus, and concision are
characteristics of great writing which are
within all our reach.
All the best in your upcoming assignments!
North York, ON
Influential book or album? Desiring God by John Piper
Oliver Thomas Klein
was Totes Ferda
Essay Writing 101