1. Begin the class with the following starter question, which
may be written on the board ahead of time if desired: “What
is a thesis statement? Explain its purpose in an academic
essay.” Give the class about 5 minutes to settle
in and respond to the question in writing. Then, open
a short discussion and review the responses. Students
should understand that the thesis is a sentence in
the opening paragraph of the essay which tells the
reader the main idea of the paper overall. Ask the
class if they know how to write a thesis statement
(some students will say yes, others no- allow the class
to offer their ideas and knowledge). Ask the class
if anyone in the room has ever felt daunted at the
idea of having to write or identify a thesis statement
in an essay (some may be more confident than others).
Let the class know that there is an easy way to compose
a thesis, and that is by knowing a simple formula:
Subject + Opinion = Thesis (you may write this on the
board- it is a very simple formula for thesis writing,
and if you would like to substitute another formula
for thesis writing, you may teach your own technique
Once students understand that a thesis statement is merely
the main topic of the essay and the author’s
opinion or position on that topic, they may begin
creation. Give the class some sample subjects on the board
and invite several students to offer their opinions on these
topics. Then, construct complete thesis statements by stating
the topic and opinion in one sentence, using academic language.
Pass out the handout “The Thesis Statement” to
each student. Students will practice identifying, creating,
and correcting thesis statements to ensure that they understand
the concept. This assignment may be done individually or
in pairs, depending on your class composition. Allow
minutes for this activity, while traveling around the room
to offer help and answer questions.
Any remaining time should be used by students
to work on their final project essays. Encourage the students
to look carefully at their essays to make sure that the thesis
is clearly stated in the opening paragraph of their essay.
If they have a rough draft of their essay available, ask them
to underline their thesis statement in pen. If the students
cannot find their thesis or their thesis statements are incomplete,
have students make the necessary corrections with your guidance.
second worksheet “Practice: Creating Thesis Statements” for
extra practice. This should be due the following day.
The two handouts used in this lesson should be evaluated
for comprehension of the stated objectives.