Figure 44: Example of an Ambiguous Thesis

Below is an excerpt that falls under the comment “Ambiguous (Thesis and Author’s Ideas).”

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Figure 44 below provides a sample of an ambiguous thesis. Let’s read.

Figure 44: Example of an Ambiguous Thesis

In my paper, I will discuss how Martin Luther King, Jr. uses ten composition principles to convey his point about direct action and segregation.

What is ambiguous about the above thesis? In other words, what is the ambiguity? A standard dictionary defines the word “ambiguous” as having more than one meaning or causing uncertainty. The same dictionary defines “ambiguity” as an expression or statement that has more than one meaning. The student’s thesis has five parts:

What the student will do

How Martin Luther King, Jr. uses ten composition principles

How Martin Luther King, Jr. uses ten composition principles to convey his point

How Martin Luther King, Jr. uses ten composition principles to convey his point about direct action

How Martin Luther King, Jr. uses ten composition principles to convey his point about segregation

Let’s locate the ambiguity in the student’s thesis.

Ambiguity #1: how Martin Luther King, Jr. uses ten composition principles

Ambiguity #2: his point about direct action and segregation

Ambiguity #3: word sequence, cause-and-effect (i.e., direct action and segregation)

Group Activity

Review King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” to determine 1) if he uses composition principles, 2) if he makes one or more points about direct action and segregation, and 3) if he constructs cause-effect relationships within the context of the work.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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