Chapter 5: Revising the Thesis (The Fourth Draft)


Chapter 4: Revising the Introduction provided a brief exploration of two margin comments. Through these comments, we outlined the importance of developing a strong introduction that provides both information and details about a character, literary work, author, idea, or any additional essay-related topic.

You never stop introducing. In other words, the principles you have learned for developing the introduction paragraph are the same principles you must incorporate throughout the body of the paper. When confronted with the task of introducing an author who may or may not support your thesis or other ideas within the paper, you must inform the reader about this author. Who is this author? What does this author believe? Is this author an enemy to any other author outlined within the essay?

In other words, you have to ask this question: Does Author A agree with Author B? You must also ask the question in the negative. The answers for these questions will become the preliminary introduction sentences you need to include before delving deeper into the analysis. This is why Chapter 4 is important, because it helps students understand the importance of introductions and it prepares the reader for tasks in subsequent chapters of this book.

With this in mind, Chapter 5: Revising the Thesis continues the discussion from the first chapter regarding the presence of “ambiguity” within the academic paper. Students oftentimes develop ambiguous statements for the thesis, topic sentences, and supporting evidence without realizing that they are doing this. Not providing all the answers is a defensive technique that people carry over from their personal lives to their academic and professional lives. People find that it is a normal thing to “hold back,” so to speak, and maintain some discretion on a particular subject.

However, this technique doesn’t work well for academic writing. The reader needs details about a particular author’s views, how those views connect with the views of another author, and the impact of both on the argument you are trying to prove. Ambiguity is an enemy to the specific. Students must learn the importance of developing a thesis statement that is attainable and measurable. The reader needs to know specifically where you are going.

Therefore, Chapter 5 provides tools and tips for revising your paper’s thesis and your representation of the author’s ideas. The chapter provides additional margin comments to help you learn how to revise vague, broad, and general statements.

The comment titles below fall under the fourth draft. Click on any one of the links to access content.

Too Broad

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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