Story: Dec 17, 2014
Students animate, illustrate holiday greetings on behalf of ...
CIA Exhibition: Nov 07, 2014
Fall 2014 Exhibitions
Story: Nov 15, 2014
Students capture two of the top prizes in museum's surreal d...
CIA Exhibition: Jan 14, 2015
35th Annual Scholastic Art & Writing Exhibition
Social: about 12 hours ago via Facebook
Warm wishes to you this holiday season from the Cleveland Institute of Art! Artwork created by Animation majors Brienne Broyles ’16 and Maria Ursetti ’16. Rea...
Story: Nov 04, 2014
New CIA building taking shape; set for December completion
CIA Exhibition: Feb 13, 2015
69th Annual Student Independent Exhibition
Story: Nov 03, 2014
New Uptown Residence Hall featured in CIA video
Blog . BFA Review Tips
This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can discover or refine one for each of your BFA papers.
Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. Persuasion is a skill you practice regularly in your daily life. You persuade your roommate to clean up, your parents to let you borrow the car, your friend to vote for your favorite candidate or policy. In college, course assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing. You are asked to convince your reader of your point of view. This form of persuasion, often called academic argument, follows a predictable pattern in writing. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence. This sentence is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you’ll make in the rest of your paper.
What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement:
If your assignment asks you to take a position or develop a claim about a subject, you may need to convey that position or claim in a thesis statement near the beginning of your draft. The assignment may not explicitly state that you need a thesis statement because your instructor may assume you will include one. When in doubt, ask your instructor if the assignment requires a thesis statement. When an assignment asks you to analyze, to interpret, to compare and contrast, to demonstrate cause and effect, or to take a stand on an issue, it is likely that you are being asked to develop a thesis and to support it persuasively.
How do I get a thesis?
A thesis is the result of a thinking process. Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a “working thesis,” a basic or main idea, an argument that you think you can support with evidence but that may need adjustment along the way.
How do I know if my thesis is strong?
If there’s time, run it by your instructor or make an appointment at the Writing Center to get some feedback. Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own. When reviewing your first draft and its working thesis, ask yourself the following: