One of the most essential elements of teaching an essay is teaching students how to write a thesis statement. These essay writing teaching tips will help you teach your middle school and high school students how to write a stronger thesis statement.
Many times students seem to have a difficult time writing their thesis statements. It looks like it has nothing to do with the ideas presented in the paper, or can just be the students trying to take on too much. For middle school and high school teachers, it is important to teach thesis statements early, so students don’t struggle with them too much down the line. In college, students will be expected to write a poignant thesis statement without any instruction or help from the professor. There are a couple of ways to work on thesis statement writing with students, but these are my favorite three to talk about.
Thesis Statement Strategy #1: Review the Content of the Body Paragraphs
The thesis statement is mostly a guiding statement of the paper’s main idea without stating the conclusion. Have students read over their papers, and have them write a sentence about what the entire paper is about. That means waiting for the final drafting process to create the intro, but for many students, this tends to work a little bit better when they start to learn about the essay writing process. This is also very helpful for students who experience writer’s block at the beginning of an essay. Sometimes they just need to write the meat of the paper first, and then go back and write or revise the introduction and thesis.n
Thesis Statement Strategy #2: Have students map out their main ideas
When students map out their ideas for a paper, they usually have some topics that they have in mind to discuss. Have students sum up those few main topics for their big idea into a few phrases that they can make into a connecting statement. This helps to make one of the easiest thesis statements and gives them something to build off in future English classes.
One way to help students map out their ideas is to conduct a collaborative essay brainstorming session before students start drafting their essays.
Thesis Statement Strategy #3: Have students focus on why the information matters
Why the student has written the information can be very important in persuasive papers. The research is important, but unless a reader knows why the paper will fail to make an impact. If a student can sum up why their topic is important for the reader, then they have a thesis statement, or at least the start of one, and all they need to do is write it down.
Once students begin to master thesis statement writing, it is time to focus on teaching students how to embed quotations in their writing.