Writing with Sharon Watson-Easy-to-use Homeschool Writing and Literature Curriculum

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Unlocking the Secrets of Writing and Literature

Practical, easy-to-use writing and literature courses for homeschools, Christian schools, and co-ops by Sharon Watson

Intro to Writing, Part 6: Easily Develop Thesis Statements

Intro to Writing, Part 6: Easily Develop Thesis Statements

SHARON’S BLOG

Thesis Statements

A guy walks in to your living room and blurts out, “Pizza.”

You look at him and wonder what he means. Well, you know the subject matter—pizza—but you don’t know where he’s going with this. He could take it in any of these directions:

“I want pizza.”
“Pizza is bad for you and here’s why.”
“Eat more pizza; it contains all the food groups.”
“I know how to get bigger tips working as a pizza delivery person.”
“This is how to build the perfect pizza.”
“The pizza you buy here is very different from the pizza you can get in Italy.”
“With six hundred dollars borrowed from their mother, two brothers began one humble Pizza Hut, now an international chain.”

Or, of course, he could mean, “Here’s the pizza you ordered. Now give me a tip so I can get out of here.”

When you write an essay, writing about the subject matter is only the beginning. Readers need to know what direction you are taking your subject. That way, they will keep reading and will understand what you are doing. For instance, if your introduction looks like you are going to write about the founder of Amazon but you end up writing about all the cool stuff you can find there, your readers will be confused.

What’s your main idea? What’s the one thought you want to convey to your readers? Everything you write about your subject matter is going to be gathered around one statement, one main idea, so that people reading your essay know what direction you are taking your subject.

This main idea is called a thesis statement.

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Intro to Writing, Part 5: Point Orders

Intro to Writing, Part 5: Point Orders

SHARON’S BLOG

Problems with Point Orders?

One of my students handed in an interesting essay on volcanic activity. She included lots of facts, dates, and anecdotes, but there was one big problem.

There was no rhyme or reason for the order in which she put her facts. Each major or historic volcanic eruption was in its own paragraph, but the paragraphs were in no particular order. It felt jumbled and incoherent.

How could she have arranged her paragraphs to have the most impact on her reader? Check below for two possible answers to this conundrum.

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Intro to Writing, Part 4: Paragraphs

Intro to Writing, Part 4: Paragraphs

SHARON’S BLOG

Can a chart rescue poorly written paragraphs?

Do your students have trouble coming up with ideas to put in their paragraphs? Are their paragraphs only one or two sentences long?

Are they a jumbled mess of ideas?

A paragraph is all about one idea. In it, your student will teach something about that idea, explain it, or prove why it is the right one.

In Intro to Writing, Part 4, you’ll find a practical chart to help your student formulate ideas and put them into a credible paragraph.

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