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Writing a Thesis Statement

So, now that we know what a thesis statement is, let’s try to generate one. As you know, I’m doing my project on Harriet Tubman, the escaped slave who helped lead others to freedom. Mr. Lexington wants all our projects to connect to the overall theme of leadership. He says that while Harriet Tubman is a good topic for that theme, it’s not a thesis statement.

Mr. Lexington handed out a worksheet to help guide us through writing a thesis statement. Here’s what he said about the worksheet:

teacher handing out a worksheetA thesis statement answers the questions “Who? What? Where? When?” and “Why does it matter?” I call these the 5Ws. When you are deciding on a thesis statement, it’s a good idea to ask yourself these questions about your topic. This worksheet isn’t the only way to come up with a thesis statement, but it’s a great place to start.

Let’s take a look at Mr. Lexington’s 5W questions worksheet together. As you can see, I’ve already filled it in with information about my topic, Harriet Tubman.

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Do you see how answering the 5W questions can help you put together a strong thesis statement? I have to admit it. Mr. Lexington’s worksheet was actually pretty useful! (Don’t tell him I said that, though!)

Before we move on, we should probably test out my thesis statement to make sure it’s a good one. Mr. Lexington says the best way to test a claim is to think about the arguments against it. And, of course, he had another chart to help us figure it out.

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