Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Coming Up with a Compelling Thesis

I agree with Dr. Burton, that literature does provoke thought.  If it did not, it would not have attained its universal stature and appeal.  As Lev Vygotsky said, “Thought is not merely expressed in words; it comes into existence through them."

As I consider how to evolve my responses to literature into a compelling thesis statement, I will use the guide Dr. Burton has provided.

1.  Review my recent writing
The topics I have discussed are my love of literature, biographic films, biographies and speeches, and family.  I can see a pattern of talking about Non-fiction literature.  I do enjoy fiction and poetry as well, so I am not sure what my recent writing is telling me, except that we are learning about different genres.
2.  Review my recent reading
Along with the common readings for Non-fiction, I have been reading Sophocles, Oedipus At Colonus to continue my learning of the Oedipus Cycle, and to read something I have never read much of.  Hopefully, I will gain a better understanding of drama and Sophocles
3.  Review others’ recent posts
Many I read mention literature I have enjoyed previously, but some posts bring up literature I have no knowledge of.  I enjoy reading the blogs that shed more light on the person who is writing.  I think I like some personal essays, but then some are tedious.
4.  Pose some questions
I have been doing that today as I have been thinking about what would be worthy to be a thesis statement.  It is a challenge.  After reading Dr. Burton’s “Twentieth-Century Mormon Eloquence: A Stylistic Analysis of Two Sermons by Neal A. Maxwell,” I come away wondering how I allow so much rich thought to fly past me when I hear the General Conference sermons.  This reading causes me to pause and reflect more on the meaning behind the craft of thought and words.

5.  Transform questions into provisional claims
After several hours writing my blogs and reading the common readings, I still have not come up with questions as of yet.  I am thinking.

6.  Circulate your working thesis statements (or “tweethis”)
I intend to pass this onto my family right away!  May be they will be able to offer some assistance.


  1. These look like great ideas to derive a thesis. One additional method may be to write about a life lesson that has had an impact on your life. I have found that I can best communicate an idea if it is something I have implemented in my life and have experience with it.

    1. I agree with you about how something takes on greater meaning if we have had experience with it. I chose Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" to do my thesis on. Specifically on the ambiguity of the poem and the contradictions, and why it has such appeal in spite of all that or maybe because of that. If you can offer any help with this, I would appreciate it.
      Thank you.

  2. Literature's appeal is derived from the way it resonates with our life experiences by clearly articulating our own thoughts and feelings. Good literature then helps us advance our thinking beyond where it stood previously. In this manner, literature enriches us to the point that we are always looking for new things to read.

    1. What a wonderful understanding you have of good literature. Thank you for your comment. I finally decided on a thesis, to explore Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" to find out why he is so ambiguous in the poem and why it has contradictions. And how in spite of all this we are drawn to the poem.