Outcome: Thesis

Identify Thesis Statements in Texts

Being able to identify the purpose and thesis of a text, while you’re reading it, takes practice.  This section will offer you that practice.

One fun strategy for developing a deeper understanding the material you’re reading is to make a visual “map” of the ideas.  Mind maps, whether hand-drawn or done through computer programs, can be fun to make, and help put all the ideas of an essay you’re reading in one easy-to-read format.

Your understanding of what the “central” element of the mind map is might change as you read and re-read.  Developing the central idea of your mind map is a great way to help you determine the reading’s thesis.

The center is a yellow star-shaped human form, labeled Dave. Primary lines leading away from it include "free," "Aranya," and "Anger." Color-coded lines lead to phrases that are difficult to see clearly.

Hand-drawn Mind Map

"Mind Map Guidelines" in the center. Primary lines leading from it include Clarity, Center, Style, Keywords, and Use.

Computer-generated Mind Map

What You Will Learn to Do

  • identify explicit thesis statements in texts
  • identify implicit thesis statements in texts
  • identify strategies for using thesis statements to predict content of texts

The Learning Activities for This Outcome Include

  • Video: Identify the Thesis Statement
  • Text: Topic Sentences
  • Self Check: Thesis
  • Try It: Thesis