By Melissa Lynch
California State Standards for 9-10th grade English
Writing Standards

Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant
and sufficient evidence.

a.
Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an
organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

b.
Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and
limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.

c.
Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the
relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and
counterclaims.

d.
Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the
discipline in which they are writing.

e.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and
accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

a.
Introduce a topic or thesis statement; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important
connections and distinctions; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when
useful to aiding comprehension. CA

b.
Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations,
or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic.

c.
Use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the
relationships among complex ideas and concepts.

d.

e.
Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the
discipline in which they are writing.

f.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented
(e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).

4.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task,
purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)

5.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach,
focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should
demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grades 9–10.)
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic.
Lesson Objectives
In this session, we will cover the following objectives:
 Define thesis statements: topic, claim, three support points
 Explain how thesis statements are uses in essays
 View example thesis statements
 Compose thesis statements
 Establish how thesis statements are organized within an
essay and how they are supported
What are thesis statements?
Define thesis statements. Where does the thesis statements go? How they are used?

Thesis statements provide the purpose of the essay.

Thesis statements are a one-sentence statement that provide the argument or claim that is
defended and/or supported in an essay.

The entire essay is constructed around the thesis statement

Thesis statements should be structured in a prominent position in the introductory
paragraph. It should be at the beginning or the end of the introductory paragraph so that it
may stand out.

All of the body paragraphs support, defend and argue the thesis statement.

The thesis statement should be restated in the conclusion paragraph with supporting
evidence.

Thesis statements are used in every essay, for every subject and genre of writing.
Three Foundations of Thesis Statements
In the introductory paragraph the thesis statement will
address:
 The Topic (what your paper will deal with)
 The Claim (what you think about the topic, pro or
con, and your angle)
 Reasons that Support the Claim (three points that will
support your claim)
There are two kinds of thesis statements: simple thesis statements and
three-part thesis statements.
A simple thesis statement is a topic sentence that states the theme and
claim of the entire essay.
Example:
School uniforms would benefit the academic and creative environment
of the school.
A three-part thesis statement contains a list of the three support points
applied in the body of the essay.
Example:
School uniforms would benefit the academic and creative environment
of the school by concealing economic disparity among the student body,
keeping students focused on academic rigor over cultural trends and by
cultivating creativity through skill development and intellect.
Thesis Statement structure:
Dependent clause + Independent clause that contains the argument
A Dependent clause + Independent clause is a strong and classic
foundation for a solid thesis statement.
 Dependent clause: A group of words that contains a subject
and a verb but does not express a complete thought. A
dependent clause cannot be a complete sentence.
 Independent clause: A group of words that contains a subject
and a verb and expresses a complete thought. An independent
clause is a complete sentence. In a thesis statement the
independent clause contains the claim, the argument.
Thesis Statement Structure
Examples of thesis statements with the dependent clause +
independent clause that contains the argument structure:

Example 1 (simple thesis statement): (dependent clause) Although some
students say they express their individuality through fashion, (independent
clause) school uniforms would benefit the academic and creative environment
of the school.

Example 2 (three-part thesis statement): (dependent clause) Although some
students say they express their individuality through fashion, (independent
clause) school uniforms would benefit the academic and creative environment
of the school by concealing economic disparity among the student body,
keeping students focused on academic rigor over cultural trends and by
cultivating creativity through skill development and intellect.
Dependent clause starters
Begin your dependent clause with one of the word or word phrases
below. These starters will help you construct a thesis statement with
a degree of comparison and complexity that will help establish your
argument.
In order that
As
Whether
If
Even though
Until
After
Although
Where
Since
Unless
Though
Before
While
Even if
So that
When
Whenever
Even
Whenever
As long as
As if
As soon as
Three support points

The three support points provide evidence that backs up your claim and organizes your
argument. Your points should rely on evidence rather than your opinion. You will
mention your three points in your introduction paragraph, in the same sequence that they
will appear in the body paragraphs. Your support points should apply:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Facts
Statistics
Textual Evidence
Quotations from experts
Examples
Anecdotes
Comparisons
• Research study results
• Logical reasoning (inductive
and deductive)
• Anecdotal evidence
• Testimonials
• Public opinion
• Survey results
• Case studies
Sequencing
In literature, sequencing is the organization and order of
events or ideas.
 It often refers to the chronological order of events of a
narrative, as one event follows after another.
 It may also show how ideas relate through causality.
 Or, how logic develops (using deductive or inductive
reasoning) from a premise.
Sequence of three points
The three points below are ideas in a logical sequential order
because they flow out of each other through causality.
 1. conceal economic disparity among the student body
 2. keep students focused on academic rigor over cultural
trends
 3. cultivate creativity through skill development and intellect.
Causality (also referred to as causation) commonly refers to the relationship
between an event (the cause) and a second (later) event (the effect), where the second
event is understood as a consequence of the first.
Prompts
Choose a prompt for your practice:
 Should child labor be legal?
 Should public university tuition be raised to reflect the true costs of operation?
 Should children be required to attend standardized (public or private)
education or should they be given a choice to opt out?
 Should community service be required in high school?
 Are teenagers too old to celebrate Halloween?
 Should girls be allowed to participate in boys sports teams and vice versa?
 Are school uniforms beneficial to the academic environment?
 Should all bicyclists be required to wear helmets?
Example
Simple statement, followed by a three-part independent statement.
 Simple statement: Completion of standard 12th grade education should be
mandatory for all students.
 Three-part independent statement: Students may not realize the long-term
benefits of education, core education standards are taught during the senior
year, and they will have more job competencies and opportunities if they
complete twelfth grade.
Thesis statement:
Completion of standard 12th grade education should be mandatory for all students.
Students may not realize the long-term benefits of education, core education
standards are taught during the senior year, and they will have more job
competencies and opportunities if they complete twelfth grade.
Example
Dependent + independent clause. Follow by three-part independent statement.

Dependent + independent clause: Although thirty-percent of high school students drop out
before graduation, completion of standard 12th grade education should be mandatory for all
students.

Three-part independent statement: Students may not realize the long-term benefits of
education, core education standards are taught during the senior year, and they will have
more job competencies and opportunities if they complete twelfth grade.
Thesis statement:
Although thirty-percent of high school students drop out before graduation, completion of
standard 12th grade education should be mandatory for all students. Students may not realize the
long-term benefits of education, core education standards are taught during the senior year, and
they will have more job competencies and opportunities if they complete twelfth grade.
Example
Dependent + independent clause + three-part clause
Dependent + independent clause: Although thirty-percent of high school students drop
out before graduation, completion of standard 12th grade education should be
mandatory for all students…
Three-part independent clause: …because students may not realize the long-term
benefits of education, core education standards are taught during the senior year, and
they will have more job competencies and opportunities if they complete twelfth grade.
Thesis statement: Although thirty-percent of high school students drop out before
graduation, completion of standard 12th grade education should be mandatory for all
students because students may not realize the long-term benefits of education, core
education standards are taught during the senior year, and they will have more job
competencies and opportunities if they complete twelfth grade.
Write your own thesis statements!
Give each style a try.
simple statement, followed by a three-part independent
statement.
dependent + independent clause statement, followed by a
three-part independent statement.
dependent + independent clause + three-part clause.
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Thesis Statements - MVLA Technical Difficulty