The purpose of this thesis

An essay that lacks a strong thesis will be inadequate and often lacking in focus. What this thesis does not address, because of the nature of the essay and topic, is a specific audience. A thesis statement for an argument essay does not always address a specific audience since it is written to broader audience with the attempt to persuade others to a specific viewpoint. Just as the contents of the essay may change during the writing process, so, too, may the thesis statement.

It is important to create a thesis statement before writing the paper, but this type of thesis is generally referred to as a working thesis and may change along with the contents of the essay. It is important that a writer uses the thesis to direct the creation of the essay, but it is also important that the writer is open to changing the thesis as necessary.

The thesis indicates the type of support needed and the order of that support--an explanation of the statistical reasons first, economic reasons second, and social reasons third.

A thesis sentence's angle should NOT be: Too broad. For example, the following thesis really doesn't pinpoint a specific insight about the topic: Adult students returning to college have a hard time. In what ways do adult students have a hard time?

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Introduction paragraph

You'd need to identify a more specific insight in this angle. Too narrow a statement of fact. For example, the following thesis really cannot be developed into a full essay because the angle doesn't contain the writer's own thoughts or insights about the subject: Adult students returning to college read an average of 7.

A reader may respond by saying, "So what?

To Persuade

An announcement. For example, the following really is not a thesis at all because it lacks an angle that gives the writer's own insight into the topic: My topic is the adult student returning to college. Again, "So what? What differences do you see? Dispositional or core beliefs? Where in the speech do you see one or more calls for action? With a declining population of around 6,, my home town of Denison, Iowa, was on the brink of extinction when a new industry rolled in bringing jobs and revenue.

However, as the Canadian Globe and Mail of July 23, , reports, the industry that saved Denison may ultimately lead to its demise. Denison is one of communities across the country to be revolutionized by the production of corn ethanol.

Thesis Statements and Purpose Statements

Ethanol is a high-powered alcohol, derived from plant matter, that can be used like gasoline. According to the Omaha World Herald of January 8, , our reliance on foreign oil combined with global warming concerns have many holding corn ethanol as our best energy solution. But despite the good intentions of helping farmers and lowering oil consumption, corn ethanol is filled with empty promises.

In fact, The Des Moines Register of March 1, , concludes that when ethanol is made from corn, all of its environmental and economic benefits disappear. With oil prices at dollars per barrel, our nation is in an energy crisis, and luckily, the production of ethanol can be a major help for both farmers and consumers, if done correctly. Although hailed as a magic bullet, corn ethanol could be the worst agricultural catastrophe since the Dust Bowl. The serious political, environmental, and even moral implications demand that we critically rethink this so-called yellow miracle by: first, examining the problems created by corn ethanol; second, exploring why corn ethanol has gained such power; and finally, discovering solutions to prevent a corn ethanol disaster.

Now, if you have heard anything about the problems of corn ethanol, it probably dealt with efficiency. As the Christian Science Monitor of November 15, , notes, it takes a gallon of gasoline or more to make a gallon of ethanol. And while this is an important concern, efficiency is the least of our worries. Turning this crop into fuel creates two major problems for our society: first, environmental degradation; and second, acceleration of global famine.

First, corn ethanol damages the environment as much as, if not more than, fossil fuels. The journal Ethanol and Bio-diesel News of September asserts that the production of corn ethanol is pushing natural resources to the breaking point. But with corn ethanol being so profitable, understandably, farmers have stopped rotating crops, leading to soil erosion, deforestation, and fertilizer runoff—making our soil less fertile and more toxic.

Purpose and Thesis Statements

And the story only gets worse once the ethanol is manufactured. The second problem created from corn ethanol is the acceleration of global famine. According to the US Grains Council, last year, 27 million tons of corn, traditionally used as food, was turned into ethanol, drastically increasing food prices. The March 7, , issue of The Wall Street Journal explains that lower supplies of corn needed for necessities such as farm feed, corn oil, and corn syrup have increased our food costs in everything from milk to bread, eggs, and even beer as much as 25 percent.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch of April 12, , reports that the amount of corn used to fill one tank of gas could feed one person for an entire year. The Financial Times of May 27, , reports that the narrative surrounding corn ethanol as a homegrown fuel is so desirable that critical thinking is understandably almost nonexistent.

Structuring a thesis

To start thinking critically about corn ethanol, we need to examine solutions on both the federal and personal levels. First, at the federal level, our government must end the ridiculously high subsidies surrounding corn ethanol. On June 24, , The Washington Post predicted that subsidies on corn ethanol would cost the federal government an extra billion dollars by The Economist of June 2, , reports that other materials such as switch grass and wood chips can be used instead of corn.

And on July 6, , The New York Times reported on ethanol made from corn cobs, leaves, and husks, which leaves the corn kernels to be used as food. The government could use the money paid in subsidies to support this kind of responsible production of ethanol. The point is that ethanol done right can honestly help with energy independence.

On the personal level, we have all participated in the most important step, which is being knowledgeable about the true face of corn ethanol. So please, talk to friends and family about corn ethanol while there is still time. Here you will find informational materials, links to your congressional representatives, and ways to invest in switch grass and wood ethanol. Iowa is turning so much corn into ethanol that soon the state will have to import corn to eat.

And while my hometown of Denison has gained much from corn ethanol, we all have much more to lose from it. The final general purpose people can have for public speaking is to entertain. Whereas informative and persuasive speech making is focused on the end result of the speech process, entertainment speaking is focused on the theme and occasion of the speech. An entertaining speech can be either informative or persuasive at its root, but the context or theme of the speech requires speakers to think about the speech primarily in terms of audience enjoyment.


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Entertaining speeches are very common in everyday life. The fundamental goal of an entertaining speech is audience enjoyment, which can come in a variety of forms. Entertaining speeches can be funny or serious. Overall, entertaining speeches are not designed to give an audience a deep understanding of life but instead to function as a way to divert an audience from their day-to-day lives for a short period of time. This is not to say that an entertaining speech cannot have real content that is highly informative or persuasive, but its goal is primarily about the entertaining aspects of the speech and not focused on the informative or persuasive quality of the speech.

Thesis Statement Definition

There are three basic types of entertaining speeches: the after-dinner speech, the ceremonial speech, and the inspirational speech. The after-dinner speech is a form of speaking where a speaker takes a serious speech topic either informative or persuasive and injects a level of humor into the speech to make it entertaining. After-dinner speeches are first and foremost speeches. A ceremonial speech is a type of entertaining speech where the specific context of the speech is the driving force of the speech. Common types of ceremonial speeches include introductions, toasts, and eulogies.

In each of these cases, there are specific events that drive the speech. In each of these cases, the speech and the purpose of the speech is determined by the context of the event and not by the desire to inform or persuade. Inspirational speeches are based in emotion with the goal to motivate listeners to alter their lives in some significant way. Littauer demonstrates how people can use positive comments to encourage others in their daily lives. The following speech, by an undergraduate student named Adam Fink, is an entertainment speech. Specifically, this speech is a ceremonial speech given at Mr.

As with our earlier examples, while this speech is written out as a text for purposes of analysis, in your public speaking course you will most likely be assigned to speak from an outline or notes, not a fully written script. Notice that the tenor of this speech is persuasive but that it persuades in a more inspiring way than just building and proving an argument. Good evening! The most notable ones had eight things in common. They reflected on the past, pondered about the future.

They encouraged the honorees.