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Hello, I am writing an opinion essay on "Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson. I have a thesis statement, but I am not sure if those reasons relate to it.

Paragraph one: Introduction
Thesis Statement (Yes or No): In a book called “Speak” by Laurie Hales Anderson, I strongly disagree with main character (Melinda) regarding not telling anyone about being raped.
Reason 1: Melinda struggles mentally with her life. She refers to herself is “outcast”. She doesn’t talk to anyone and hides in a closet.
Reason 2: Melinda is struggling with her schoolwork because of being depressed all the time. She has no desire in learning something, even though she used to be a good student.

  • english -

    Including in your analysis commentary on how telling others that she was raped would alleviate her problems would strengthen your ability to support your thesis with those reasons.

    I also recommend you reword your thesis somewhat. The prompt assumes you are giving your opinion, so saying "I" is unnecessary. Additionally, you can be more specific as to why you disagree.

    In the book "Speak" by Laurie Hales Anderson, Melinda's decision to conceal the fact that she was raped [alienates her from society].

    The phrase in the brackets is only one possible ending for your thesis, but one that might fit with your body paragraphs.

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    or is this better?

    Reason 1: A lot of young girls in same situation just keep silent. They are scared to tell someone or afraid of being judged by peers. A rape is a crime and there are consequences for that. A rapist needs to be punished to prevent anyone else getting hurt. An adult has to take action and make sure a victim gets help if necessary (example: school work, low-self esteem, fear, etc).
    Reason 2: Girls tend to close themselves from society because of being mentally disturbed (rape is massive mental and physical stress). An adult has to take action and make sure a victim gets help if necessary (example: school work, low-self esteem, fear, etc).

  • english -

    Thank you very much for your response, but I am writing an opinion essay. So, somewhere in there I have to say either I agree or disagree. I disagree that Melinda didn't take any action and didn't tell anyone. How can I make a strong thesis statement out of this?

  • English -

    Here are two excellent websites to help you write a good, strong thesis statement:

    http://blog.eduify.com/index.php/2009/06/21/5-tips-on-how-to-write-a-strong-thesis-statement/

    http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/thesistatement.html

    Here are my two-cents' worth of opinion:

    **Do not use the words "I agree" or "I disagree" or anything else with I in it. If you are to write an opinion essay, do so without using 1st or 2nd person pronouns.

    **Thesis statement = one sentence. Your support ideas are for the paper itself and can be briefly mentioned in your introduction, but they should not be brought out in detail until you get to those particular points in the body of your essay itself.

  • english -

    Your essay assumes that your thesis is about your belief. There is no need to boldly state it with "I disagree." Your thesis is stronger if you include a more specific reason of why you disagree with her actions, such as the example I gave.

    Your original reasons were better topics for the body paragraphs because they specifically deal with Melinda. You should start with the specifics about how Melinda is affected, then use that to move to a more general analysis. After elaborating on how Melinda's choices affected her life, you could then comment on how different choices may have had benefits.

    Perhaps you should post your first body paragraph for editing. Then, you can use our comments to help you write the rest.

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    Note: I agree with Writeacher, the "Reasons" you posted should be part of your body paragraphs, not your introductory paragraph.

  • English -

    Marth made good suggestions. You should pay attention!

  • english -

    In a book called “Speak” by Laurie Hales Anderson, Melinda’s choice not to tell anyone about being raped had affected her life in a negative way. The negative effects of this decision are the fact that it alienates her from society and by telling someone she could alleviate her struggles in life. For making one wrong choice, the character transforms from being a popular girl to “a small ant”.
    Melinda’s decision to conceal the fact that she was raped alienates her from society. Before the tragedy, she was a popular girl with many friends. However, after the rape, Melinda refers to herself as “outcast”. She doesn’t talk to anyone and hides in a closet where she feels safe and comfortable. The character is absolutely lonely, even though she meets Heather at the beginning of the school year. They are very different and at the end Heather says to Melinda “You are the most depressed person I’ve ever meet. I think you need professional help.” Heather is the last person to turn her back on Melinda. Even her parents have hard time understanding what is going on with their daughter. They communicate with sticky-notes on refrigerator, Melinda doesn’t tell them anything about school and her struggles, and the mom is always busy. For instance, Melinda was supposed to go shopping wither her mom for behaving in school. However, mom was so busy that she didn’t even show up.
    By telling someone Melinda could alleviate her struggles in life. Melinda had been struggling with her school, even though she used to be a good student. The event (rape) caused Melinda to close herself down. She skips school, doesn’t do her homework and refuses to talk to anyone. From being a very good student in middle school, she becomes a slacker with bad grades. Throughout the story, she seems to have very low self-esteem and very judging towards herself. While being in principal’s office for skipping school, she thinks “I have no friend. I have nothing. I am nothing”. Melinda doesn’t take care of herself (wash her hair, bite lips, dirty clothes, etc). The character doesn’t really seem to care how she looks at all.

  • english -

    Ok, so here is what I've got for three first paragraphs. I need to write last one( conclusion) but before I do that, I would like you to revise what I have written and please help me. It is really important that I get good grade on this. Thank you for all of your suggestions, I tried my best to follow them.

  • english -

    I would also want to add the fact that her friends turned on her because they had no idea what have happened to her at a party. They think that she called the cops just to cause trouble for the party. where can I fit this fact?

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    and also these two quotes, i think they are very important.

    "I wasted the last weeks of August watching bad cartoons. I didn't go to the mall, the lake, or the pool, or answer the phone. I have entered high school with the wrong hair, the wrong clothes, the wrong attitude. And I don't have anyone to sit with."

    and "It is easier not to say anything. Shut your trap, button your lip, can it. All that crap you hear on TV about communication and expressing feelings is a lie. Nobody really wants to hear what you have to say."

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    also I want to put in that she accepts what have happened to her and keeps her anger inside.

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    Note: is the book fiction or non-fiction? If fiction, the essay must be written in present tense.

    Those are strong quotes - blending them into your essay would be great.

    "in a negative way. The negative effects of this decision are the fact that"
    This is quite wordy - I have removed it below, combining the two sentences. Alienation from society has a negative connotation. (as well as making a few other minor edits). Your ideas are good though.

    In the book “Speak” by Laurie Hales Anderson, Melinda’s choice to not tell anyone about being raped alienates her from society. By telling someone, she could have alleviated her struggles in life. For making one wrong choice, the character transforms from being a popular girl to “a small ant”.

    Your second paragraph appears to be mostly plot summary, while the third paragraph contains much more analysis. However, they should be blended in, with the plot summary leading to the analysis, which provides proof for your thesis.

    For example, the following provides a good start to a paragraph:
    Before the tragedy, she was a popular girl with many friends. However, after the rape, Melinda refers to herself as an “outcast”. She doesn’t talk to anyone and hides in a closet where she feels safe and comfortable.

    Now, you should emphasize her personal feelings. Embedding the quote of "[wasting] the last weeks of August" would be good here because the word "wastes" shows her lack of value for self.

    Continue by connecting her lack of value for self to her reaction to the rape, such as the following:
    Her desire to hide demonstrates her shame because of the assault. Her refusal to tell others, while a result of that shame, exacerbates her feelings of "being nothing" by preventing extended contact with others who could provide reassurance. Therefore, her decision to hide the truth lengthens her spiritual recovery and causes an extended and perpetuating alienation from society.

    You have many great pieces of evidence - you only need to analyze them more. If you write paragraphs in the form of evidence --> analysis --> thesis support, you will definitely have a good essay.



    One of my teachers' favorite sayings was to "do more with less." In other words, you should choose several important pieces of the plot, then spend a paragraph discussing each.

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    Thank you very much for your help!!!!! You gave me a lot of new knowledge that I will use in my essays. Thanks :))))

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    can i use quote with "waste" in second paragraph, because it is more focusing on her lack of value and respect?

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    Hello again, I am kind of thinking about opinion essay as something that you have an opinion on. As "I agree" or "I disagree". However, my essay doesn't really have that part. I found a website that talks about essays. It says in there that I should use "I", I am so confused.

  • english -

    Yana, Jiskha cuts threads off after 18 or 20 posts. I suggest you repost this, starting a new thread. Click Post a New Question, and copy and paste your message there.

  • english -

    Hey yana I am also stuck on the same novel Speak. I would love some help with my essay.

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