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I am having trouble coming up with a thesis statement for an essay. I need to compare and contrast how I view nature to the way Tenyson and Wordsworth view it. I have to focus on what these observations say about my culture, society,a dn religion.
My idea:
Three contributing factors to a poet's writing are culture, society,a dn religion. (ot sure I like it)

  • English -

    Here are some ideas for you --

    1. Have two sheets of paper in front of you. Put Tennyson at the top of one and put Wordsworth at the top of the other.

    2. Go through several of each poet's works (primary sources) and make notes for yourself about each one's view of nature. All notes about Tennyson's view are listed on his page; all notes about Wordsworth's view are listed on his page.

    3. Do the same as #2 with secondary sources: literary criticism, reviews, etc. I'll list some sources below. If you have to add a page or two to your notes about each poet, do so.

    4. Once you think you've exhausted #s 2 and 3, read through your lists and highlight all things relating to culture with yellow; all things relating to society in orange; all things relating to religion in blue. (Or pick your own colors!!) Sometimes you may have trouble distinguishing among them, but do your best. Usually going with your first impression is best.

    5. Then make a plan or outline for each author (not for the whole paper yet) like this:

    Tennyson
    I. view of nature in respect to his culture (add details and note titles and line numbers or other references)
    II. view of nature in respect to his society (add details and note titles and line numbers or other references)
    III. view of nature in respect to his religious beliefs and views (add details and note titles and line numbers or other references)

    Wordsworth
    I. view of nature in respect to his culture (add details and note titles and line numbers or other references)
    II. view of nature in respect to his society (add details and note titles and line numbers or other references)
    III. view of nature in respect to his religious beliefs and views (add details and note titles and line numbers or other references)

    For literary criticism:
    http://www.ipl.org/div/litcrit/

    For background information:
    http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1GGGE_enUS379US379&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=tennyson
    and
    http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1GGGE_enUS379US379&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=tennyson
    Don't be afraid to use the Wikipedia links. In addition to information in the articles themselves, be sure to check out all the external links and further references at the bottom of each Wikipedia page.

  • English -

    Once you have the outlines made for each poet's section in your paper, then you're ready to add other sections.

    Plan and write the introduction and conclusion only AFTER you have the body of your paper pretty much finished.

    As for a thesis statement, the ideas for this should come to you after you have completed steps 1 - 4 above.

    Here are some ideas and links to help you with thesis statements:

    Your thesis statement must include factual information plus your position/opinion/stance. Without your position on the topic, it isn't a true thesis statement. So think of this sentence as the angle you want to take on the topic and what you intend to prove by the end of your paper. (If your statement is simply factual, then there's nothing to prove!)

    http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/thesistatement.html
    This is one of the very best places I've seen online to help students write good thesis statements. It shows you sentences that aren't thesis statements and how to turn each one into real thesis statements.

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

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