Supporting the Thesis Statement Study Guide (page 3)

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Updated on Oct 1, 2011

6. Include Quotations, Diagrams, or Other Visuals

One of the best writing rules to follow is this: Show, don't tell. What that means in essay writing is that very effective communication often results when you can prove your point with some kind of visual aid in addition to your use of words. When you are writing about a story or a poem, strengthen your points by quoting directly from the text. Here's an example of the way that can be done:

Robert Frost concludes "Birches," his elegant poem about life and its possibilities, with this lovely wistful line: "One could do worse than be a swinger of birches."

Adding a chart, a drawing, or a map to your essay can often add interest and provide useful illustration of your points. Writing on a computer with Internet access enables writers to include photos and other visual aids in their essays. (Be careful to honor copyright rules about using published material from other sources. Just because something is published on the Internet does not mean that it is free for you to use.)


Try to include a variety of supporting features in each essay you write. Don't depend on only one kind of evidence; the more types of support you use, the stronger your essay will be.

Practice: Creating Support For Your Thesis Statement

Now that you've read one writer's opening paragraph about a favorite movie, and read suggestions for support for that thesis, complete the following exercise. Identify your favorite movie, suggest a thesis statement for an essay about it, and then supply three types of supporting material you might include in the essay, with examples.

Supporting Your Thesis Statement


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