Thesis Statements: Read It, See It, Speak It


February 25, 2013 by Jackie Hoermann-Elliott

A visual text, just like a written one, makes an argument.Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 3.00.49 PM

Likewise, the print advertisements you chose to analyze for this unit all have their own arguments to make, and like we learned in the Toulmin Method unit, they probably do so using claims, reasons (relevant and good ones), qualifiers, and quite possibly refutations. In some cases they’ll use words to make these arguments, but more often than not,  they’ll use visual elements.

And some say visual elements can make for more compelling arguments in this age. Do you agree?

Consider this argument for crafting thesis statements, located on Ms. H’s Pinterest board.

Is it a good visual argument? What elements of design could be improved to make it more effective? And how would you go about doing this?

More interesting still is how oral communication makes an argument, often in unexpected ways and with unexpected genres. Such is the case with a lot of rap music, which some scholars appraise as the ultimate “rubric” of popular culture at any given time (Wysocki Writing New Media). Do you agree with that? What might be the thesis of these raps by St. Louis native, Nelly? And also, what visual arguments to the album covers make?

Hopefully you’re starting to see connections between written arguments, visual arguments, and even oral arguments. Soon, we’ll delve more into electronic arguments via the blogs you’re creating for this class, but before we jump that far ahead, let’s take a step back to consider where we started with this concept of “The Thesis Statement.” My questions for you are:

1. What do you think the big “takeaways” are from the reading on theses (EW 108-111)?

2. What have you learned about crafting thesis statements from past courses in writing or communication? Any interesting tips or strategies that have stayed with you?

Now, I want you to turn to a partner and discuss these as well as the thesis statements you crafted for your visual ad. Let’s get to work!



One thought on “Thesis Statements: Read It, See It, Speak It

  1. English 250 says:

    […] Thesis Statements: Read It, See It, Speak It ( […]

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