Thesis Statement Hints (+ Microtheme Reminders)

What is a Thesis Statement?

A thesis statement is an arguable statement that you then set out, through your discussion and examples, to support. You then, in your essay, conclude how what you have presented supports your thesis statement.

Rules for Successful Thesis Statements:

1. Take some sort of stand
2. Justify discussion
3. Express one main idea
4. Be specific

Examples of good thesis statements include:

Robert Venturi's work is based on his belief that modern architecture failed to satisfy the public due to its lack of readily understandable symbolism.

William McDonough asserts that contemporary architecture is unsuccessful because it fails to meaningfully respond to the physical environment within which it is situated.

Alongside Fumihiko Maki's typical spare modernist aesthetic lies traditional Japanese references that express urban interaction and landscape symbolism.

Alvar Aalto's works integrate nature and man-made environments in order to achieve his ideal of architecture's organic wholeness.
 

Examples of bad thesis statements include:

Frank Lloyd Wright was a great architect. (not specific enough)

Michael Graves' work is colorful and uses historic symbolism. (fine, but why -- what is the purpose of his use of these visual elements)

Eero Saarinen, lacking a clear stylistic progression, designed creative buildings that give each work a sense of originality contributing to him becoming the most sculptural architect of his era.

Eero Saarinen's organic style architecture ensures that his structures become part of the total environment.

Alvar Aalto had catalysts throughout his younger career which would eventually lead him to the rhetorical diversity of his latter works.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater shows his mastery of designing a building that units (sic) the natural landscape and the environment.

Rogersí innovative combination of ordinary materials and technology produces highly flexible buildings that have extraordinary (sic) elegant results.

Louis Sullivan used ornamentation to express the architecture of his buildings.
 

Reminder: Microtheme Paper Elements:

1. State thesis

2. Background (1 -2 sentences maximum, to give context)

3. Philosophical belief (one key statement or principle showing how your person is connected to modernism as a whole) + visual characteristics

4. Presentation of cases (three "progressive cases" -- one exterior, one interior, one piece of furniture (or object) -- that illustrate how their work is influenced by their philosophical beliefs)

5. Conclusion (i.e. how have you demonstrated the truth of your thesis)

All of the above elements must fit on 2 double-spaced pages, you should add, as needed:

Cover Page
Bibliography
Properly keyed, labeled, and formatted images (annotate, as needed)
 

My Advice:

Work with Writing Tutorial Services both on formulating your thesis statement, and on your paper itself.
 

Writing Tutorial Services:
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