This quarter I emphasized the need for essays to have a thesis. (The class is not a writing class and I am certainly not a writing instructor, but it fulfills a writing general education requirement, so I feel obligated to try to assist students with their writing.) For the final essay, several students decided to do something to point out their thesis to me. One wrote a separate section titled “Thesis” and then proceeded to write “In this essay my thesis is…” Another kind student italicized her thesis so that I wouldn’t miss it. I guess the problem isn’t with their writing, it’s just that I don’t know how to read an essay and identify a thesis.

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