Evaluate thesis ideas of texts
Being able to identify the purpose and thesis of a text, while you’re reading it, takes practice. This section will offer you that practice.
Questioning the text you’re reading is a good place to start. When trying to isolate the thesis, or main idea, of your reading material, consider these questions:
- What is the primary subject of this text?
- Is the author trying to inform me, or persuade me?
- What does the author think I need to know about this subject?
- Why does the author think I need to know about this subject?
Sometimes the answer to these questions will be very clearly stated in the text itself. Sometimes it is less obvious, and in those cases, the techniques on the following pages will be useful.
Once the thesis idea is identified, your role as a reader is to evaluate how effective that thesis is in the text. Does this thesis, and the text as a whole, fulfill its purpose? Are you, the reader, changed by reading the text in the way that was intended by the author?
What You Will Learn To Do
- evaluate explicit thesis statements in texts
- evaluate implicit thesis statements in texts
- evaluate strategies for using thesis statements to predict content of texts