Formulating a Good Thesis Statement
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Hi, my name is Brian Lush and I'm a Classics professor here at Macalester College. I'd like to say just a little bit about formulating a good thesis statement. Any thesis statement should follow the following formula: close observation + careful analysis = a good thesis statement. In the first example here, "Homer's Odyssey is about a guy who wanders the earth in order to get home," although true, requires no close analysis. It's just a fact of the text. The second example, "Odysseus is probably the greatest example of a heroic figure at any time, ancient or modern." While this may be as true as the first thesis statement, it would require one to read all of epic poetry in order to prove it. So you don't want to do that. A third example, "Odysseus invites questions about Greek epic heroism by effectively using both brains and brawn," would require a close reading of the text and critical analysis of the text in order to prove it. So remember to include in your thesis statement both elements. Good luck and write well.