The Tyranny of the Thesis Statement

I’d quibble a bit with this post, but I love the idea and especially the last two paragraphs.

A Post-Academic in NYC

I had decided to title this post, The Tyranny of the Thesis Statement. Then I Googled it and noted that someone else has already written that essay. Good for that guy! I am glad that I am not the only one who thinks thesis statements are horrible things that we ought to do away with forever, like every other shibboleth of old-timey writing instruction (I’m looking at you, five-paragraph essay!).

I cannot tell you how much I loathe thesis statements and everything they stand for. In my own work, I refuse to write thesis statements or anything that resembles them. I sincerely believe that no piece of decent prose contains anything that might be mistaken for a thesis statement. Thesis statements and good writing are utterly incompatible.

Furthermore, I most certainly will never – no matter how emphatic the department grading rubric – advise my students to write thesis statements…

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