For the Instructor

Chapter 3: The Full Three-Storey Thesis

For the Instructor

1. This is a good time to introduce more lengthy scholarly articles or long-form articles from a well-respected popular publications. This will give the students more complex documents on which to practice the reading skills and techniques outlined in the first three chapters. Additionally, it will introduce the students to scholarly concepts that they can then use in their argumentative essay in the second half of the semester. In our own courses we use a 1969 interview of Marshall McLuhan in Playboy Magazine, which has been republished on the Next Nature Network blog.

2. If you plan to give students class time to prepare for the midterm, you can assign some of the early stages of close reading. Ask students to write a three-storey thesis statement in response to their chosen midterm article(s). They should bring their three-storey to class for peer assessment.

In class:

This week’s class will likely be split into two components. In the first, if you have not done so already, have the students read the midterm articles, do a slow analysis of it (as outlined in Chapter 1) and build a two-storey thesis in response (Chapter 2). If you have already completed this in a previous week, have the students pair up and, using the short evaluation form embedded in this chapter, have them give each other a score for their thesis statements. Then have the students use this feedback to write a second draft of that two-storey thesis and, when finished, have their partner evaluate it again. Lastly, in line with the content of this chapter, have them add a third storey to their edited thesis and share with a partner. In particular, when evaluating the third storey, have the students look at their partner’s thesis and answer whether their third storey addresses the questions from earlier in this chapter:

  • Is the author arguing that something must be done? Why?
  • Is the author offering a solution to a problem raised earlier in the text?
  • Is the author warning of specific further consequences that will arise from a problem raised earlier in the text?
  • What does the author want their reader to leave the text thinking and/or doing?

Before meeting in class, assign your students a more lengthy scholarly or well-respected popular article. In the second half of the class, break the students up into groups of 4 or 5 and give each of them a small portion of the text to read and analyze as experts. Ask the students, in groups, to read their excerpt and provide the key patterns, opposites, new words found within their passage (Chapter 1). After the group has done this, ask them to build a two-storey thesis in response to their excerpt. Once this has been completed, have each group present their observations and thesis statement to the class.

This activity will provide the opportunity for class discussion and a more theoretical lecture component to the class.After reading a scholarly article, students can begin talking about the complex ideas in the text and linking those ideas to the issues in their own lives that they are interested in writing about further. Ideally, this second component of class time will reiterate the close-reading and thes building skills established in the first three chapters of the text as well as introduce some topics and ideas that students can think and write about as part of the final essay  in the second half of the semester.