Chapter 3: The Full Three Storey Thesis

Returning to the text

Re-read the essay “The Plot to Privatize Common Knowledge” to see how your thesis tracks through the essay as a whole. Re-evaluate evidence and see if your first choices are still the best choices. Think of your thesis as a proposal for the analysis you will conduct in the rest of your essay; when you re-read the original text, how well does your proposal stand up?

As an example, here is a two-storey thesis, based on our observational paragraph from Chapter 1 on “The Plot to Privatize Common Knowledge”:

In “The Plot to Privatize Common Knowledge” David Bollier writes to an audience of adult readers interested in the applications of copyright law. He examines the perceived threat to “fundamental knowledge” and the “common good” posed by contemporary corporations who are converting property rights and patenting claims into “crude, anti-social instruments of control and avarice.” He uses this examination as a warning to his readers that such “over-patenting,” if continued unchecked, will result in much of what has been previously considered the shared and accumulated wisdom of humanity becoming “off limits” to the average citizen.

Watch Video 3.3: Three-Storey Thesis for “The Plot to Privatize Common Knowledge” to review the process of constructing a full three-storey thesis in response to  David Bollier’s essay. Don’t worry if the content of this thesis differs from yours–recall that everyone’s thesis will be different because they select different pieces of evidence and make different interpretations. What’s important here is to note the level of complexity and depth required of a university-level close reading.