Chapter 3: The Full Three Storey Thesis

Revising Your Two-Storey Thesis

Your thesis statement is like a map for your readers: a reader should be able to look at your thesis statement and have a general idea of the direction your essay will take. Chapter 1 of this text focused on reading, annotating, and analyzing another author’s text. Chapter 2 described how to turn your initial observations into a blueprint and then a first draft of a two-storey thesis statement that proposes a focused analysis of another author’s argument. So far the text has focused on developing the habit of slowing down to read, re-read, and analyze a text. After gathering all the evidence in a text, choosing the best two pieces, writing an observational paragraph that we then transformed into an essay blueprint, we wrote an initial two-storey thesis. In this chapter we will begin the process of revising that initial thesis.

Revision is when you sharpen your ideas by condensing your language and clarifying the steps of your close reading.

Revision is not something you do once, at the very end of the writing process. Revision takes place all the way through the process of your writing on small and large scales. While later chapters will involve revising a completed close reading, this chapter will focus on writing a second draft of your two-storey thesis and then describe how to add the third storey: the scholarly concept.

But what should you look for when examining your first draft? What focus should you take as you write a second, third, or even tenth draft of your thesis? Let’s begin with a self-evaluation of the two-storey thesis you wrote in the previous chapter.