On Monday, as an exercise in developing a thesis or main claim, you and your classmates collaboratively, in groups of four, examined the opening paragraphs of Tom Junod’s Esquire feature “The Falling Man” and crafted a thesis statement. The sample thesis that I wrote in class as a model for you appears below.
Sample Thesis Statement/Main Claim
Esquire writer Tom Junod begins “The Falling Man” with an uncharacteristically long paragraph to recreate on the page the lengthy vertical passage of the 9/11 victim immortalized in Richard Drew’s photograph.
If I were to write an analysis of the opening of “The Falling Man,” I would develop my essay with textual evidence–words and phrases throughout the first paragraph–to illustrate the linear movement of the unidentified man from the beginning of the first paragraph to its conclusion.
The September 2003 issue of Esquire presents the opening paragraph of Junod’s article as two long columns that mirror the Twin Towers in Drew’s photograph on the facing page. (See the image below the title of this post.)
Your Revision in Progress
Today in class you received your handwritten drafts with my notes to you, and you began your revision work on your laptops. As you continue to revise your analysis of “Blogs vs. Term Papers” or “Skim Reading is the New Normal,” keep in mind our textbook authors’ words about effective thesis statements:
“The thesis of an analytical paper is an idea about your subject, a theory that explains what some feature or features of your subject mean. A good thesis comes from carefully examining and questioning your subject in order to arrive at some point about its meaning and significance that would not have been immediately obvious to your readers” (Rosenwasser and Stephen 180).
Also keep in mind our textbook authors’ explanation of the difference between analysis and argument: The claim that an analysis makes is often the answer to the question, what does it mean? The claim that an argument makes “is often an answer to a should question” (Rosenwasser and Stephen 7-8).
More on Tom Junod’s “The Falling Man”
Unless you subscribe to Esquire, the magazine’s paywall will deny you access to the full text of the feature, but you can access it through the HPU Library site by following these steps:
- Go to the HPU Library site.
- Under the heading “Search HPU Libraries . . . ,” click on the “Articles” tab.
- Under the “Articles” tab, type Tom Junod “Falling Man” Esquire in the search box and click “search.”
- On the next screen, you will see a brief summary of the article. Click “Access Online” to view the full article.
Friday marks our fourth Wordplay Day of the semester. To prepare for class, review the Scrabble site’s “Tips and Tools.”
In class on Monday, we will examine the sample analysis that I am writing as a model for you.
Rosenwasser, David and Jill Stephen.Chapter 1: “The Five Analytical Moves.” Writing Analytically, 8th edition. Wadsworth/Cengage, 2019. pp. 1-37.
—.Chapter 7: “Finding and Evolving a Thesis.” Writing Analytically, 8th edition. Wadsworth/Cengage, 2019. pp. 178-212.