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Berelson Thesis Statement

Abstract

In the Spring 1959 issue of the Public Opinion Quarterly, Bernard Berelson explains why he thinks that communication research may be dead. The pioneers in this field, he says, have abandoned their original interests and those who have followed neither measure up to the pioneers nor have they anything very new to contribute. In passing, he cites the demise of the Committee on Communication at the University of Chicago as symbolic of this state of affairs. In their replies, Berelson's critics say, in effect, that it is uncomfortable but challenging to have to protest their own obituary. They cite numerous areas of inquiry and a variety of studies which, for them, are indicative of a continued vitality in the field of communication research. In the proliferation of examples, however, I think that the critics missed a chance to point out to Mr. Berelson exactly what is and what is not dead. By granting that something has happened to the pioneering type of communication research, it becomes possible to point out more clearly what is alive.

Recommended Citation

Katz, E. (1959). Mass Communications Research and the Study of Popular Culture: An Editorial Note on a Possible Future for This Journal. Studies in Public Communication,2 1-6. Retrieved from https://repository.upenn.edu/asc_papers/165

Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements

Summary:

This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.

Contributors: Elyssa Tardiff, Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2018-01-24 02:29:37

Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement

1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing:

  • An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.
  • An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.
  • An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.

If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.

2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.

3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.

4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Examples

Example of an analytical thesis statement:

An analysis of the college admission process reveals one challenge facing counselors: accepting students with high test scores or students with strong extracurricular backgrounds.

The paper that follows should:

  • Explain the analysis of the college admission process
  • Explain the challenge facing admissions counselors

Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:

The life of the typical college student is characterized by time spent studying, attending class, and socializing with peers.

The paper that follows should:

  • Explain how students spend their time studying, attending class, and socializing with peers

Example of an argumentative thesis statement:

High school graduates should be required to take a year off to pursue community service projects before entering college in order to increase their maturity and global awareness.

The paper that follows should:

  • Present an argument and give evidence to support the claim that students should pursue community projects before entering college

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