Writing Resources: How to Write Thesis Statements

Writing Resources: How to Write Thesis Statements

Writing Resources: How to Write Thesis Statements

Writing Resources: How to Write Thesis Statements


After studying all of the assigned readings, find or develop one major argument that you can discuss in greater detail in your paper. An “argument” can be defined as a major point of view, or an interpretation of the film that you can either agree or disagree with. Supporting or refuting with this argument will be the foundation of your writing. Remember that “liking” or “disliking” a film is irrelevant! “Liking” or “disliking” films don’t prove an argument, but only expresses an opinion. We’re not interested in likes or dislikes, we want meanings!

Develop a thesis statement. This is a statement that clearly and concisely expresses your point of view. This is the cornerstone of your argument, and you will use your readings/research to defend this statement.

“Even though he is portrayed as a villain, Darth Vader is the true hero of the Star Wars series because …”

Professor Woz from RIT argues that Ewoks are a symbol of innocence and peace. However, this is not the case because …”

Dr. John Johns points out that the kiss between Luke and Leia in “Empire” is an example of Freudian psychology. This is incorrect, because …

Now, after developing your “thesis statement”, WATCH THE FILM AGAIN! This time, take notes! Take LOTS of notes. Start, stop, and rewind the film  STUDY IT! Unlike last time, you’re studying the film looking for examples that will support your thesis statement. Find the evidence that you need to drive home your point! Prove that you’re right!

Thesis statements from film reviews for “Like Water For Chocolate”

EXAMPLE 1: “Although it may never win a Best Supporting Actress award for its role in the movie, Like Water for Chocolate, food is a main character.  It almost comes to life as it is infused with such strong emotions that it does more than just nourish the body, it transforms the heart. Food is a magical essential ingredient of this 1991 film based on the novel of the same name written by Laura Esquivel.”

EXAMPLE 2: “Like Water for Chocolate” by Alfonso Arau is a family saga about the empowering of women through the cooking of food. The story is set in Mexico during the Mexican Revolution, during a time when the woman’s role was only one of the domesticated nature. Some may say witchcraft was involved in the theory of what compelled the diners to feel what the cook was feeling. “The kitchen becomes a source of such witchcraft that a fervently prepared meal can fill diners with lust or grief or nausea, depending upon the cook’s prevailing mood.” (Maslin, 1993)  But I say it was nothing but pure love.

Thesis statements from film reviews for “Buena Vista Social Club”

EXAMPLE 1: “Roger Ebert says of Buena Vista Social Club, the documentary directed by Wim Wenders in 1998, “Is a touching story and the musicians (some over 90 years old) still have fire and grace onstage.”   But the film is more than just a touching story.  It is much more about the fire, the fire that was threatened to be extinguished except for the sparks that still smoldered within.”

EXAMPLE 2: “The film brings back a part of Cuban history through the storytelling in their songs, which not only created a renewed interest in Cuban and Latino music in the US and the world, but also captured the experience of Cubans pre and post revolution when their dreams were shut down by the Communist revolution.”

Thesis statements from film reviews for “Amores Perros”

EXAMPLE 1: “The three stories involve the relationship each owner has with their dogs. “Man’s best friend” is often treated better than their human equivalent throughout the movie, and thus shows us how fragile life is; because the dogs represent many themes, such as loyalty, and companionship, and shows us what length one will go for the sake of their pet.”

EXAMPLE 2: “They are united by common threads including Mexico City, an affection for dogs, and a fatal car crash.  But there is a more significant thread that bonds these characters. They each hold on to some sort of illusion that comes unraveled by the end of the movie.”

Thesis Statements from film reviews for “Motorcycle Diaries”

EXAMPLE 1: What was meant as a journey to see Latin America and to meet many women,  ended up being the journey that changed a boy into a man. “The Motorcycle Diaries” according to the New York Times,  “is a love story in the form of a travelogue.”  It shows the love that grows stronger not between a man and a women, but between a man and a continent.  And even though the love of a person and a place is expressed differently, it is still love altogether.” The love it chronicles is no less profound — and no less stirring to the senses — for taking place not between two people but between a person and a continent.”


Writing Resources: How to Write Thesis Statements
The LEAF Project