Thesis Statements—OATS

 

The basic steps—OATS

            O—Opinion

            A—Author

            T—Title

            S—Structure (Genre)

 

Example—To Kill a Mockingbird

            O—the issue of racism as a societal norm in the South

            A—Harper Lee

            T—To Kill a Mockingbird

            S—Novel

 

STAO—In her classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee presents the issue of racism as a societal norm in the South.

 

OAST—The issue of racism as a societal norm is a prominent theme in Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.

 

AOST—Harper Lee presents the prominent thematic issue of racism as a societal norm in her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.

 

A funnel introduction paragraph begins with broad, general statements and then gradually becomes more specific until the precise focus and structure of the essay is established in the thesis statement. Longer, more complete analyses require the “opinion” to be structured into three distinct parts, each developed in a separate body paragraph. In this case, the “opinion” portion of the thesis statement is intentionally broad, and three separate sentences in the introductory paragraph, in some form, provide the topic sentences for each of the body paragraphs.

 

An inverted funnel had the same purpose, but it presents the thesis statement first and then expands the idea of the thesis statement through the three topic sentences and an example or two.

 

Example Paragraph

 

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s classic novel, features the prominent thematic element of racism as a societal norm in the deep South. Primarily, Tom Robinson is considered to be less than normal when he is accused of rape and also during the trial. Second, Blacks are presented as second class citizens through the presentation of their level of education and the jobs they have. Third, segregation is a common practice in the novel. Blacks have a separate school, most Blacks do not live in town, and the Blacks must sit in the balcony of the court room during Tom Robinson’s trial. These examples demonstrate the prominence of racism in the novel.