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By the time Umberto Eco published his best-selling novel "The Name of the Rose," he was one of Italy's most celebrated intellectuals, a distinguished academic and the author of influential works on semiotics.
As I mention in my tweet below, I’ve never been a fan of Eco’s, so I was a bit skeptical. Everybody and their mother has recommended to me that I read Umberto Eco’s How to Write a Thesis.
Frankly I was skeptical, particularly because I didn’t love “The name of the rose”, but I figured I had read Stephen King’s “On Writing”, so I might as well do this one.
Bad news first: You won’t get an A for a writing assignment if it doesn’t have a thesis statement.
It is one of the first things your teacher looks for and one of the main factors for your grade.
I sometimes eschew book recommendations even though I have an intuition that these may actually work for my purposes.
A number of scholars had recommended to me that I should check Umberto Eco’s How to Write A Thesis whose 2015 reprint was published by The MIT Press, particularly since I’ve been reading a lot of books on how to do a doctoral dissertation (mostly for my own students, but also to help others globally).
First, a strong thesis statement influences your teacher’s feedback on your essay and your final grade for it.
Second, it makes a paper logical and focused, simplifying the writing process for you: once you figure out the main idea for yourself and express it in a clear, brief, and intelligible thesis statement, all the following paragraphs of your paper will be based on it.
A thesis is an interpretation of a subject, not the subject itself. Sorry to disappoint you but yes, a thesis statement is a fundamental element of nearly any type of paper, apart from, possibly, creative writing.
However, it may look different depending on the type of paper.