"Everyone's a critic," or so the saying goes. When it comes to writing a critical lens essay, it's true that you get the chance to view wisdom and literature through a critical lens. The thesis statement is the center point of any essay, so crafting a strong example takes work. Take your inspiration from the format of the critical lens essay introduction, making sure to revise the wording to make your statement as convincing as possible.
Critical Lens Essay
A critical lens essay is a type of literary analysis paper. In this case, you start with a quotation, which you view through a "critical lens." This viewing involves restating the quotation in your own words, thus interpreting it. You take a position in this paper by stating whether you agree or disagree with the quotation as interpreted. The majority of the essay consists of elements from literature, usually two works, that support your position on the legitimacy of the quotation.
Elements of the Thesis Statement
The thesis statement, the final sentence of the introduction, consists of one sentence only. This statement includes the title, author and genre of the works of literature you are using to support your position. The thesis statement also includes literary elements, like characterization or theme, from the pieces that help support your position. Altogether the thesis statement connects the works to the quote. For example, you write, "In the drama, 'Othello,' by William Shakespeare, the development of the characters and the treatment of the themes shows how literature mirrors life."
The process for writing the introduction informs how you write your thesis statement. Start by recopying the given quotation and interpreting it. Decide whether you agree or disagree with the quotation as interpreted. Next, think about why you agree or not, brainstorming literary works that support your position. Consider which elements of the piece support your opinion. For instance, if the quotation suggests problems, consider the conflict and resolution of literary works. The interpretation and your agreement or disagreement serve as the foundation of your thesis statement.
Strengthening the Thesis Statement
Because thesis statements contain a lot of information, you should revise it to avoid awkward wording. Since your agreement sentence comes directly before, you can start the thesis statement with, "The truth of this statement is shown by" then list the literary works and elements. The phrase "The truth of" serves as a transition between the agreement sentence and your thesis, but it leads you to write in the passive. An active statement is more decisive: "The conflict in the novel 'The Old Man in the Sea' shows the truth of the quotation." The certainty of this statement sets the stage for supporting your position.
Nadia Archuleta has a B.A. in English writing. She spent five years working abroad and has traveled extensively. She has worked as an English as a Foreign/Second Language teacher for 12 years.