Developing an Implied Thesis

Implied Main Ideas & Developing an Implied Thesis

Implied Main Ideas

If something is implicit, or implied, then it is suggested but not directly stated.

Therefore, implied main ideas refers to main ideas that are suggested but are not directly stated.

Implied main ideas are different from stated main ideas, which we have already covered, and are main ideas that the author directly states within the text.

Implied Main Ideas (cont’d)

Analogy:

Your boss walks into your office and closes the door. He tells you that your company employs the best professionals, and that one of the signs of professionalism is that employees show up to work on time. You know that you have been late every day for the last two weeks. Your boss says that employees who can’t show up on time from now on need to find another job. Then, he turns and walks out.

What is your boss’s implied message?

Show up on time, or you’re fired.

Implied Main Ideas (cont’d)

Analogy:

Your boss walks into your office and closes the door. He tells you that your company employs the best professionals, and that one of the signs of professionalism is that employees show up to work on time. You know that you have been late every day for the last two weeks. Your boss says that employees who can’t show up on time from now on need to find another job. Then, he turns and walks out.

How did you recognize the implication?

You inferred it by looking at the context of the situation, “reading between the lines”, and examining his tone and body language.

Implied Main Ideas (cont’d)

Analogy:

Your girlfriend doesn’t like your old high-school buddies. One evening, one of your buddies sends you a text, and asks you to join the whole gang for one last night on the town before he enlists in the military and the other guy moves out of state for his new job. You know that your girlfriend doesn’t like these guys, or their influence on you, so you decide to politely ask her if you can go as long as you promise not to get into any trouble. She places one hand on her hip, raises an eyebrow, and says, “Go right ahead.”

What is your girlfriend’s implied message?

If you go, it’ll be the end of you.

Implied Main Ideas (cont’d)

Analogy:

Your girlfriend doesn’t like your old high-school buddies. One evening, one of your buddies sends you a text, and asks you to join the whole gang for one last night on the town before he enlists in the military and the other guy moves out of state for his new job. You know that your girlfriend doesn’t like these guys, or their influence on you, so you decide to politely ask her if you can go as long as you promise not to get into any trouble. She places one hand on her hip, raises an eyebrow, and says, “Go right ahead.”

How did you recognize the implication?

You inferred it by looking at the context of the situation, “reading between the lines”, and examining her tone and body language.

Implied Main Ideas (cont’d)

You need to use the same skills to determine the implied message of a text.

Determine the topic

What major details are in the text?

What general topic do the details “point” to?

Determine what the author is trying to tell you about the topic

Look for repeated words/phrases (authors use repetition to emphasize important ideas)

Turn the topic into a sentence that reflects the author’s purpose, and that will be the main idea

Implied Main Ideas (cont’d)

Confirm that you have determined the implied main idea by asking:

Does every major detail support it?

What do the major details have in common? (If they don’t all have something in common with the main idea that you think is implied, you’ve missed the mark, and you need to re-evaluate)

Does your answer provide an accurate summary of the major details?

Application

Let’s determine the implied main idea about this passage:

Email messages should be concise and to the point. Don’t overuse punctuation in your messages, especially exclamation points. A third rule is to use proper grammar and spelling. Another important rule of e-mail etiquette is not to send personal messages from the office. (taken from https://www.slideshare.net/hbcarroll/implied-main-idea)

Determine the topic

What major details are in the text?

What general topic do the details “point” to?

Determine what the author is trying to tell you about the topic

Look for repeated words/phrases (authors use repetition to emphasize important ideas)

Turn the topic into a sentence that reflects the author’s purpose, and that will be the main idea

Application (cont’d)

Let’s determine the implied main idea about this passage:

Email messages should be concise and to the point. Don’t overuse punctuation in your messages, especially exclamation points. A third rule is to use proper grammar and spelling. Another important rule of e-mail etiquette is not to send personal messages from the office. (taken from https://www.slideshare.net/hbcarroll/implied-main-idea)

Implied main idea: You need to follow important rules of etiquette when writing email messages.

Additional Resources

https://gradeservice.montereyinstitute.org/courses/DevelopmentalEnglish/unit03/Foundations/implied-main-ideas.html

https://www.palmbeachstate.edu/slc/Documents/implied%20main%20idea%20hints.pdf

https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-find-the-implied-main-idea-3211726

Implied Thesis

An implied thesis is the idea, argument, or belief the author makes indirectly (it is not explicitly stated in the text).

You can determine the implied thesis in the same way that you determine the implied main idea: you need to infer it based on the context.

To infer means to draw a conclusion based on evidence and reasoning.

Implied Thesis (cont’d)

Explicit thesis in a paragraph:

When I was in high school, I struggled with math. I had to work really hard just to get a passing grade. I later learned that I wasn’t studying correctly. I would just open up my book and start answering the questions. Now I know better. To be better at math, a student should study the formulas, carefully go over the examples, try a few problems, and then check them for accuracy.

Implied Thesis (cont’d)

Implied thesis in a paragraph:

When I was in high school, I struggled with math. I had to work really hard just to get a passing grade. I later learned that I wasn’t studying correctly. I would just open up my book and start answering the questions. Over time, I discovered that if I dedicated my efforts to memorizing the formulas and applying on their application to a problem, I performed better. Over time, I developed more productive methods of critically analyzing a math problem and checking my answer for accuracy.

What is the implied thesis?

Implied Thesis (cont’d)

Notice that the previous example uses a narrative (story) to reveal the implied thesis.

An implied thesis is most effective (and most commonly used) in a narrative format.

This means that when you need to write an implied thesis, you need to structure your writing in a narrative format.

Implied Thesis (cont’d)

How do you develop an implied thesis?

How do you make sure that your thesis isn’t overlooked, since it isn’t directly stated?

Developing an Implied Thesis

Choose a topic and write a paragraph about it. Formulate the paragraph as a narrative.

Write so that the circumstances you are describing reveal the lesson, or the thesis, that people should learn. Don’t state it; allow the audience to infer the thesis from the situation you describe.

Check that you have an implied thesis by asking someone to summarize the main idea of your writing. If they say something that aligns with your implied thesis, you are on the right track.

Developing an Implied Thesis (cont’d)

If that process seems too abstract, try:

Write the paragraph with a stated thesis.

Delete the stated thesis.

Ensure that the supporting details still point the reader to an idea or argument, but without it being stated.

If the supporting details do that, you’re ready to have someone read your paragraph for your implied thesis check (see previous slide)

If the supporting details don’t do that, you need to restructure the supporting details so that they do.

Example

Explicit thesis in a paragraph:

When I was in high school, I struggled with math. I had to work really hard just to get a passing grade. I later learned that I wasn’t studying correctly. I would just open up my book and start answering the questions. Now I know better. To be better at math, a student should study the formulas, carefully go over the examples, try a few problems, and then check them for accuracy.

Example

Explicit thesis in a paragraph:

When I was in high school, I struggled with math. I had to work really hard just to get a passing grade. I later learned that I wasn’t studying correctly. I would just open up my book and start answering the questions. Now I know better. To be better at math, a student should study the formulas, carefully go over the examples, try a few problems, and then check them for accuracy.

Delete the stated thesis

Example

Explicit thesis in a paragraph:

When I was in high school, I struggled with math. I had to work really hard just to get a passing grade. I later learned that I wasn’t studying correctly. I would just open up my book and start answering the questions. Now I know better.

Do I have an implied thesis? Not really, because there is nothing to indicate the lesson that is learned. The reader can’t even infer it.

Example

Implied thesis in a paragraph:

When I was in high school, I struggled with math. I had to work really hard just to get a passing grade. I later learned that I wasn’t studying correctly. I would just open up my book and start answering the questions. Over time, I discovered that if I dedicated my efforts to memorizing the formulas and applying on their application to a problem, I performed better. Over time, I developed more productive methods of critically analyzing a math problem and checking my answer for accuracy.

Example

When I was in high school, I struggled with math. I had to work really hard just to get a passing grade. I later learned that I wasn’t studying correctly. I would just open up my book and start answering the questions. Over time, I discovered that if I dedicated my efforts to memorizing the formulas and applying on their application to a problem, I performed better. Over time, I developed more productive methods of critically analyzing a math problem and checking my answer for accuracy.

Is there an implied thesis in this paragraph? Yes, because the reader can infer the thesis with the adjustment of the supporting details.

Additional Resources

https://gradeservice.montereyinstitute.org/courses/DevelopmentalEnglish/unit03/Foundations/developing-an-implied-thesis-statement-and-topic-sentences.html

http://iealp.weebly.com/uploads/2/5/6/9/25691437/implied_thesis.pdf

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