uitizing a question and answer as the thesis - ok? puctuation correct?


What do Kendrick Johnson, al Qaeda, aliens, Don Henley, and Shakespeare all have in common:  the psychological and social phenomena of jealousy within humanity and a tendency toward the lowest common denominator (i.e. the love of gossip and dirty laundry).

2 answers


I find a few problems with this thesis statement, Tara.


Everything before the colon is a question, yet there is no question mark.  The problem with using both a question and answer in one sentence for academic writing is that it gets quite messy. This should be formal writing.  I would stick to questions with question marks and statements with periods.  But the answer isn’t a complete sentence – another problem for formal writing. 


For something a little less formal, I would punctuate this information like this:


What do A, B, C, and D have in common?  Blah blah blah all the big words.  In other words, the love of gossip and dirty laundry.


But the second and third sentences aren’t complete sentences.  I know you are writing this for effect, so it is up to you to know what your audience (teacher) will think about being less than formal in a paper.


That said, the other (big) problem I have with this is the entire premise.  You are saying that A, B, C, and D like gossip and dirty laundry.  That makes no sense.  Certainly Kendrick Johnson’s unfortunate death has been a topic of gossip.  Since she was a teenager, she probably did like gossip to some extent, but it frankly feels crass to use her name in this context.  There was probably some gossip or even dirty laundry surrounding Don Henley’s lawsuit against a record company, but I highly doubt the man is a fan of gossip.  The topics of al Qaeda and aliens have more to do with either actual facts or urban legends, which isn’t the same as gossip and diry laundry.  Shakespeare is really the only one on your list that we could guess loved gossip and dirty laundry. 


You haven’t properly stated what your thesis is. You need a verb.  The love of gossip and dirty laundry … what?  Exists?  Runs rampant? Is nothing new?  Is human nature?  Is fueled by the media?  I have no idea what your thesis really is.

link comment answered Apr 13 '14 at 14:05 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

Listen to dirty laundry by Hendley.Shakespeare's Strafordians & Oxfordians can help w the confusion regarding 911 & government coverups.Conspiracies & jealousy have psychological & social causes ....

link comment answered Apr 18 '14 at 07:00 Tara Parker New member

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