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ENG126 Thesis Worksheet Freedom of Speech

Question Description

You thesis should be arguable, preferably a bold conviction, your take on the subject. A good thesis captures the complexity of your argument. It is often to be found at the end of the introduction. I would avoid phrasing the thesis as a question.

1. ex. “Contrary to popular views on the subject, the institution of marriage is as sound today as it was generations ago” (Rottenberg and Winchell 484)

2. ex. “Whether we like it or not, money is obsolete. The currency of today is not paper or coin, but plastic” (Rottenberg and Winchell 484).

3. ex. In “Bethel School District No. 403 vs Fraser,” the US Supreme Court ruled that a high school student, Matthew Fraser, used offensive language in his speech which was not protected by the First Amendment. The case was clearly controversial, as lower courts ruled in Fraser’s favor, and the Supreme Court dissenting opinion stated that the school district had not demonstrated that Fraser’s speech was disruptive. Fraser’s speech should not receive first amendment protection because it contains material inappropriate for minors in a public school assembly.

Draft your thesis here:

(I contend that)___________

Of course, you can change your thesis as your paper evolves.

Placement: often at the end of the introduction; could be more than one sentence

In the following examples, underline the thesis sentence or sentences. How could the thesis and introduction be improved? Hand in this worksheet with your final paper.

1. Sample introductory paragraph

Freedom of speech is a major part of the American tradition that prohibits the persecution of people based on their religious or political beliefs; but in practice, the United States has punished people based on their ideas, particularly during times of war. During World War I, “critics of the war, socialists, and labor leaders [were] jailed or deported” (Foner 594). In a recent example, renowned historian Eric Foner commented to a reporter that the US has engaged in military action “without being attacked, as in Haiti. . . and Vietnam” and was subsequently accused in the media of treason (595). In times of war, we need to be especially vigilant in guarding the right to express dissenting opinions, which can also provide us with a more comprehensive basis for making decisions.

Work Cited

Foner, Eric. “Dare Call It Treason.” Elements of Argument. 8th ed. Ed. Annette

Rottenberg and Donna Winchell. Boston: Bedford, 2006. 594-595.

Write comments and suggestions for sample #1 on thesis:

2. Hate or Free Speech

As we all know the first amendment is the right to free speech in the US

Constitution, which historically protects media messages from regulation and censorship, but does everyone follow or change what we know as free speech into hate speech? The idea is that free expression, the ability to open up your mouth and deliver an opinion in a public place, is the typical situation and any constraint on free expression is therefore a violation of the first amendment but when you abuse your right of free speech by offending or discriminating them is that free speech or does it turn to hate speech.

Write here comments and suggestions for sample #2 on thesis:

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