RC - "thesis" vs. "claim"

peke
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RC - "thesis" vs. "claim"

Postby peke » Fri May 31, 2013 6:05 pm

In some "structure of the passage" questions I came across have similar answer choices with one throwing around the word "thesis" while the other "claim".

Is thesis just a supported claim?

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: RC - "thesis" vs. "claim"

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Fri May 31, 2013 6:18 pm

peke wrote:In some "structure of the passage" questions I came across have similar answer choices with one throwing around the word "thesis" while the other "claim".

Is thesis just a supported claim?


I generally interpret thesis to mean that the author is putting forward an idea, but not necessarily saying it's the truth. The author proposes that X might be the case. Whereas a claim would be the author asserting something, whether or not that claim is substantiated or valid. The author is saying X is the case.

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jselson
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Re: RC - "thesis" vs. "claim"

Postby jselson » Fri May 31, 2013 6:19 pm

peke wrote:In some "structure of the passage" questions I came across have similar answer choices with one throwing around the word "thesis" while the other "claim".

Is thesis just a supported claim?


In general, a thesis is the main argument of the passage, while a claim is just any positive statement that normally would require evidence. Can you give a specific example of a question you're looking at?

peke
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Re: RC - "thesis" vs. "claim"

Postby peke » Fri May 31, 2013 7:28 pm

jselson wrote:
peke wrote:In some "structure of the passage" questions I came across have similar answer choices with one throwing around the word "thesis" while the other "claim".

Is thesis just a supported claim?


In general, a thesis is the main argument of the passage, while a claim is just any positive statement that normally would require evidence. Can you give a specific example of a question you're looking at?


I was looking at PT 4, Section 2 Passage 4 #25. I picked (C) because it appeared to me the author was criticizing the "thesis" that Herbert put forth and that an "alternative thesis" was presented in the closing sentence. A Kaplan explanation said the last sentence, quote "hardly qualifies as an alternative thesis" and therefore C is wrong.

Related: if a thesis is the main argument of the passage, then what qualifies as an alternative thesis?

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jselson
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Re: RC - "thesis" vs. "claim"

Postby jselson » Fri May 31, 2013 9:16 pm

peke wrote:
jselson wrote:
peke wrote:In some "structure of the passage" questions I came across have similar answer choices with one throwing around the word "thesis" while the other "claim".

Is thesis just a supported claim?


In general, a thesis is the main argument of the passage, while a claim is just any positive statement that normally would require evidence. Can you give a specific example of a question you're looking at?


I was looking at PT 4, Section 2 Passage 4 #25. I picked (C) because it appeared to me the author was criticizing the "thesis" that Herbert put forth and that an "alternative thesis" was presented in the closing sentence. A Kaplan explanation said the last sentence, quote "hardly qualifies as an alternative thesis" and therefore C is wrong.

Related: if a thesis is the main argument of the passage, then what qualifies as an alternative thesis?


Kaplan probably means that the last sentence wasn't substantial enough to be considered a thesis. You can't really tell if a statement is a thesis or not without the surrounding context, so if the claim in the last sentence contains new information/a different perspective, you can't tell whether it's a thesis or not - it's really just a claim.

An alternative thesis, in the context of this question, would be that the author presents Herbert's argument ("thesis") and then proposes his/her own argument (the "alternative thesis") as a better, or at least equally plausible, explanation of whatever the two are talking about.

PS: I don't have that PT, so I'm just going off what I imagine the question is like.




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