• Explaining Relationships

    Explaining Relationships

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Writing about a relationship can be a journey of discovery. Examining a particular relationship can lead unexpectedly to a discovery of something poignant about its nature, or the process might help one explore subtle connections within the relationship that were not obvious at first. A writer might even discover a relationship where, initially, none was thought to exist.

Writing about Relationships

What is the relationship between choreography and composition? The word "choreography" literally means "dance-writing," and it is sometimes referred to as dance composition. Choreographers design a series of steps that dancers follow in interpreting a musical composition, just as writers carefully develop logical steps a reader can follow in developing an argument. Consider this similarity as you watch the elegant movements of classic ballroom dancing. Like dance partners who mirror each other's choreographed steps in perfect harmony, a writer telling a story about a relationship aims for the reader to focus on the main idea and to follow the same steps as the writer in thinking about the relationship.

Video Focus Point

Look for answers to this question when watching the video:

  • What does a clear, focused thesis statement contribute to a narrative?


Choosing a Personal Topic

Lakshmi, a student writer, begins working on an essay about the relationship between humans and germs. She develops a working thesis through a series of self-directed questions.

Video Focus Points

Look for answers to these questions when watching the video:

  • Describe the process Lakshmi follows in choosing a topic and refining a thesis.
  • What questions typically help writers identify a topic and narrow a thesis?


Thesis: Weak v. Strong

Stating a thesis is an important step in the writing process as it sharpens a writer’s thinking, much in the same way a camera lens adjusts to bring an image into focus. Use this activity to identify characteristics of good thesis statements so you will be prepared to write thesis statements that clarify your thoughts.

Help a Writer: Is This a Thesis?

Beginning writers sometimes have difficulty in determining whether they have written an actual thesis statement. Use this activity to help Lakshmi evaluate statements from an early draft of her essay and select sentences that include characteristics of good thesis statements.

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh!” he whispered.
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw. "I just wanted to be sure of you."

—A. A. Milne