Today’s video is a Q and A. And one of my subscribers, Nadir, is asking, “How do I write a thesis about democracy?”
Okay great. A great question.
So we’re going to break this task in to three steps. Let’s take a look.
Step 1: We’re going to break up democracy, meaning the concept of democracy, into more manageable parts.
Step 2: we’re going to come up with an overall structure. Which is almost an equivalent of creating an outline
And Step 3: Finally we’re going to write out the thesis statement. So let’s do it.
So Step 1, Democracy. How can we break democracy into manageable parts?
And as you know I like the power of three because the easiest way to break up a topic is to use the power of three.
So in which way can we divide democracy into three parts? How can we discuss democracy in three different ways or three different sections of a paper?
Number 1: I’m thinking… Early Origins.
Now these are the origins of the Ancient Greece. Ancient Greek Origins of Democracy
Number 2: we’re going to talk about modern roots of today’s democracy.
So what are the modern roots? The modern roots are the main thinkers of the enlightenment and their ideas eg People like John Locke and Rousseau and Montesquieu.
Now, the age of enlightenment is also known as Age of Reason and that is where really today’s democracy takes root.
Number 3: of course, democracy today. And this would answer how is today’s democracy is different?
And different from what? Of course from democracy in the early origins, in ancient Greece, and during the age of enlightenment.
So let’s see how this would work. So we’re in step two and now we’re going to come up with a structure.
And let’s say, according to what we just did, we’re going to structure this essay this way.
In section 1, we’re going to talk about ancient Greek origins, in section 2 we’re going to talk about modern roots, and finally we’re going total about democracy today.
Now what can we talk about in Section 1? We’re really talking about Athenian democracy.
And in ancient Greece, we have familiar principles (some principles that we are familiar with today.) Things like voting for rulers and voting for legislation.
But there are also peculiarities to that ancient kind of democracy.
For example, only non-slave men could vote, which was about 10-15% of the population. Yeah very funny, not funny but very interesting, right? I mean it is not something you would see today.
So these are the peculiarities of ancient Greek democracy. Now see what I’m doing here?
See we already have a main structure. But now I want to create a structure within a structure. So I want to subdivide my main sections.
So how am I going to do this? Essentially we talk about two things. Well familiar principles of Athenian democracy and its peculiarities really belong under Athenian democracy.
So it’s not really three parts, it is two parts: Familiar things and unfamiliar things (things that would shock us today). Okay, great.
Next, section 2 is about early modern roots. Now we’re talking about these main thinkers. The two thinkers that come up right away if you do a search on Google are John Locke and Montesquieu.
Now, you see these already give you two subsections in sections two. See how it works?
And now, could we subdivide them further? How can I discuss Johns Locke and Montesquieu?
Well you can discuss them in terms of their ideas, for example John Locke was talking about things like equality, social contract, private property and things like that. And you can simply have several concepts that each of these thinkers was writing about or talking about.
So in order to discuss these thinkers, all we would have to do is discuss their ideas. And again each one has more than one idea which gives you a wonderful way to keep writing. Just keep writing an idea after an idea.
Let’s say you can do a paragraph on equality, then a paragraph on social contract. You don’t have to, it depends on how long you want your essay to be.
If it’s only up to three to four pages, you don’t have to go that deep. But if you have to write a 10-page paper or 15-page paper, yes this would be very helpful to you.
Okay, next. Democracy today.
Now democracy today has its parallels. Parallels to what? Parallels to of course the Ancient Greek origins and to the early modern roots. Meaning we would see similarities. Parallels essentially are similarities to the very, very first origins and to the origins in the enlightenment
And then of course we have our peculiarities. Well we have our own peculiarities. For example, raid elections. Well I’m going to leave it at that.
But we have our own peculiarities that we don’t really like or maybe something that we do like.
Or we have something today that is much better that they used to have in the past like for example technology.
And so we have our main structure together with our main sections and subsections. Okay, so let’s move one.
And this our thesis statement. So based on what we just did, we’re going to write this thesis statement.
And here we are.
Democracy is an ancient principle that has undergone changes and that is practiced in today’s society. It originates in Ancient Greece but was rediscovered during the period of enlightenment in Britain and France. Finally, while today’s democracy shares elements with the ancient and early modern forms, it has its own distinct traits.
Let’s take a closer look at this thesis statement. So first, the sentence one, the opening sentence, should summarize your entire essay completely and perfectly. And that’s exactly what we’re doing here.
Let’s take a look.
“Democracy is an ancient principle”. You see “ancient principle”, we’re already talking about ancient Greece. Okay it’s “an ancient principle that has undergone changes”. Okay and that’s the transitional, that’s the middle part. We’re talking about enlightenment.
And that is practiced in today’s society. Okay and that’s about today. See how we’re basically contracting everything we’re going to say in the essay into one sentence.
And this is how exactly how you should start your essay. Just go straight to the point as exactly what you are saying.
Now, throughout the rest of the thesis statement, we’re going to describe in details what exactly we’re going to talk about in the essay.
And we’re going “it originates in Ancient Greece”. You see we’d given more details of what we just did. And see we’re giving more details here than we did in the sentence one but the structure is the same meaning we’ll begin with Ancient Greece so it originates in Ancient Greece
And then we say, “But it was rediscovered during the period of enlightenment in Britain and France”. That’s section two.
See how outlining and kind of brainstorming and coming up with the structure the way we did it.
See it was rediscovered during the period of enlightenment in Britain and France and this corresponds to section 2.The way we have it in our brainstorm, in our outline which we did in step 2.
“Finally while today’s democracy shares elements with the ancient and early modern forms, it has its own distinct traits”. And this part or course, corresponds to section three of our outline.
And there you have it, three steps to going from one concept which was Democracy to a full thesis statement.