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"Sexual harassment in the workplace" - does this thesis statement make sense?


NayT 1 / 1  
Apr 25, 2010   #1
Despite common belief sexual harassment in the workplace has been about power and authority rather than sex, but the experience after the attack has proven to be more damaging than the original harassment and has adverse effect in the victims workplace, their family and friends, and the legal system since victims are somehow led to believe they provoked the attack.
Notoman 20 / 419  
Apr 25, 2010   #2
It could be clearer. Thesis statements can be difficult because there is so much to say in one sentence. Mixing up the punctuation can help ... try adding semicolons, colons, em-dashes. Let me see if I can break apart the sentence and show you the places that tripped me up:

Despite common belief sexual harassment in the workplace has been about power and authority rather than sex

This is a sentence in and of itself. You could use other punctuation after this to give it more separation. Putting this into the active voice instead of the passive will also help to tighten things up. You need a comma after the word "belief."

but the experience after the attack has proven to be more damaging than the original harassment and has adverse effect in the victims workplace,

This part trips me up because you use "the attack," as if it is a one-time assault instead of a pattern of abuse that many people associate with "harassment." Victim's needs an apostrophe to show that it is possessive.

has adverse effect in the victims workplace, their family and friends,

When you say that it has "adverse effects in the victim's ..." it applies to all of the words in the series. So, in effect, you are saying that it has adverse effects in the victim's family and adverse effects in the victim's friends. It could still work if you said, "friendships" instead of "friends."

and the legal system since victims are somehow led to believe they provoked the attack.

Because it is still in the same list, this is also saying that there are adverse effects in the legal system.

Okay, now let me see if I can rework your sentence and retain your meaning:

Despite common belief, sexual harassment in the workplace is more about power and authority than sex; the victim's experience after the attack proves to be more damaging than the original harassment with adverse effect in the victim's workplace, their family and friendships--even the legal system leads victims to believe they provoked the attack.

Still not perfect, but I hope it gives you some ideas.
OP NayT 1 / 1  
Apr 25, 2010   #3
I understand, but what if I reword the ending

for example:

Despite common belief, sexual harassment in the workplace is more about power and authority than sex; the victim's experience after the attack proves to be more damaging than the original harassment with adverse effect on victim's health, environment and even the legal system leads victims to believe they provoked the attack.
Notoman 20 / 419  
Apr 25, 2010   #4
Okay, I think I see what you are saying.

I made a mistake in my typing ... it should be adverse effects (plural). Speaking of agreement, I think it is best if you talk about multiple victims in your thesis and their experiences. There were some agreement issues there with numbers.

The new ending still doesn't quite work, but here is another way you could get it to flow:

Despite common belief, sexual harassment in the workplace is more about power and authority than sex; the victims' experiences after attacks prove to be more damaging than the original harassment with negative ramifications from the victims' workplace, in their families and friendships, and even from the legal system leading victims to believe they provoked the attack.


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