main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Kickstarter Message
TV Tropes Needs Your Help
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
View Kickstarter Project
Example as a Thesis
aka: Example As Thesis
"So, imagine you're writing a trope page, and can't think of a good way to start it off. You don't want to just jump straight into the description; you want to get the reader's attention first. Why not try an Example as a Thesis?"

This kind of thing occurs when a trope is described by giving a generic example of it first. Instead of trying to tell people what the trope is, it starts out describing a scenario, often written in the third person (and just as often involving Alice and Bob). The description takes a while to set up and execute, sometimes even a few paragraphs. It concludes with a Title Drop before proceeding with a straight description. That straight description is the thesis.

In most cases, the better order of things is to tell the folks what you are going to talk about and then talk about it. Frequently — if the 'thesis' is good and does a good job describing the trope — you can just remove the introductory example completely; after all, there's an entire list of perfectly serviceable examples right below the introduction... a good quote and image also tend to do a lot more than trying to work an example into the introduction text. Alternately, you can try moving the example to the middle of the description rather than the beginning so that readers know what they're supposed to be reading about ahead of time.

This isn't to say that this format is never acceptable—it's just that 90% of the time, it's a weak way to introduce the trope. (In journalism, this is called "burying the lede" and is trained out of professional journalists very, very early.) So if you're considering starting a description with an example, take a minute to think first about whether you should just cut to the chase instead.

In short, a trope needs a concise definition. A good quote and an image certainly help. Examples in the description are strictly optional and a stylistic feature; an example shouldn't have to define the trope by itself.

If a description is written with an example as the thesis, list it here. This will help tropers who are in the mood to find and fix those tropes where Example As A Thesis is not the best format for the trope.note 


The CatalogueWiki TropesIndex Index
Evil Former FriendExample as a ThesisExcuse Question
Better Than It SoundsJust for FunHaiku Wiki
Describe Topic HereSelf-Demonstrating ArticleThis Trope Name References Itself

alternative title(s): Example As Thesis
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy