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"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?"

When a trope is described by giving a generic example of it first, rather than simply stating its definition (its "thesis").

While not inherently bad, these descriptions often suffer from one key flaw: they're unclear. Using an example in the place of a definition can mislead tropers into believing the trope is more narrow than it is. Remember that we practice Clear, Concise, Witty here; a funny scenario shouldn't take precedence over a well-explained definition.

In most cases, the best 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, even when not outright misleading. (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 


Alternative Title(s): Example As Thesis, Example As A Thesis