Explain the purpose of a thesis in academic writing and give a brief example of one.
A thesis is a sentence or couple of sentences that form a declarative statement and provide a roadmap for an academic paper's argument. A thesis lists each point of argument that the paper will focus on and makes an argumentative claim that can be disputed. For example, "By examining the arguments of notable animal rights activists, namely such popular claims as 'meat is murder,' this paper argues that while perhaps sound in their findings, such claims are ultimately based in pathetic, emotional appeals that render such arguments ineffective."
Explain the terms protagonist and antagonist and give an example that subverts the misconception of the protagonist as the accepted "good guy" in a given story.
A protagonist is, simply, the main character or a main character in a work, while the antagonist can be any opposition to the main character. Because the only requirement for being a protagonist is being a major character, moral qualities of the character are not relevant for their classification as a protagonist. For example, while Medea makes questionable decisions and ends the play as a murderer she is still the play's protagonist while Jason, whose children and fiancé she murders, remains the antagonist of the piece.
Explain imperative and interrogative sentences and give an example of each.
Imperative sentences are sentences that command the audience to complete an action. In imperative sentences there usually exists an understood and implied "you" that stands in for the audience of the sentence. For example, "Pass me the salt." both commands the audience of the sentence to do something (pass the salt) and implies that you (as the understood audience) should be the one to complete the action. Interrogative sentences, on the other hand, ask a question and usually make the audience of the sentence more explicit. For example, "Can you pass me the salt?" makes the implied "you" of the imperative sentence explicit. Likewise, because they are phrased as a question interrogative sentences are often received as being more polite and less demanding.