The acronym TAG (Title, Author, Genre) is a teaching tool that is probably common to many English classrooms. Its a useful and easy method of helping students to properly formulate and craft thesis statements
in their writings. Acronyms in general are no stranger to composition; they are used time and time again in beginning learning circles as well as advanced ones, to develop and enhance important writing skills. Other common acronyms are PEEL (Point, Explain, Evaluate, Link
) for paragraph structuring, or IMRAD (Introduction, Methods, Results, Analysis, Discussion
) for scientific reports. All of them working quite well at the task of making document preparation that much easier for students, researchers, and professionals.
With the acronym TAG, based off of the words it represents, its pretty clear that it will likely be used in a thesis statement for either a book report, book or essay review, or critique. The title, author, and genre of a work cover the basic, essential, identifying information required in any one of these writings. And the best place for them is usually right at the beginning of the work.
So what exactly does each of these letters require?
Writing with TAG in your thesis
When including these three elements into your thesis statement, some basic points can be made regarding each; though small, they may still be important to note.
The title of the work in most cases should be written out completely and underlined along with each primary letter of it being capitalized. For instance, when writing out The Legend of Hemphrey Jones
the only word that is lower case is the term of
because it is an article; and as you can see the rest of the letters are uppercase. Likewise, the names of other writings such as poems, essays
, or newspaper articles
should be placed in quotation marks instead of being underlined.
This one is pretty straightforward; you would simply write the author's name, as a first name and then a last name. When referring to the author later on in the work you would simply state his or her last name only. Though if the author's name was mentioned prior to the TAG thesis statement the last name alone in the thesis statement should suffice.
There are several genres that a work may fall under. For instance you may be writing about biographies, autobiographies, essays, short stories, poetry, narrative non-fiction and so on. Its important that you understand the genre of your select piece before identifying it. In some cases the genre may be easy to pick but in other cases (with short stories and such) you may have to research a little beforehand.
In addition to this, when including each of theses elements into your thesis statement, fluency is a major and critical factor to be considered. In some cases students may simply 'throw' each point into a sentence which usually results in poor or awkward wording at the very least. Take these two examples.
Overcoming the odds, triumphs and challenges, The Legend of Hemphrey Jones, John Doe, a book fitting the autobiography genre.
The Legend of Hemphrey Jones (title), John Doe's (author) autobiography (genre) provides a substantial amount of vivid illustrations that depict the reality of life as a midwestern laborer in the early 1800's.
*As you can see in the better example, the title, author, and genre are carefully placed into the sentence without disrupting the flow of the important details of the thesis. Similarly the title is underlined and the thesis is fuller and more developed than the previous one.
So now that a basic understanding of how to place the TAG elements into a thesis statement has been discussed, it may be beneficial to also provide a more in-depth explanation of thesis statements and book/essay reviews and criticisms in general.
Structuring the thesis for a book review (with the TAG format)
When writing a book review
your primary goal is to inform the reader about the writer's main ideas as well as evaluate how well he or she accomplished the purpose of the book. That is you, will work to identify the author's thesis, objective or purpose, and then evaluate and make judgment on the book based on the evidences collected from your reading. So for example, if reviewing a book in which the author sets to detail the hard life of a midwestern laborer, such a book should include several descriptive details, a solid plot, clear evidence of the working conditions, suitable dialogue and so on. Knowing this, a reviewer can then work to evaluate how well the author established the plot, incorporated dialogue, provided details and so on.
Overall, when preparing the thesis statement for a book review, you should indicate the author's objectives and what aspect of their writing you will be examining. For instance, you may be looking specifically at how characters were developed or how well the argument was supported or (for more general reviews) you may just be looking at the overall strengths and weaknesses of the work. In the above example provided about The Legend of Hemphrey Jones the key issues that can be extracted from the thesis are the vivid illustrations provided by the author. This indicates to the reader that the book review/critique will likely focus on examples of these vivid illustrations more than anything else.
Another example of a book review thesis statement
using the TAG method as mentioned is as follows;
Though Juniper Jinee (title), Sarah Snow's (author), narrative non-fiction (genre) was based on the real events that occurred during the winter storm of 2006, I felt as though the scenic descriptions resembled more of a fictional storm rather than a real one.
*This last example shows the TAG information in order and provides a clear thesis statement that indicates that the reviewer will be focusing on the trouble in Snow's representation of realistic scenes in her narrative non-fiction. In addition to this, the paper should also provide a summary of the book, possibly some positive points as well, and finally end with a closing statement or judgment of the book by the reviewer.