I am 40 years old, returning to college a second time. I have just been informed by my teacher that a thesis statement must always list your upcoming points in the exact order that you present the arguments, and that this is a practice called "Highlighting."
I have never heard this before. Is this correct? I did not find any mention of it on any of the writing sites I checked. I have definitely gotten As on papers before without being aware of this rule. I am surprised that literally nobody has ever told me this.
I did not find this definition of highlighting anywhere. She also told me that it is like a mathematical concept called "parallelism," which does not appear to be a thing. The only definition of parallelism I could find related to essays was about outlining, and referred to making the headings of the sections in your paper have similar structure and weight, similar to the way the word is used in poetry, not math. In fact, she repeatedly told me that writing is a lot like math, a statement that makes me suspect she does not know how math works.
She also told me that any argument I make in the paper must be mentioned in the thesis. For example, it is not enough to say "Enkidu and Grendel share many similarities." I have to list the similarities in the thesis sentence. Even though I talk about the specific similarities in other sentences in the introduction, and (more importantly to me) the similarities are not really the core of my argument. The similarities they share are evidence for my argument, not the argument itself.
Obviously, I will do what the teacher wants me to do for this class, but I'm not sure how to react if my college professor who has presumably written many papers has such an erroneous and rigid notion of how writing is done. If this is a requirement for a thesis statement, how come none of the other guides to crafting a strong thesis statement that I have found on line mention it? Why has no professor ever mentioned it to me before?
And I have to say if this is an actual rule, it's kinda dumb. By the time I get to the end of an essay, I don't remember the exact order of the thesis statement. Once that statement has been synthesized, I stop caring about the order or even the specific words that were used if they are not important to the idea being expressed. This is just another totally arbitrary writing rule designed to produce tortured, barely readable sentences (which, from my run-ons above, you can see I have enough problems with already).