My teacher never taught us to include them. I like to talk about belief/action in my thesis. Here is an example of a thesis I wrote for an essay: Ben Sasse writes to inform the public that they have a right to feel angry at the government and hopes to convince them that they shouldn’t feel this way.
This would be considered an open thesis. My only concern is that you must be sure to answer the prompt (not having seen this prompt, I can’t speak to whether you’ve done so). The rubric that the readers will be using says this about the thesis point: Responses earning the thesis point respond to the prompt rather than restating or rephrasing the prompt and clearly articulate a defensible thesis about the rhetorical choices the author uses. This indicates that the thesis needs to do two things: respond to the prompt and make a claim about how the author uses rhetorical choices. You certainly do NOT have to list rhetorical devices in your thesis (in fact, I advise against it as well), but you should say something about what Sasse does to “inform the public that they have a right to feel angry about the government” and to “convince them that they shouldn’t feel this way.”
If you look at the rubrics with scoring notes, you ARE directed to include the rhetorical choices in the thesis. Notice on the left side, it states, “Responses that do not earn this point… fail to address the rhetorical choices the writer of the passage makes.”
But, Mrs. Kirk, I do think there is a difference between listing rhetorical devices and including rhetorical choices. Choices are typically more complicated ideas/strategies than simple rhetorical devices (per the original question).