Topic Sentences and Thesis Statements





Purpose for Writing
  • To express yourself

You record your personal feelings and experiences in a diary, journal, poem, or song lyrics. This writing is primarily for your own enjoyment. 

  • To inform

You provide specific information to help educate your readers about a particular topic. You might explain how something happen, how something works, or why  problem exist

  • To persuade

You use sound reasoning and solid evidence to convince your readers to agree with your point of view on an issue that has more than one side to it. Your purpose is to influence and to to persuade your readers to change their minds or to take a particular action.

  • To entertain

Your main goal is to create enjoyment for the reader. This may include the use of humor, romance, or suspense.

The Topic Sentence

When you write paragraphs and essays, your writing will be clearer and well deliver its message more effectively if you use a topic sentence in each of your paragraphs.

  • Guides for writing a Topic Sentence

1.    Start each paragraph with a topic sentence which reveals the
         topic of the paragraph.
2.    The function of this topic sentence is to tell what the paragraph
        will be about. It serves as an introduction to the paragraph; it
        tells the reader what to expect.
3.    An effective topic sentence has the following characteristics   
  • Your Topic Sentence must be a complete sentence:

    The dangers of hitch hiking.
  • Your Topic Sentence must not be vague; this means that it must  not have more than one controlling idea:                         

  • Smoking cigarettes can be hazardous to your health  and it is an expensive habit.

  • Your Topic Sentence must not be too broad or general:

    Managing a large city is a big job.
  • Your Topic Sentence must not be too narrow:

    Garbage is collected in the city on Monday.
  • Your Topic Sentence must not be an announcement:

     My paper is going to be about smoking.   
Please, read the following sentences carefully, decide whether the sentence is not effective and why. Try to revise the ineffective sentences to make them acceptable.
1.    Fear affects our lives in many ways.
2.    Mohamed is the most common name in the world.
3.    I will write about college experience.
4.    Discrimination is a big problem in our society.
5.    My little dog named Suky.
6.    Egypt is a poor country but exotic.
Compare your attempt to the following.
1.    Too general: One paragraph cannot discuss all the ways in
         which fear affects our lives.
2.    Too narrow: What is significant about the fact that Mohammed
         is the most common name in the world?
3.    Announcement: You must not tell your readers what you will
         write about; just write.
4.    Too general: One paragraph cannot discuss all of the problems
         that are created by all the forms of discrimination.
5.    It is not a complete sentence.
6.   Vague: The reader will be confused as to whether your paragraph
     will be about Egypt being poor or being exotic.