If you think of an argumentative essay as of a newspaper article, you will notice that your thesis statement is going to turn into an article headline, while your topic sentences will become the paragraph headlines. The main purpose of topic sentences is to tell the reader what they are going to learn about in the paper they are going to read.
Why Topic Sentences Matter
All and Only
The words “all” and “only” are significant for your topic sentences. The former allows you to cover much information, while the latter lets you limit it to the required amount.
Thus, all the facts you provide in your topic sentence should be about your paragraph. It should be broad, but at the same time, it needs to contain the important details. To succeed with that and illustrate the main points, use the keywords from your paragraph.
In the meantime, your topic needs to have only the information covered in the paragraph. Putting it simpler, the topic sentence should never cover more information than the paragraph itself. A compound topic sentence is the only exception to this rule.
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To put it simply, your topic sentence needs to mirror your paragraph in miniature. If you see any dissimilarity between your topic sentence and your paragraph, it is necessary to change either the topic sentence or the paragraph.
Compound Topic Sentences
Once in a while, you might have to write two topic sentences at once. For instance, you can do it when your topic sentence is required to cover the entire section of introduction or delineate the information from more than one paragraph. If this is the case, you need to write a compound topic sentence. The same rules apply to this kind of topic sentences, even though you should keep in mind that it should cover the information not from a paragraph, but from a section.
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Connection to the Thesis
A topic sentence does not only need to tell what the paragraph is about. It should also connect it to the thesis statement. To make sure that it connects to it, you need to see if your paragraph helps the reader to better understand the thesis statement. It is also a good idea to utilize the keywords you have used in your thesis. You may mention the specific parts of your thesis statement so that your reader sees how your paragraphs explore the main idea of your work and give additional details to it. This connection does not always have to be direct. Your topic sentence can simply refer to your thesis statement.
When you create topic sentences, make sure that they show the clear transition from one paragraph to another. Transitioning is not the most important function of topic sentences, but is also an important one. When you have good transitioning, you help your reader understand your point better.
Now when you know everything about topic sentences, go ahead and use them in your writing!