A subject sentence in a body paragraph of an essay serves only to support the thesis statement. It explains why the author takes the stance stated in the thesis statement. A subject sentence also confines all of the ideas in a paragraph to the topic phrase's theme. The topic sentence ties everything together by explicitly stating which idea is being developed throughout the essay.
Other ways to support your thesis statement and topic sentence are to use examples and statistics to make your point, and use strong language that will attract readers' attention.
Examples can be used at any time during your essay to explain or support your argument. In this case, the example acts as evidence that similar circumstances have produced similar results in past cases. This means that what is true for one person or event may be true for others. Using examples can make your essay more persuasive because the reader knows something about the situation that you don't. For example, if you were to write about a new law that was passed protecting animals from cruelty, you could include some news reports about people who had violated the law in the past to show that it isn't just a few bad apples that cause problems for the humane treatment of animals.
Statistical data can also be used to prove or support your argument. In this case, the data act as evidence that similar conditions produce similar results in most cases. Statistics are useful because they provide concrete information that cannot be expressed verbally alone.
Topic sentences and thesis statements are sentences used by authors to focus their ideas and emphasize their primary point. A good collection of subject sentences will help to establish a thesis. A thesis statement (the primary topic of an essay) is often located towards the conclusion of the introduction. It may summarize or restate what has gone before in the essay or it may introduce a new idea. The thesis statement usually includes both a topic sentence and a supporting argument.
A topic sentence does not necessarily include a direct quotation. It is normally one sentence that states the main idea of the paragraph or section. For example, the main idea of a paragraph on the effects of television on children might be stated by using a topic sentence such as "Television can have positive effects as well as negative effects on children."
A full-length essay will usually have several topic sentences. Each subsequent sentence builds upon the last one, so earlier topics tend to be more general while later topics become more specific. For example, when discussing the effects of television on children, a writer might begin with a general topic sentence like "Television can have positive effects as well as negative effects on children" and then go on to discuss the benefits of learning from television programs vs the dangers of violence, etc.
Choose Topic Sentences to Back Up Each body paragraph begins with a subject phrase that establishes and then builds on one facet of your thesis. Each subject phrase, like the thesis statement, should be detailed and backed by concrete data, facts, or explanations. These topic sentences serve as scaffolding for your essay; without them, there would be no way to build support for each aspect of your argument.
In addition to topic sentences, every body paragraph should include at least two clear examples that support each facet of your argument. These examples can be from books you have read, news articles, or anything else that can help make your point.
For example, let's say that your argument is that all college students should be allowed to vote in school elections. Your first body paragraph could begin with this topic sentence: "Students at Harvard University have always been allowed to vote in school elections, so it makes sense for students at other schools to be able to do the same." This topic sentence tells which institution is allowing students to vote, gives a reason why other institutions should follow suit (i.e., it's the right thing to do), and mentions specific details about how students at other schools can do the same (i.e., write their names on a piece of paper).
While the thesis provides unity to the essay, the topic sentence provides unity to the paragraph by elaborating one key point provided by the thesis's governing notion. The topic phrase, like the thesis, is essential to the structuring of the essay. It gives meaning to the paragraph as a whole and allows the writer to explore one main idea through several passages of fine analysis.
There are many similarities between a good thesis statement and a good topic sentence. Both are important elements in any essay that help it to flow smoothly and give the reader context. They both start discussions and continue them within the body of the essay. However, while the thesis statement does this by making a single claim about which the essay can be structured, the topic sentence divides its attention across several concepts which it then develops into an argument.
Furthermore, like the thesis statement, the topic sentence should not be misunderstood as an introduction or summary section. These two elements are better described as ending statements because they bring previous information directly to bear on what is being said in the current sentence or paragraph. An effective topic sentence, however, can be used as an introduction to an essay by stating a general concept or idea that ties everything together previously mentioned or by setting the stage for what is to come.
Finally, like the thesis statement, the topic sentence should be relevant to the subject matter at hand.