Friday
August 1, 2014

Homework Help: Topic Sentences

Posted by Summer on Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 10:33am.

Aren't topic sentences supposed to be generalized?

Ex:
The definition of proto science fiction is still debatable.

Post-Modernism occurred following World War II.

If not, please help me!

I wouldn't read it if it were that general as you wrote above.

examples:
1) The literary genre of science fiction is diverse and since there is little consensus of definition among scholars or devotees, its origin is an open question.
2)he term Postmodernism (sometimes abbreviated Pomo[1]) was coined in 1949 to describe a dissatisfaction with modern architecture, founding the postmodern architecture[2], and later of, relating to, or being any of several movements (as in art, architecture, or literature) that are reactions against the philosophy and practices of modern movements and are typically marked by revival of traditional elements and techniques.

Both of those are from Wiki articles, well written, and with a well defined thesis.

A thesis should be specific enough to point out what the article is stating. Yes, generalized, but specific to the point of the article.

All this is my opinion. I like thesis sentences that tell me what the article is about, and the point. It should capture my attention, making my mind focus on the point. It should be a micro outline of what is to come.
"Consider the lilies, how they grow...
"How do I love thee, let me count the ways...
"These are the times that try men's souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it Now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. .."
"I also believe we cannot attribute all the violence in Iraq to al-Qaeda. "

These are example of theme topic sentences that are general, but specific enough to tell what is coming, and serve to capture interest.

Good luck.


Summer, here are three really great sites for explaining and giving examples of topic sentences.
Generally, the topic sentence will (1)limit the general topic to a specific area that you are going to explore and (2) make you want to read more.

http://www.arts.uottawa.ca/writcent/hypergrammar/partopic.html
http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/sensen/part3/sixteen/techniques_topic.html
http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/paragraphs.shtml

Hope this helps

GuruBlue gave you some excellent sites to study and use.

In addition, here's another concept to keep in mind when writing essays:

The thesis statement is the main idea of the entire paper.
Each topic sentence is the main idea of its own paragraph and is clearly related to and supports the thesis statement.

=)

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