Compare the Difference Between Similar Terms
What is the Difference Between Thesis and Topic Sentence
October 12, 2021 Posted by Sethmini
The key difference between thesis and topic sentence is that a thesis sentence contains the main idea of the paper or essay , whereas a topic sentence contains the main idea of a paragraph .
Both thesis and topic sentences should be specific, focused and clear. In addition, they are not questions or predictions. They are declarative statements and are necessary for the organization of an essay.
1. Overview and Key Difference 2. What is a Thesis Sentence 3. What is a Topic Sentence 4. Thesis vs Topic Sentence in Tabular Form 5. Summary – Thesis vs Topic Sentence
What is a Thesis Sentence?
A thesis sentence is the summary of the main points in a research paper or a thesis . It is a single sentence that is usually in the conclusion of the introductory paragraph. It helps to develop and organize the body of the thesis. It also contains the controlling idea of an essay and maintains its unity. Through this sentence, the opinions and the judgements of the writer too can be identified.
There are two types of thesis sentences: explanatory and argumentative . An explanatory sentence mentions the subject, whereas an argumentative sentence is a claim that the readers may agree or disagree with.
Features of a Good Thesis Sentence
- Provide the direction of the paper
- Have evidence
How to Write a Thesis Sentence
- Understands the topic
- Limit the scope
What is a Topic Sentence?
A topic sentence is a sentence that summarizes the main idea of a paragraph. It is also known as the focus sentence . This is the most important sentence in a paragraph. It can be anywhere in a paragraph, but usually, in academic essays, it is the first sentence.
The topic sentence is the main element in organizing a paragraph because the rest of the paragraph supports this sentence. This develops one main point in an essay. This not only summarizes the content of a paragraph but contains the main idea as well. A topic sentence maintains the coherence of paragraphs and the essay. There are two parts to a topic sentence. They are,
- The topic – subject of a paragraph
- Controlling idea – point of the paragraph. Guides and supports the paragraph. This may reveal the writer’s opinions as well.
Examples of Topic Sentences
- The world is very different now (John F. Kennedy’s inaugural speech, 1961)
- Grandma’s room I regarded as a dark den of primitive rites and practices. (E.L. Doctorow, World’s Fair. Random House, 1985)
- You discover what it is like to be hungry. (George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London . Victor Gollancz, 1933)
Features of a Topic Sentence
- The first sentence or near the first sentence of a paragraph
- Introduces the paragraph
- Contains new information
- General enough to explore
- Strong (usually without starting from ‘there is’ or ‘there are’)
What is the Difference Between Thesis and Topic Sentence?
The key difference between thesis and topic sentence is that a thesis sentence contains the main idea of the paper or essay, while a topic sentence is a sentence that contains the main idea of a paragraph. Moreover, while a thesis sentence is broad, a topic sentence is narrow.
The following table summarizes the difference between thesis and topic sentence.
Summary – Thesis vs Topic Sentence
A thesis sentence is the summary of the main points in a research paper or a thesis. It occurs at the end of the introductory paragraph as the conclusion. It gives an insight into the essay or thesis. This statement should be based on evidence. A topic sentence, on the other hand, is a sentence that summarizes the main idea of a paragraph. Generally, it is the first sentence in a paragraph and contains the main idea. It maintains the coherence of paragraphs and the essay. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between thesis and topic sentence.
1. “ Thesis Statement .” Wikipedia , Wikimedia Foundation. >2. “ Topic Statement .” Wikipedia , Wikimedia Foundation.
1. “ 4576720 ” (CC0) via Pixabay 2. “ Writing essay ” By Azikahkhan – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
About the Author: Sethmini
Sethmini is a graduate in English with B.A.(Honours) in English and English Language Teaching. She is interested in languages and is an experienced teacher of English. She enjoys writing on topics like art, music, dancing, travel, nature, and food.
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
- Request Article
What's the difference between a thesis statement and a topic sentence?
4 answers by expert tutors.
Brooke J. answered 01/05/21
Helping Students Shine for Over 17 Years!
Both thesis statements and topic sentences help your audience understand the structure and main ideas of your essay. They differ in a few ways.
1) The thesis statement belongs in the introductory paragraph , while topic sentences belong at the beginning of body paragraphs . An essay will have just one thesis statement, but the number of topic sentences depends on the number of body paragraphs.
2) A thesis statement provides an overview of your entire essay. It contains your claim and your reasons .
Thesis statement = claim + "because" + reasons
Example: Capital punishment should be outlawed because it is immoral and does not deter crime.
claim : Capital punishment should be outlawed
reason #1 : it is immoral
reason #2 : it does not deter crime
3) A topic sentence tells your reader what the paragraph is about. Each reason in your thesis should correspond to a body paragraph.
Example: Capital punishment is immoral.
I know from reading this topic sentence that the paragraph will discuss how capital punishment is immoral.
Bonus Tip: Always revisit your thesis statement before submitting your essay. Make sure the reasons in your thesis match the reasons in your body paragraphs! Often writers will include reasons in their thesis statement only to find that their reasons evolve as they research and write their body paragraphs. If the reasons in your thesis statement don't match the reasons in your essay, your audience will become puzzled and frustrated.
Reza A. answered 01/08/21
A good way to start a paragraph is with a short, simple sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph. Teachers often call this a ‘ topic sentence".
A thesis statement, on the other hand, carries the main idea of your whole essay & therefore your stance for/ against the topic along with only mentioning your reasons.
Rachel P. answered 01/05/21
Legal Professional Tutoring Law, Writing, etc.
Topic Sentence - usually at the beginning of every paragraph
Thesis Statement - usually at the end of the first/intro paragraph only
Topic Sentence - gives a glimpse as to what the paragraph will discuss
Thesis Statement - gives a glimpse as to what the entire paper will discuss
Karen B. answered 01/05/21
ESL/ESOL, English Literature, TOEFL, Reading, Writing, and more
In my opinion, a topic sentence just states what the topic of your essay is. For example " The subject of my essay is on how the fashion and beauty industry influences women's body image." With a thesis statement, you need to present a stance on the topic and theory that you are trying to prove or options on how to change the situation. An example of this would be " The subject of my essay is on how the beauty industry negatively impacts women's body image and possible ways that the industry can adopt a more positive image."
Still looking for help? Get the right answer, fast.
Get a free answer to a quick problem. Most questions answered within 4 hours.
Choose an expert and meet online. No packages or subscriptions, pay only for the time you need.
Related questions, what specific resources willyou use to make sure this area is well presented and covered.
Answers · 11
How do you write a newspaper Article?
Answers · 12
I need a scary sentence story starter! I'm stuck on this for hours! Fast, I need Help!
Answers · 18
How do write an epilogue for an autobiography?
Answers · 6
how can i write a letter
Answers · 8
find an online tutor
- Writing tutors
- College Essay tutors
- Dissertation Writing tutors
- Creative Writing tutors
- Research Paper Writing tutors
- Speech tutors
- SAT Writing tutors
- Grammar tutors
- SAT Writing Test Format and Strategies
- How to Write an Essay
- Need help with something else? Try one of our lessons.
Something went wrong. Wait a moment and try again.
In order to continue enjoying our site, we ask that you confirm your identity as a human. Thank you very much for your cooperation.
Difference Between Topic Sentence Vs. Thesis Statement
After being introduced during the K-12 years of a student's education, academic writing is a mainstay in college and higher education. With proper format and technique being a major aspect of academic writing, it is essential for students to understand the differences between a topic sentence and a thesis statement.
Explore this article
- Essay Format
- Topic Sentences
- Thesis Statement
1 Essay Format
Before delving into the differences between topic sentences and thesis statements, it is important to first establish the general format for a written essay. For K-12 students, written essays can commonly require the five-paragraph format, which consist of an introduction, three paragraphs that make up the body of the paper and the final paragraph as the conclusion. By understanding this general format of academic writing, it is easier to understand where topic sentences and thesis statements fit into place.
2 Topic Sentences
Topic sentences are used in each major paragraph of an essay paper. The purposes of these sentences are to develop and state the key idea of each paragraph in an effort to define the point of the paragraph. For example, when writing an essay paper on the effects of the Gettysburg Address, one of the paragraphs in the body of the paper could discuss how the audience received President Lincoln's famous speech. The topic sentence for this paragraph could be, "With the brief yet poignant nature of the Gettysburg Address, President Lincoln reminded his audience why the country was fighting so desperately to conserve the Union."
3 Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is a single sentence that is used to define the purpose of your paper. Thesis statements inform readers as to the purpose of your paper. After reading your thesis statement, anyone reviewing your paper should be able to determine what your paper is going to prove or argue. For example, a thesis statement for a paper about William Shakespeare's famous play "Romeo and Juliet" could be as follows: "The play 'Romeo and Juliet' demonstrates the incredible power and impatient nature of young love, as the star-crossed lovers' inability to exercise patience or control their passion for one another results in their deaths."
With the purposes of both topic sentences and thesis statements established, the differences between the two are clear. Thesis statements need to be more broad and leave room to expand on further points to support the paper's argument. With the thesis statement in the previous section, a writer could continue explaining his argument about Romeo and Juliet by providing sub-points, demonstrating instances where the pair made hasty choices that had fatal consequences. Topic sentences are more specific in their purpose. For example, with the topic sentence in section two, it is clear that the next paragraph will discuss how President Lincoln used the Gettysburg Address to remind his countrymen about the purpose of the Civil War.
- 1 Indiana University: Paragraphs and Topic Sentences
The Similarities and Differences Between a Paragraph...
Paragraph Writing Skills for Beginners
How to Write a Hook for an Essay
How to Write an Introductory Paragraph in Elementary...
5 Ways to Develop a Paragraph
How to Write a Persuasive Essay
What Is a Narrative Response?
What Is a Lead-in Statement?
How to Build a Thesis for a College Essay
Important Elements in Writing Argument Essays
Abolitionists & the Moral Argument Regarding Slavery
What is a Clincher Statement?
Three Types of History Sources
How to Write an Introduction to a History Essay
How to Write an Introduction Paragraph With Thesis...
How Did Hearst & Pulitzer Use Newspapers to Provoke...
How Did John Jay Interpret the Constitution?
Major Parts of a Term Paper
How to Write a Composition on the Figurative Language...
Regardless of how old we are, we never stop learning. Classroom is the educational resource for people of all ages. Whether you’re studying times tables or applying to college, Classroom has the answers.
- Copyright Policy
- Manage Preferences
© 2020 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Based on the Word Net lexical database for the English Language. See disclaimer .
- Food & Dining
- Real Estate
- Seattle History
- PNW Politics
How to Write Topic Sentences and Thesis Statements
Related articles, how to write a personal opinion argument essay, tips to passing the 8th grade writing test in oklahoma, what is the point of view in "the fox & the grapes".
- Fifth Grade Writing Ideas: Creative Ways to Begin Sentences
- How to Write a Thesis Statement for an Autobiographical Essay
Well-constructed topic sentences and thesis statements are essential in writing because they are the foundation upon which you build your essay. By spending some preparation time constructing these basic sentences, you can outline a solid and well-organized paper. In a five-paragraph essay, you should have one thesis statement and three topic sentences.
Before you start to write, plan what you will say. Begin by asking yourself, "What do I want the reader to know or to believe after reading this essay?" The answer is the beginning of a thesis statement. Remember that an essay is simply your opinion put on paper. Even in a research paper, you are voicing the opinion that your topic and the facts you include are valuable and worth mentioning.
In a five-paragraph persuasive or expository essay, your thesis statement should include your opinion and at least three reasons that help support it. For example, a thesis statement might read: "Everyone should practice yoga because it increases flexibility and stamina, reduces stress and can heal common aches and pains." This thesis statement is strong because it clearly states an opinion and gives the reader a glimpse at the reasons he should believe it.
Each piece of evidence in your thesis statement can now become a topic sentence and the basis of each supporting paragraph in your essay. For example, if you wrote the aforementioned thesis statement about yoga, then your topic sentences would be: 1) Yoga increases flexibility and stamina. 2) Yoga reduces stress. 3) Yoga can heal common aches and pains. Once you have your topic sentences set, you can play with style and language to avoid sounding repetitive.
Target Your Audience
When you write anything, it is important to remember your audience. Generally, when you write essays, you are writing to an audience of teachers and professors. So you should be careful when selecting a topic or voicing an opinion. Only write a thesis statement that you can support with evidence that comes from reliable sources or directly from the literature. Unless the instructions explicitly allow it, try to avoid voicing conspiracy theories or unsubstantiated beliefs. You can save those for your blog.
- The Writer's Way; Jack Rawlins, Ph.D.
- Curriculum Guides: The Jane Schaffer Writing Method
Based in Sacramento, Calif., Beth Wenbourne Katz has been writing about education topics since 2006. Katz has taught in the California public schools, working primarily with students with learning, behavioral and emotional challenges. She holds a Master of Arts in special education from San Diego State University.
Teacher Tips: How to Write Thesis Statements for High School Papers
Good attention-grabbers for autobiographical narrative, how to write a good college level essay, how to write a persuasive essay, what is the theme of 'cloony the clown', how to write a college expository essay, how to write an essay for the ged test, importance of doing an outline prior to writing, how to demonstrate listening skills, most popular.
- 1 Teacher Tips: How to Write Thesis Statements for High School Papers
- 2 Good Attention-Grabbers for Autobiographical Narrative
- 3 How to Write a Good College Level Essay
- 4 How to Write a Persuasive Essay
The difference between a thesis and a topic is that a thesis, also known as a thesis statement, is an assertion or conclusion regarding the interpretation of data, and a topic is the subject a research paper is based on. The thesis provides...
Examples of a good thesis sentence includes a summary of the writer’s arguments about the subject of the written piece. A good thesis sentence answers a question that the body of the paper answers and explains in greater detail.
A good thesis statement is a single sentence contained in the introduction of a paper that provides the reader with some idea of what the writer is trying to convey in the body of the paper. The thesis statement is a condensed summary of th...
The key difference between thesis and topic sentence is that a thesis sentence contains the main idea of the paper or essay, whereas a topic
That means that your thesis statement will be supported through all of the body paragraphs that make up your essay. A topic sentence is the first sentence of a
Thesis Statements and Topic Sentences. A thesis driven essay is comprised of an initial thesis statement that establishes a claim or argument, and.
4 Answers By Expert Tutors · 1) The thesis statement belongs in the introductory paragraph, while topic sentences belong at the beginning of body
A path statement is like a sneak peak at your main supporting ideas. Paragraphs supporting these points in your essay will appear in the same order as they are
Thesis statements and topic sentences serve the same purpose in an essay. The difference is that thesis statements gives us insight about the whole essay
The difference is that a thesis statement describes the gist of the entire paper, while a topic sentence only describes the gist of a specific paragraph.
One night only! Exclusive cage match between Thesis Sentence and Topic Sentence! Pick up your tickets at Will
With the purposes of both topic sentences and thesis statements established, the differences between the two are clear. Thesis statements need to be more broad
Strong topic sentences support your thesis statement. Each piece of evidence in your thesis statement can now become a topic sentence and the basis of each
In many cases, a thesis sentence will not only outline the essay's main point, but also predict and control the direction that the paper is going to take. The