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Topic Sentence and Thesis Statements Examples: Learning from Someone Else’s Experience

As you begin to write papers in high school, you will likely begin to see how using topic sentences and a thesis statement makes it easier for your teachers, and any other readers, to follow your argument. They provide structure and guidance and keep your papers from falling apart.

Topic sentences are most often the first sentence of each paragraph and summarize the paragraph’s central idea. The thesis statement sums up your essay’s argument and is usually put in the introductory paragraph. Understanding the basic principles between the two will help you write better essays and improve your grade drastically.

Here are some samples of each to help you master both on your own:

Topic Sentence

Topic sentences are simply declarative sentences that summarize the central idea you are making in the paragraph. For instance, if your paragraph is discussing how school lunches heavy on unhealthy fats make students tired in the hours after lunch, your topic sentence should make this clear by looking something like this:

Heavy fats in school lunches diminish students’ concentration and learning effectiveness for several hours after the meal.

What a reader expects after this is that you talk about why this is true. You provide guidance and hint at what it is you are trying to do within the context of the entire paper. After each topic sentence it’s important you provide evidence to support the argument but be sure that you don’t stray from the statement. This can cause your reader some confusion and will make for a poorly executed paper.

Thesis Statement

A well-written thesis statement will narrow the subject to a specific topic and state the argument you are making. For instance, a subject might be school sports and the topic might be whether participation can improve grades. Your thesis statement will want to take a clear side on this issue.

For example:

Participating in school sports improve grades by teaching students about discipline and hard-work.

The subject is clear, as is the topic, but most importantly there is a clear side this thesis statement takes on an issue. The rest of your paper will focus on proving why this statement is true. You will use your topic sentences to provide individual ideas that support the claim. The more precise your thesis is the more focused your paper will be.

With enough practice you will be able to construct both of these components with little problem. You’ll find that your papers will improve tremendously and you will reap the rewards of good grades and a learned skilled that applies to a number of subjects.

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