Topic Sentences Compare Contrast Essays

A topic sentence is the most important sentence in a paragraph. Sometimes referred to as a focus sentence, the topic sentence helps organize the paragraph by summarizing the information in the paragraph. In formal writing, the topic sentence is usually the first sentence in a paragraph (although it doesn't have to be). 

Purpose of the Topic Sentence

A topic sentence essentially tells readers what the rest of the paragraph is about. All sentences after it have to give more information about that sentence, prove it by offering facts about it, or describe it in more detail. For example, if the topic sentence concerns the types of endangered species that live in the ocean, then every sentence after that needs to expound on that subject. 

Topic sentences also need to relate back to the thesis of the essay. The thesis statement is like a road map that will tell the reader or listener where you are going with this information or how you are treating it. 

Topic Sentences and Controlling Ideas

Every topic sentence will have a topic and a controlling idea. The controlling idea shows the direction the paragraph will take.

Here are some examples:

  • Topic Sentence: There are many reasons why pollution in ABC Town is the worst in the world.  
  • The topic is “pollution in ABC Town is the worst in the world” and the controlling idea is “many reasons.”

 

  • Topic Sentence: To be an effective CEO requires certain characteristics. 
  • The topic is “To be an effective CEO” and the controlling idea is "certain characteristics." 

 

  • Topic Sentence: There are many possible contributing factors to global warming.
  • The topic is "global warming" and the controlling idea is "contributing factors." 

 

  • Topic Sentence: Fortune hunters encounter many difficulties when exploring a shipwreck.  
  • The topic is “exploring a shipwreck” and the controlling idea is “many difficulties.”

 

  • Topic Sentence: Dogs make wonderful pets because they help you to live longer. 
  • The topic is "dogs make wonderful pets" and the controlling idea is "because they help you to live longer."

 

  • Topic Sentence: Crime in poverty-stricken areas occurs as a result of a systemic discrimination. 
  • The topic is "crime in poverty stricken areas" and the controlling idea is "systemic discrimination." 

 

  • Topic Sentence: Teen pregnancy may be prevented by improved education.
  • The topic is "teen pregnancy may be prevented" and the controlling idea is "improved education."

 

  • Topic Sentence: Cooking requires a number of different skills.
  • The topic is "cooking" and the controlling idea is "many different skills."

 

  • Topic Sentence: It is important to be ready before buying a house.
  • The topic is "buying a house" and the controlling idea is it's "important to be ready." 

 

  • Topic Sentence: Graduating from high school is important for many different reasons.
  • The topic is "graduating from high school" and the controlling idea is "many different reasons."

 

  • Topic Sentence: Having a first child is difficult because of the significant adjustments in your life. 
  • The topic is "having a first child" and the controlling idea is "significant adjustments in your life."

 

  • Topic Sentence: Remodeling a kitchen successfully requires research and a good eye. 
  • The topic is "remodeling a kitchen" and the controlling idea is "requires research and a good eye." 

A carefully thought out topic sentence has two functions. First, it helps you, the author, to stay focused. Second, a clearly stated topic and controlling idea will give readers the tools they need to clearly understand what you have to say.

Remember that topic sentences set the tone for the paragraph and should relate back to the thesis or the main idea of the paper.

Do you have a good example to share? Add your example here.

comments powered by

Examples of Topic Sentences

By YourDictionary

A topic sentence is the most important sentence in a paragraph. Sometimes referred to as a focus sentence, the topic sentence helps organize the paragraph by summarizing the information in the paragraph. In formal writing, the topic sentence is usually the first sentence in a paragraph (although it doesn't have to be). 

A compare and contrast essay is used to examine similarities and differences between two places, people or ideas. Writing a compare and contrast essay helps us understand the two items in a new light.

Introduction

The first paragraph introduces the subject to be compared or contrasted and gives background information to help the reader understand the topic. Then the thesis statementcontain the two topics that are being compared, and the points of comparison.

Thesis Statements

In the first example below apples and oranges are the two topics being compared.  Where they are grown and how they are used are the two points of comparison.  In the following examples taste, smell, and texture are the points of comparison.

Note that a compare and contrast thesis statement can have two sentences.  The first one with the two topics and the second one with the points of comparison.

  • Apples and oranges are different (similar) in two fundamental ways; where they are grown and how they are used.
  • Apples and oranges differ in three ways.  They have unique tastes, smells, and textures.
  • Apples and oranges have both similarities and differences.  While they are grown and used in similar ways, they are distinct in taste, smell, and texture.
  • While apples and oranges are similar in where they are grown and how they are used, they differ in taste and texture.

Organization

A compare and contrast essay is generally organized in two ways.  We can use the point-by-point method, or we can use the block method.

Thesis Statement: Apples and oranges are different in two fundamental ways; where they are grown and how they are used.

Block Method

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraph 1:Apples
    1. Where they are grown
    2. How they are used
  3. Body Paragraph 2:Oranges
    1. Where they are grown
    2. How they are used
  4. Conclusion

Point-by-Point Method

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraph 1:Where they are grown
    1. Apples
    2. Oranges
  3. Body Paragraph 2:How they are used
    1. Apples
    2. Oranges
  4. Conclusion

Essay Outline using the point-by-point method

A. Introduction

1. Hook

2. Connection

3. Thesis Statement: Two topics / two or three points of comparison

B. Body Paragraphs

1. Topic sentence: First Point of Comparison

a. Contrast or compare the first point

b. Details, facts, definitions, explanations, examples

c. Concluding sentence that leads to next paragraph

2. Topic sentence: Second Point of Comparison

a. Contrast or compare the second point

b. Details, facts, definitions, explanations, examples

c. Concluding sentence that leads to next paragraph

3. Topic sentence: Third Point of Comparison

a. Contrast or compare the third point

b. Details, facts, definitions, explanations, examples

c. Concluding sentence that leads to next paragraph

C. Conclusion

  1. Restates the thesis statement
  2. Summarizes main points
  3. Leaves closing remarks

Download: Venn Diagram Template

Related Posts

Like this:

LikeLoading...

0 Thoughts to “Topic Sentences Compare Contrast Essays

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *