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The Topic Sentence Outline

 

A topic sentence outline for the 500 word paper usually includes

  • the thesis sentence or conclusion of the theme
  • the topic sentences or conclusions of each paragraph of development

 

Here is an acceptable example:  

Thesis: Our vacation to the Keys was disappointing.

TS#1: Prices were much higher than we expected.

TS#2: Binge drinking led to serious trouble.

TS#3: Luck was against us.

Obey these requirements of suitable topic sentences: no fragments, no facts, no vague opinions, not too narrow, not too broad. Here are some unacceptable examples:

  • Thesis: Problems during our vacation to the Keys

       TS#1: high prices

       TS#2: binge drinking

       TS#3: bad luck

                        (This represents logical arrangement but all are fragments)

  • Thesis: Our vacation to the Keys was disappointing.

       TS#1: The price of our motel room was outrageous.

                        (Too narrow: can discuss only the room and no other prices)

       TS#2: Then we went out to party.

                        (A fact offering no conclusion)

       TS#3: Frustration seemed to follow us everywhere.

(Overlaps TS#1 and TS#2: A topic sentence cannot repeat the thesis; it must set up a sub-division.)

  • Thesis: Our trip to the Keys was the world's worst vacation.

                        (Unnecessary exaggeration)

       TS#1: It all started as soon as we arrived on Friday.

                        ("It all started" is too vague for emphasis)

       TS#2: When we got up Saturday morning we thought our troubles were behind us.

                        (Conclusion is only implied)

       TS#3: We encountered more problems before we left on Sunday.

(Time arrangement of one paragraph each for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday imposes no organization at all on the information)

  • Thesis: Our vacation in the Keys was indescribable.

                        (Conclusion is vague: The trip could have been wonderful or awful)

       TS#1: Packing the right stuff and loading the car was a hassle.

                        (This could be part of the opening, but it is irrelevant to the Keys experience.)

       TS#2: You wouldn't believe the prices.

                        (No conclusion and the fact is exaggerated)

       TS#3: You wouldn't believe the kind of luck we had.

                        (Conclusion is vague: luck could be good or bad)

  • Thesis: Our vacation to the Keys was disappointing.

       TS#1: We spent much more than we expected.

(So far it’s OK.)

       TS#2: Binge drinking was expensive and led to trouble.

                        (Overlaps TS#1 and offers two conclusions)

       TS#3: Nothing turned out the way we wanted it to.

                        (A topic sentence cannot repeat the thesis)

 Last updated 9/18/06

This document is protected by copyright. It may be used and reproduced only for non-profit educational use.

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