Distinguishing Topic Sentence from Thesis Statement


A vital aspect of academic writing is that it should have proper format and technique. All colleges, Universities and higher education programs require the students to submit writing projects. Thus, understanding the differences between a topic sentence and a thesis statement in inevitable.

  1. Difference in Purposes
  2. In order to have a clear conception of the difference between the topic sentences and thesis statements, their purposes needs to be established.

    The purposes of the topic sentences are more specific. For instance, with the topic sentence in second section, it is clear what the next paragraph will discuss.

    Thesis statements are broad as they leave space for more points to give support to the paper’s argument. If a thesis statement is mentioned in the previous section, a writer can explain his argument further by adding sub-points and demonstrations.

  3. Difference in Development
  4. The topic sentence contains the dominating idea on which the paragraph will develop. Usually, the first sentence of each paragraph is the topic sentence. The thesis statement, clearly states the subject to allow it to be broken down into parts. It takes a stand about the subject and it provides the direction by implicitly showing the order in which the essay will develop the points.

  5. Difference in Idea
  6. The topic sentence’s controlling idea falls in the predicate of the sentence and is the essentially argumentative or descriptive or judgmental part of the sentence.

    The thesis statement’s controlling idea is a phrase, word or clause that states the attitude, opinion or stand taken by the writer for the subject. The thesis statement provides the writer the accurate angle to approach his subject.

  7. Analogous

  8. The topic sentence and the thesis statements are analogous.

    • The role that the topic sentence serves to the paragraph, the same role is served by the thesis statement to the entire essay, chapter or book.
    • The topic sentence acts to give unity to the paragraph by elaborating a vital point mentioned in the controlling idea of the thesis. The thesis statement on the other hand, acts to give unity to the essay.

  9. Similarities
  10. The topic sentences and the thesis statements both are focused. Both are neither a question nor a prediction but they are always a single declarative statement. The thesis statements and the topic sentence are integral to the organization of the essay. Each paragraph should have a topic sentence.

    With the differences between the topic sentence and thesis statements cleared out, you will be able to craft an excellent piece of write-up.