The argumentative essay is a genre of writing that
requires the student to investigate a topic; collect,
generate, and evaluate evidence; and establish a
position on the topic in a concise manner.
What is a Thesis Statement?
A thesis statement is a one-or two-sentence
condensation of the argument or analysis that is to
It is needed:
to test your ideas by distilling them into a sentence or
to better organize and develop your argument
to provide your reader with a “guide” to your
It usually appears at the end of the introduction.
How to write a thesis
Let us look at an example of a weak thesis statement:
Young people nowadays are facing a lot more problems
than their parents ever did.
The statement is too broad. Even though it does state
the writer's opinion, the statement is not clear. It
doesn't explain the kind of problems they face.
Strong Thesis Statement
Among the problems or pressures young people face
nowadays as compared to their parents are pressure to
score better grades, pressure to high achievers
professionally as well as pressure to measure up to what
they see in the media.
"An effective thesis statement suggests your essay's
direction, emphasis, and scope. Your thesis should not
make promises that your essay will not fulfill. It should
suggest where you will place your emphasis and indicate
in what order your major points will be discussed, as the
following statement does.
A paragraph usually consists of a number of
sentences to develop one topic, one idea, one aspect,
one stage of a discussion, or one stage of a story.
A paragraph consists of five to twelve sentences. The
number of sentences is unimportant; however, the
paragraph should be long enough to develop a single
topic, aspect, stage of a discussion, or story.
The three Parts of a paragraph
A topic sentence which states the main point.
The body of the paragraph which develops the main
idea with supporting details.
A concluding sentence which restates the main idea
using different words.
Watch this video for a detailed explanation on how to
write a paragraph: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-
Structure of a Paragraph : The Hamburger Way
1. The Bottom Bun – Topic Sentence
This is the foundation of your paragraph. In one sentence, it introduces what the
paragraph is about and offers direction for the rest of the paragraph.
2. The Burger – Details
This portion expands and develops what you stated in your topic sentence. This is the part
of the paragraph where you get to explain your topic sentence and develop your thesis. It is
the bulk of your paragraph.
3. The Toppings – Examples and Support
You need to have examples to support the details you have provided. Often you will use
quotes or pieces from the text to help support your paragraph. These are not necessary,
but will make your paragraph more convincing.
4. The Top Bun – Concluding Sentence
This is the end of your paragraph. In one sentence, you need to wrap up your paragraph
and subtly lead into the next paragraph.
REMEMBER EVERY POINT YOU MAKE AND SUPPORT SHOULD RELATE BACK TO
Why Malaysia is one the best countries in Asia
Topic sentence There are many reasons why Malaysia is
one of the best countries in Asia.
First, Malaysia has excellent weather. All
year round, the temperature hovers
around 30 C – 33 C. Second, Malaysia
has a wide range of cuisine. Visitors
simply enjoy the Chinese, Malay and
Indian food. Finally, the people of
Malaysia are friendly, gentle, helpful and
hospitable. They frequently open their
homes to friends and relatives.
In conclusion, Malaysia is not only a
desirable place to visit but also a good
place to live in.
The Topic Sentence
The topic sentence is usually the sentence
in a paragraph that states the main point
or the most important aspect of the topic.
The topic sentence must be a complete
sentence. It must contain a subject and
a verb and express a complete thought.
A topic sentence must be a
The social life of a teenager is both exciting and stressful.
Why I volunteered to serve in the Red Crescent Society.
My favourite fruit – the durian.
My grandmother who is eighty-two.
Writing good academic essays is an important skill.
Inflation affects everybody.
All government offices should adopt a five-day work week.
Riding a bicycle.
What does the topic sentence do?
It introduces the main idea of the paragraph.
It names the topic of the paragraph.
It limits the topic to one or two specific aspects of points
that can be discussed completely within a paragraph.
These points form the controlling idea of the paragraph.
It indicates to the reader what the paragraph will be
(Topic) (Controlling idea)
Women workers in factories are more efficient than men
Good topic sentences
Driving on highways require skill and alertness.
Deciding on a good course to study can be a
frustrating experience for many students.
Malaysia has many problems.
Muslims celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri after a month
Function of a topic sentence
A topic sentence is the most important sentence
in a paragraph.
It is a helpful guide to both the writer and the
The writer knows what information to include
and what to exclude.
The reader can see what the paragraph is going to
be about and is therefore better prepared to
Evaluating topic sentences
Does the topic sentence present one-and only one-
Is the topic sentence too broad, too general, or too
Does the sentence give clear direction to the whole
Placement of the topic sentence
The topic sentence serves the special purpose of
announcing the topic of the paragraph.
The topic sentence is usually the first sentence (but
not always) in a paragraph.
However, it can also be at the end of the paragraph.
Placement of the topic sentence
Cars should be prohibited in the cities. As more and
more cars fill the cities, valuable space is being used as car
parks. The large number of cars causes traffic jams.
Besides, cars fill the air with poisonous gases, which can
damage our health.
As more and more cars fill the cities, valuable space is
being used as car parks. The large number of cars causes
traffic jams. Besides, cars fill the air with poisonous gases,
which can damage our health. For these reasons, cars
should be prohibited in the cities.
The last but most important
Easiest way to divide your points is
1. short term
2. mid term
3. long term
and for the conclusion you should include the recommendation... what the
country/government/society can do... for the betterment of the nation.
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