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While I agree that a topic sentence introduces what a paragraph will discuss, it is not a "thesis" in any sense. Your thesis is your main argument. Each body paragraph then presents evidence and argumentation that supports the thesis statement. In a five-paragraph essay, there is the...

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Very simply put, a thesis statement is an argument. It is what you are trying to make the reader believe--or at least give credence to--by the end of your paper. On a general topic, such as capital punishment or the best form of government, a strong thesis statement takes a very definite viewpoint...