Top Bun or Topic Sentence or Introduction This page explains how the top bun of a hamburger is like the topic sentence of a paragraph or the introduction to an essay or thesis. The top bun is connected to the bottom bun, or the conclusion, which reflects its content 

The Top Bun

One of the hardest elements for many students is the concept of a topic sentence.

But in many ways, they are pretty easy if you think of the topic sentence like the top bun of a hamburger.

The top bun cannot be ten feet wide. It has to limit itself to the width of the ingredients inside.

In the same way, the topic sentence or the thesis statement has to be limited, and basically tell you what's going to be in the burger. If I write, "I love New York," that's a bad topic sentence because it's huge. It doesn't give any sense of the length of the paragraph or what it will include.

But if I just add, "for three reasons," now I know what's coming in the paragraph or essay -- the three reasons.

Basically, you're making the bun fit the burger.

Technically, the "topic" of the paragraph or essay would be "I love to visit New York." The "controlling idea" would be "for three reasons."


This works with any subject.

I like ice cream for three reasons.
Houses are better than apartments for three reasons.
My favorite book is The Cat in the Hat for three reasons.

While there are slight modifications depending on the essay type, this basic structure works for all academic writing.

Now, let's move on to the first reason, the lettuce.


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