Create a Topic Statement

  • Your Manuscript's Bottom Line
  • Anchors and Guides Your Writing                                               

What is your topic statement?

The first step with any manuscript is to define the Topic Statement (TS), or bottom line.  Next, place it in the Title,
at the end of the Abstract, in the Introduction, in the Results, and
twice in the Discussion.  In contrast, everything
but this single sentence belongs in one section (Introduction, Results, or Discussion) only.  A good scientific paper
must answer a hypothesis.  The answer to this question is the basis for your topic statement.  By repeating it
throughout the manuscript, the reader is more likely to understand the significance of your work.

Ask questions to uncover your bottom line.

What was the question that you wanted to answer at the start of your project?  Have you answered it?  What first
got you excited about your research?  There was probably a big idea that intrigued you.  Convey that reason and
excitement in your topic statement.

Create a topic statement.

As you make the initial draft of your manuscript, think of a potential title.  It should concisely answer your
hypothesis.  Now, think of ways to insert this title into the manuscript.  In some form, it should fit at each position.  
In addition, each section of the manuscript should flow toward this statement.  In other words, your Topic
Statement structures your essay.  If you need to make significant adjustments to the Topic Statement to
accommodate essential parts of your essay, you may need to reword the title.
Create a Topic Statement

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