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What is a good topic sentence (hook) for an essay about the similarities and differences between the 5 different major world religions? The 5 major world religions are Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Let's talk about terminology for a moment before we discuss what it is you need for your essay.  In an essay with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion, the sentence that sets up the body paragraphs, at the end of the introduction, is a thesis statement.  A topic sentence is the first sentence of a body paragraph, telling the reader what just one body paragraph is about. A "hook" is designed to grab the reader's attention, but a hook and a thesis statement are by no means necessarily the same thing.

A thesis statement is meant to state your main idea and give the reader a road map to the body paragraphs.  In a compare and contrast essay, your main idea is going to be whatever conclusion you draw from your assessing the similarities and differences in the religions.  There needs to be a purpose to comparing and contrasting anything and that should be clear in the thesis statement.

Let me give you an example of how this works.  I might, after studying these religions, come to the conclusion that they all have similar ethical concerns.  So, here is a thesis statement I might have:

In spite of all the differences among the world's five major religions, they have very similar ethical constructs, which should encourage more mutual respect among them. 

That tells the reader my main idea, which is the idea of respect among different religious beliefs.  It also tells the reader that I am going to be looking at the differences in religions,then the similarities, and then I will argue for more mutual respect.  So, the reader knows what my main point is and how I'm going to support it. 

What have you learned in your study of these religions?  Do you see more differences than similarities?  Perhaps you find the differences to be so profound there can be no meeting of minds.  Whatever you have learned, form an idea about it, and then go on to support it. 

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iklan100 | Student

A 'hook' would go before the more formal thesis statement (as above) to catch and hold the readers' attention in the firast place with a 'catchy' turn of phrase/imagery.

How about something like ''Although all the world's main religions seem to be different-hued, different-shaped and sized  beads, yet the string they hang by, is one''.