Identify the main points that will comprise your argument and start arranging these ideas into a coherent narrative. These should include what your offence is, a bit of context about its prevalence in Australia, what theory you will be discussing, and how it relates to your chosen offence. All of these points should be relevant to the thesis statement. Step 5: Create topic sentences Use your main points to write a series of 6–8 topic sentences. Topic sentences are statements of the main ideas that you intend to explain in your essay. They are the claims that support your argument, and usually are used as the opening sentence in each paragraph. The purpose of the remainder of the paragraph is to back up and elaborate on the topic sentence. Here are some example topic sentences: • ‘Car theft results in significant costs to the Australian public’. • ‘Certain communities are more vulnerable to car theft than others’. • ‘Explaining car theft requires an understanding of structural theories of crime’. • ‘Unemployment has a strong influence on rates of car theft’. • ‘Strain theory is better than other theories for a variety of reasons’.