A topic sentence should be debatable or argumentative. Think of a debate where there are two sides (perspectives) of the argumentative. Cell phones facilitate the learning process in the English language classroom because... or Cell phones do not facilitate the learning process in the English language classroom because... Each of these two examples could be the basis for a topic sentence.
The topic sentence is an original idea (no citations).
Using the acronym MEAL, the topic sentence is also referred to as the main idea.
After introducing the topic sentence (as the first sentence of the body paragraph), introduce facts, statistics, examples, details, etc. directly related to the topic sentence. This is called evidence. The second sentence of each body paragraph should begin discussing the evidence.
Evidence requires citations if an academic essay, or possibly could be anecdotal (anecdotal evidence) if writing a narrative essay. Always clarify with your instructor if citations are required.
If citations are used, the evidence always represents ideas from outside sources. Evidence is not an original idea of the writer of the body paragraph.
Evidence can be anywhere from one to several sentences depending on the topic sentence.
Evidence (i.e., examples, details, facts, etc.) should say what, how, why, when, where, with whom, etc. about the topic sentence.
Using the acronym MEAL, evidence is the E in MEAL.
An analysis sentence is one that connects the evidence to the main idea or topic sentence of the body paragraph.
Other phrases that relate to the word analysis are comparing and contrasting, commenting, explaining, discussing, justifying, etc. Explain how the evidence proves the main point of the topic sentence.
An analysis is usually an original idea (no citations).
Using the acronym MEAL, analysis is the A in MEAL.
A linking sentence can 1) link the main idea (topic sentence) of the paragraph back to the thesis statement (main idea of the entire essay), 2) link the main idea of the paragraph to the main idea of the next paragraph, or 3) link back to the topic sentence of the body paragraph by connecting to a broader idea (summarizing).