A general statement informs readers about the topic of a particular paper without adding specific facts. The rest of the paper supports the general statement with facts and evidence. Furthermore, each paragraph itself may start with a general statement or topic sentence which, in turn, is supported by facts and evidence in the rest of the paragraph.
General statements are a key component in the general-to-specific writing pattern. They give readers an understanding of the overarching topic of a paper or paragraph and lay the groundwork for the argument contained in the paper.
In general, papers consist of three distinct sections: the introduction, the body and the conclusion. General statements are included in the introduction, and may also be found in the body as a mini introduction to each paragraph. Each general statement should be followed by specific facts and arguments that support the view it contains.