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Set up of the thesis statement for the disease paper…
Your thesis is in two parts:
First—A general thesis that states that your topic has similarities and differences

Second—A plan of development that lays out your specific points of comparison and contrast.

General Thesis: Bubonic plague, smallpox, and influenza devastated populations worldwide, but each has affected their victims and society in a different way.

Plan of Development: Bubonic plague, small pox and influenza each appeared at a different historical period, and they vary in their mode of transmission. However, whereas plague and smallpox disrupted human history, influenza was relatively forgotten until recently.

Topic Sentences:
Your topic sentence should generally lay out the comparisons and contrasts that will be explained in your paragraph.

Point by Point Style Topic Sentence (Time Period Paragraph)

Bubonic plague was a disease of the middle ages; in contrast, small pox has been circulating since ancient times. Influenza is the most recent disease and is a plague of the twentieth century.

Be sure each paragraph has a concluding sentence. This sentence doesn’t need to be as detailed as the topic sentence.

Small pox and the plague overlapped in human history, but luckily both diseases were on the decline by the time influenza made its mark.

Transitions
Try to avoid simplistic transitions such as then, next, secondly, etc. Aim for topical transitions that link the subject of one paragraph to the subject of the next. The transition can be either before the topic sentence, or can be incorporated into the concluding sentence of the previous paragraph.

Time Period Paragraph

Transition: In every era, these opportunistic diseases have found ways to infiltrate the human population. Appropriate topic sentence that would follow: Bubonic plague relies on an animal host to spread the bacteria; in contrast, small pox and influenza are spread...
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