What is a Topic Sentence – Easy Guide with Examples
Did you get assigned an essay and your teacher asked you to write interesting topic sentences?
But what is a topic sentence?
If you’ve never heard of it before, it’s completely okay. You must have watched a movie trailer, right?
Just as a movie trailer highlights the main scenes, giving the audience an idea of what the movie is about, it highlights the main idea of that particular paragraph.
Learn more about the topic sentence definition and how to write them in this article.
1. What is a Topic Sentence?
Topic sentence is the opening sentence of the body paragraph of your essay that summarizes the main idea being discussed in the rest of the paragraph. It contains the main controlling idea of the paragraph and prepares the reader for the information presented. It also helps to mark the start of a new idea; otherwise, without it, it would seem like a continuation of the previous paragraph.
They are similar to your thesis statement – just as a thesis sums up the main idea of the entire paper, a topic sentence introduces the idea of the particular paragraph. A thesis statement is always presented at the end of the introductory paragraph. However, in a paragraph, it isn't necessarily at the start of the paragraph. To write effective topic sentences, you should learn how to write a thesis statement that explains the purpose of your writing.
2. How to Write a Topic Sentence?
If you think about it, writing it seems like a simple task. All you have to do is write a few lines about the idea you'll discuss. However, that's not the case; in order to write good topic sentences, there are certain guidelines that must be followed.
2.1 Topic Sentence: Guidelines
Since it encapsulates the idea of the overall paragraph, you must make sure that it is presented in a clear and easy to understand way. Don't make it too general or too vague that the focus idea isn't clear. The simpler it is, the more chances there are of the reader's understanding and wanting to read it further.
Although the purpose is to introduce what you are going to discuss and your stance on it, but you shouldn't make it sound like an announcement. Your starting should be natural, don't use sentences such as “In this paragraph, I have expressed my opinion on the rising rate of gun violence in the United States.”
The body paragraphs of your essays are written with the intent of proving the thesis statement. To ensure that you share relevant content in the body of your essay, write a topic sentence that refers to the overall thesis statement.
When writing the body of your essay, it is advisable that you discuss a single idea in each paragraph. If it is too broad, you won't be able to follow this rule of having a separate idea in each paragraph. However, also keep in mind that the sentence isn't too narrow, that you don't have the room to elaborate on it further.
It also acts like a hook sentence used to attract the reader, making them curious as to what you have discussed in the paragraphs. For instance, you can present interesting details using emotions to get them involved.
Remember that whatever you say, has to be justified in the paragraph with the help of authentic evidence and other supporting details. Don't write something just to attract the reader's attention, which you cannot prove later on.
Don't jump from paragraph to paragraph abruptly. Your topic sentence must act as a smooth transition from the previous paragraph to the next.
2.2 How to Start a Topic Sentence
- Develop a strong thesis statement for your essay, as the ideas you discuss later will be based on it.
- Brainstorm and jot down the ideas relevant to the thesis and identify their priority.
- Organize the ideas logically, so you know how to transition from one paragraph to the other.
- Make sure that they cover the entire point that you're going to discuss.
2.3 Topic Sentence Examples (PDF)
2.4 Topic Sentence Worksheet (PDF)
Topic sentences hold a whole lot of importance when writing an academic paper, as they give a logical and consistent feel to it. You must put in some thought and effort into crafting an engaging topic sentence.
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