Barbara P
Barbara P

What is a Topic Sentence - An Ultimate Guide for Beginners

7 min read

Published on: Jan 13, 2023

Last updated on: Mar 21, 2023

What is a Topic Sentence

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Many of the students have been told by their instructors that their essays were unclear and understandable and needed to add a “topic sentence” to the paragraphs.

Students often get confused and want to know, ‘what is a topic sentence’? A topic sentence acts as an introduction of the paragraphs in the main body of every essay type. So, its importance cannot be underestimated.

This blog is written to provide information regarding the topic sentence and how it is formed. If understood correctly and clearly, it can bring miraculous changes to your essays and other academic writings.

What is a Topic Sentence?

A topic sentence is a very important sentence in a paragraph of an academic essay. Therefore, the first and the opening sentence of a paragraph is constructed to give the readers the main idea and point of the paragraph.

It is a statement containing the idea of the paragraph in the body section of your essay that summarizes the core and central idea.

It is important to add a topic sentence to each paragraph for writing an essay as it highlights that the new idea is being introduced. That paragraph will be talking about that particular thing that will support the main idea and topic of the essay.

Usually, a paragraph has three parts. It is only one part of a paragraph. The rest of the paragraph consists of a support sentence and a conclusion.

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What is the Purpose of a Topic Sentence?

A topic sentence serves three major purposes:

  • It substantiates the thesis statement of an essay.
  • It brings together the whole content of a paragraph.
  • It discloses the idea to be discussed in the paragraph.

To make your academic writing effective, it is important to present your paragraphs clearly and explicitly. The clearer the paragraphs, the better your audience and readers will understand your point and get persuaded.

How to Plan a Topic Sentence?

Before you write it for your paragraph, it is important first to plan it out. Like every other thing in your essay, a topic sentence requires planning as well. The planning stage of a topic sentence is discussed in detail below.

Create an Essay Outline

Every paragraph in your essay is written to explore a certain idea. Each paragraph has a point or an idea, and that idea backs the thesis statement. It is the purpose of the topic sentence to identify that idea.

To write a good topic sentence, you need to know what your paragraphs will be talking about, and this is done when you outline your essay and know which points to discuss.

Connection Between a Topic Sentence and a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement of your essay is the main argument according to which your whole essay is designed. In relevance to the topic of your essay, this thesis statement is made. All of the points made by the writer are to support and prove this main argument.

It is like a thesis statement of a paragraph. Only it doesn’t provide any argument, rather acts as a support for the thesis statement.

Look for Examples

Before making your own topic sentence for a paragraph, look for examples related to your essay type and topic to see how professionals have developed it. Many online guidelines will help you with examples.

How to Write a Topic Sentence?

If you want your academic writings and all other writings to be successful and more effective, perfecting the skill of writing topic sentences is mandatory. So to know how you can develop a good topic sentence, follow the steps.

1. State the Main Idea

It is the first sentence of your paragraph, so it should clearly state the subject matter to be discussed in the paragraph without using tricky and difficult vocabulary and words. The simpler the sentence, the easier it will be for the reader to understand it.

So a topic sentence must include a topic, a controlling idea, an controlling idea, and an opinion to be perfect. Just put forward your intentions without explicitly stating them.

2. Balance your Topic Sentence

It should be created in a way that relates to the thesis statement of your essay. However, make sure that your topic sentence balances the general and specific ideas and between being too narrow and broad.

Writing a sentence that is too vague or general can both make your work difficult. Doing so will not let you discuss the idea in one paragraph. Similarly, if your idea or statement is broad or too narrow, you will not be able to explain it in a single paragraph as well.

Aim for a balanced statement to make it perfect and effective.

3. Engage your Readers

A topic sentence also acts as an attention grabber for the readers. Smartly raise a question in your audience’s mind that you intend to answer in the paragraph. Either writing a fiction or a non-fiction piece of content, an effective way to do it is to jump straight into the action.

You can hook your readers by describing a character emotionally or physically. Also, an interesting conversation between the characters can be used to draw the reader’s attention.

It should not develop a rhetorical question. Do not hit your audience with a question that you are to answer in the paragraph. Just make them raise it in their minds.

4. Keep it Short

Make a statement that puts forward your intent without making your readers hunt and seek for it. If you keep the statement short, your intentions will be clearly presented.

In other words, it should be simpler than the thesis statement of your essay but should not also give away the extra information about the paragraph. Keeping the sentence short is also good to maintain the flow of the paragraph.

5. Give Strong Reasons and Opinions

The other parts of the paragraph, support sentence, and conclusion are meant to support the topic sentence and the thesis statement as a whole. It should have something that will be proved in the paragraph through evidence and facts.

You can make an opinion in a topic sentence but make sure you can back that opinion with supporting evidence. Using only facts is not the best option. Facts are boring and do not draw the audience in the paragraph.

6. Topic Sentences Should Make Transition

The topic sentence adds a transition to your essay. It helps your reader to stay on track by presenting logical and connected content. Think of it as a bridge between the previous paragraph and the next paragraph.

Use transitional words and phrases like “in addition to” or “in contrast” to maintain the flow in your paragraphs.

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Things to Avoid While Writing a Topic Sentence

You cannot come up with a perfect sentence in a go or if you are new to the concept. You will always make mistakes and errors while making a topic sentence. If you want it to be relevant and accurate, avoid the following things while drafting a topic sentence:

  • Do not introduce yourself - If you are not writing an opinion piece, do not use “I” or “my” in your topic sentence. It varies from person to person and structure to structure.
  • Do not use implicit and unclear words and phrases - You want your readers to know what the paragraph will be explaining. So avoid using words that are vague and difficult in your topic sentence. Also, make sure that your topic sentence is precise.
  • Do not reveal what’s coming next - Yes, it should make clear to your audience what the paragraph is about, yet do not give away the important information in the topic sentence or reveal the major point. Do not explain an idea in a topic sentence; just put forward your intent.
  • Do not start with a quote - If not necessary, avoid using a quote in a topic sentence. It should be written in your words. It can carry your opinion but avoid using someone else’s words as your topic sentence.
  • Mention things you will discuss - If you intend to discuss something, only then add it to your topic sentence. Avoid using things that you are not to discuss in the paragraph.

Topic Sentence Example

A topic sentence holds great importance in an essay. No matter which essay type you are working on, a topic sentence will always be a part of academic writing. To write a perfect and flawless essay, make sure your draft is appropriate and has accurate topic sentences.

If you think that your writing skills are not enough to draft a perfect essay or you do not know the elements, it will either make your essay or ruin it. Get professional writing help from an essay writer at EssayWriter.college and get all sorts of academic papers and essays written in no time and effortlessly.

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Barbara P


Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)

Barbara has a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university and extensive experience working in the medical field. With her practical experience conducting research on various health issues, she is skilled in writing innovative papers on healthcare. Her many works have been published in multiple publications.

Barbara has a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university and extensive experience working in the medical field. With her practical experience conducting research on various health issues, she is skilled in writing innovative papers on healthcare. Her many works have been published in multiple publications.

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