Writing a Topic Sentences

topic sentenceTopic sentences are used to increase the readability and accessibility of a piece of writing. A topic sentence is the first sentence of any paragraph which contains keywords or other hints which indicate which part of the thesis statement is going to be discussed, or provides an introduction to a paragraph.

Steps for Writing

  1. Think of the main point you want to introduce in the paragraph, and restate it briefly and clearly.
  2. Think of the way to make the topic sentence interesting for your readers instead of simply recording the concise idea of the paragraph. Usually, it is enough to play the “So what?” game to understand how the information can be interesting for your audience.
  3. Compose and write your topic sentence down. Make sure you do not disclose or retell the information following it, or introduce solid facts; just give your readers an intriguing clue to what awaits them next.

Key Points to Consider

  • Writing a topic sentence will be much easier if you have already decided on the key points of your paper and allocated them between paragraphs.
  • A topic sentence must catch your readers’ attention and make them want to read further; hence, if you want to engage your readers, you should consider making it short but informative.
  • A good topic sentence should be more specific than your thesis statement, but should not present the facts you want to use as a supporting base.
  • A good topic sentence encapsulates the entire paragraph, not just its key point. It is a link between the two paragraphs, and a key to understanding the information in the new paragraph.

Do and Don’t


  • Compose topic sentences thoroughly; there is no universal template for writing one, because every topic sentence depends on each particular topic.
  • Use transition words to indicate the progress of your paper.
  • Make your topic sentence in the form of a declarative statement, and not a prediction or a question.
  • Keep your topic sentence focused. Keep it to the point and avoid being vague.
  • State something you believe and can support with concrete evidence in your topic sentence.

  • Simply announce what you are going to discuss in the paragraph; you must make your intentions clear without stating them directly.
  • Throw your facts on your reader in the topic sentence; instead, save data as supporting material.
  • Think of the topic sentence as just a way to start another paragraph.
  • Start a topic sentence with a quotation either from a piece of writing or from a critique on it which does not belong to you.
  • Use rhetorical questions in topic sentences.

Common Mistakes

  • Making a topic sentence a simple restatement of the key point of a paragraph.
  • Writing vague topic sentences “about nothing.”
  • Writing topic sentences starting with: “This paragraph will discuss…” or “In this paragraph, I will analyze the…”

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