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Guidelines explaining you what is a topic sentence in an essay


When writing an academic essay, there is much emphasis placed on the ability to write an effective topic sentence. In order to do this, it’s beneficial to know exactly the purpose and location of the topic sentence and the desired effect it should achieve.

Description of a topic sentence

Knowing exactly what a topic sentence is will help you write them and use them more effectively. The main points describing a topic sentence include the following.

  • It is the main point of the paragraph
  • It serves as a headline or signpost for your readers, alerting them to the most important point you are making in your essay
  • Helps to keep your reader focused as well as keeping your writing focused

Location of a topic sentence

  • They are usually located at the very beginning of each paragraph.
  • The remainder of the paragraph elaborates on the point created by the topic sentence; it provides evidence and credibility of the statement you’ve made.
  • Sometimes it can be located after an introductory sentence sets the stage or the mood of the paragraph.

How to come up with a good topic sentence?

Since the topic sentence is the foundation for the paragraph, you must have supporting evidence for it in order to form the paragraph. Relating the topic sentence back to the thesis statement of the essay helps to give strength and cohesion to your essay. You don’t need to repeat the thesis statement word for word, but you can use keywords from it and incorporate them into your topic sentence. Use different keywords in each paragraph. Each paragraph, and therefore each topic sentence must not only support the thesis but also be essential to the development of your argument. In other words, each topic sentence should move your essay forward one more step towards completion. If a paragraph is not helping your essay move forward, then it only serves as a distraction and should be eliminated.

Are they necessary for every paragraph?

Finally, should every paragraph have a topic sentence? It’s not necessary but it is very effective. If a second paragraph is lending further credence to the topic sentence in the previous paragraph, it doesn’t need its own topic sentence. However, if the paragraph is helping the thesis progress along to completion and isn’t directly related to the previous paragraph, it should certainly have its own topic sentence.



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