Barbara Jean Writes


How To Write Good Topic Sentences For Essays: A Quick Guide

A topic sentence plays a crucial role in

  • Offering the main point in your essay
  • Defining its structure
  • Providing your answer or position on the topic

Your topic sentence should be short, logical and clear. It is used when introducing a paragraph or a section in the course of writing the paper. The best approach is to ask yourself a question. The question relates to the main content of the paragraph or section. The sentence should set the foundation for answering such a question. Here are tips to get it right every time you are constructing topic sentences for your essays.

State the main idea clearly

A clear statement is not wordy and neither does it contain few words to the extent of not being understood. It should carry your topic or idea to be discussed as well as a personalized opinion. It will control the other ideas that will be discussed in the entire paper.

Be original and creative when making the statement. Do not simply announce what you are going to do in the paragraph. The intentions should be very clear without being explicit. Let it be concealed yet make sense to the reader.

Hook the reader to the paragraph

The topic sentence is supposed to raise questions in the mind of the reader in readiness for answers in the section. This provides a hook on which the reader holds. The hook approach works for both fictional and non-fictional essay writing. There are several ways to hook the reader to the section or paragraph.

  • Make a physical or emotional description of the person, idea, image, etc. The reader will want to know more and therefore read further into the essay.
  • Use dialogue- it elicits curiosity with the reader wanting to understand its conclusion. The conversation must however be relevant to the topic.
  • Make the opening statement emotional- this makes it easy for the reader to relate. It provides a personal touch which is attractive to human beings.
  • Use sensory language to provide details- while topic sentences are supposed to be short, providing more details at the opening arouses curiosity. The details capture attention and keep the reader glued to your work.
  • Avoid using rhetorical questions- a reader wants to read other than spend time constructing the paper in his head. Though essays are supposed to elicit questions, too many of them and at such a point will not deliver expected results.

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