How to Create Strong Topic Sentences

Answer

Once you've got your thesis squared away, how do you keep the rest of your essay focused?

Why, with Topic Sentences! These opening lines are what tells your reader exactly what to expect from the body paragraph.

A strong Topic Sentence is:
- concise and to the point,

- always comes in the first or sometimes second line of the body paragraph,

- and should relate back to the thesis, perhaps even using some of the same wording.

For example, Let's say you are writing a narrative essay about the three things that you would save if your house was burning down, and you family was already safe. Your thesis could be as follows:

"If my house was on fire and my family was safe but I could only save three things, I would brave the flames for my family photo album, my laptop, and my Pokémon Card collection."

With your thesis statement done, the topic sentence of your first paragraph would restate what your first item is and why you would save it.

"I would save my photo album first, because even though they're just pictures, they represent decades of family history and are a source of good memories."

Clearly worded, concise, and informative. You could then expand into further detail, such as what some of your favorite photos in the album are, or who gave you the album.

"Photos of my favorite moments; my brother's wedding, birthdays, and Christmas mornings are all in there. If my family wasn't already safe, I would leave everything else behind just to save them, and since they are, I'd chose to save our cherished memories before anything else. The album was passed down to me by my grandmother, who started making it when..."

Notice how your topic sentence frames everything that comes after it. Treat it like a guideline for your paragraph to keep you narrative focused. When you get to your second and third body paragraphs, your topic sentence will still follow the same rules, but you may also want to include a segue to transition smoothly from the paragraph that came before.

"While my family photos are the most important, my personal laptop is a close second, as I don't just use it for work, but for relaxation as well."

The way you structure your topic sentences will vary slightly based on the type of essay you're writing. For example, in a compare and contrast essay, your topic sentence could introduce both a similarity and difference that you plan to explore in the body paragraph rather than just one or the other. Just keep in mind, you'll always want your topic sentence to follow the same rules from the start of this guide.
 

A strong Topic Sentence is:
- concise and to the point,

- always comes in the first or sometimes second line of the body paragraph,

- and should relate back to the thesis, perhaps even using some of the same wording.

  • Last Updated Jun 27, 2024
  • Views 9
  • Answered By Nathanael Williams

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