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Topic Sentences

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by

Andrew Olson

on 8 January 2016

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Transcript of Topic Sentences

A topic sentence is the key to your paragraph. This key "promises" your reader entrance to specific message or idea.

A topic sentence is as important to your paragraph as your thesis statement is to your essay.

Think of your thesis statement as your master key, and your topic sentences as keys to the inner rooms of the building.
Placement
Until you have full control of your paragraph writing, you should place your topic sentence in the first or second sentence of your body paragraph.

As your writing advances, so can the placement of your topic sentences.

In professional writing, topic sentences appear everywhere in a paragraph, even at the end!
Controlling Idea
The topic sentence is the
controlling idea
of your paragraph. Everything should relate back to that idea. A good topic sentence accomplishes three things:

It supports the thesis statement

It makes a promise

It controls the material in the paragraph
Focus
A topic sentence needs to be focused. That means that no ambiguous, vague, or unclear language should be used.


Control
An effective topic sentence also introduces, or controls, the information that will follow in the paragraph.

When topic sentences accomplish this goal, readers will know what to expect in the paragraph as they read on.

Ex (ok): Online courses can be challenging for students.

Ex (better): Online courses can be challenging for students when trying to communicate with instructors.
Thesis Support
A thesis statement provides the main arguments, reasons, or supportive details of your overall opinion or idea.

Those points should align and match to the topic sentences of your body paragraphs.

In this way, each topic sentence re-enforces your thesis statement.
Topic Sentences
Thank you!
Controlling Idea
Readers, from years of reading, have come to expect a paragraph to fulfill the promise a topic sentence is making. Such as:

Staying focused on topic
Explaining or expanding an idea or opinion in the topic sentence
Supporting a claim with evidence
Answering question that is raised

Make sure your paragraph and
topic sentence remain
aligned and in sync
Full transcript