Topic Sentence

Topic Sentence

What is a Topic Sentence?

A topic sentence is a complete sentence that states the main point of the paragraph. It expresses a view about the topic and prepares the reader for what to expect in the paragraph. The topic sentence usually appears as the first sentence in the paragraph.

Features of a Good Topic Sentence:
  • States clearly the main point.
  • Is something you can show, explain, or prove.
  • Prepares the reader for the rest of the paragraph.
  • Is a complete thought.
A Valid Topic Sentence Consists of Two Parts:
  1. The Topic. It will always be a noun or an idea that the sentence is about.
  2. The Assertion. This is a statement that says something about the topic.
            (topic)                          (assertion)
Ex: Time management is a vital skill for college students.
           (topic)                (assertion)
Ex: Studying helps students earn good grades.
When Writing a Topic Sentence, Make Sure:
  • It is not too broad. This results when more than a single idea is expressed.
  • It is not too vague. This results when the topic has not been effectively narrowed.

The topic sentence provides a preview of your upcoming point in your paragraph. By placing the topic sentence at the beginning of your paragraph, you let the reader know where your paper is headed, and it helps to keep you focused on your main point. The topic sentence is an effective signal that keeps both the reader and the writer on track.

Page last updated June 26, 2023.