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Topic Sentence in an Essay: Pillar of Your Writing

Written by Bonnie Adair
Posted: September 28, 2023
Last update date: March 22, 2024
9 min read

The structure of academic writing requires several standards to be followed to ensure the coherence of your essay. One of the techniques you should use in your writing is essay topic sentences. However, why is it necessary, and how to write a topic sentence? We will answer this and many further questions in this article. Keep reading if you want to know:

  • The essence of the topic sentence and its use;
  • The crucial aspects of composing a topic sentence;
  • Types of topic sentences and their implementation in the text;
  • How to write your topic sentence and see the examples of it.

A strong topic sentence is a guarantee to be heard by the readers! Let’s start by looking at the meaning of this term and the main purpose of topic sentence.

What Is a Topic Sentence


A topic sentence is a generalized main idea of a paragraph summarized in one phrase. This statement provides a smooth transition from one central point to the next. But do not confuse it with the thesis statement. So, let’s review the topic sentence vs thesis statement and see if there is any difference.

A thesis statement sums up the idea of your essay or thesis, but it is usually found in the introduction, presenting the main point of the whole piece. Our service is ready to help you with writing a thesis statement correctly to ensure the highest results. An effective topic sentence includes two parts: the topic and the controlling idea. Use a topic sentence to organize your formal writing. Thus, you will delimit the main ideas within the boundaries of your essay paragraphs and ensure your text is coherent. This technique also aims to interest the reader by revealing the concept of your written work.

Characteristics of an Effective Topic Sentence

Using a topic sentence is an efficient strategy that will inform a reader about the topic of its paragraph briefly. To achieve this result of idea explanation and its evolution through the following parts of the text, learn the main characteristics of effective topic sentences. Below, we listed particular features that create a perfect topic sentence formula.

  • Clarity

A good topic sentence requires clarity and unambiguity. The reader must understand exactly what work he is about to read. Therefore, your task is to introduce the main idea of each paragraph clearly.

  • Relevance

Always remember about the idea of your paper, and don’t add anything extraordinary. You should only include information in your topic sentences that will be presented in the supporting sentences of the body part of an essay. Thus, your text will be easy and exciting to read, regardless of the topic.

  • Completeness

You are faced with the difficult task of condensing a complete main idea into just one topic sentence. It must be comprehensive, express a complete thought, contain the controlling idea, and convey the topic you presented in a particular paragraph.

  • Engaging

The topic sentences should motivate further reading. Therefore, you should present the information in a captivating way, ensuring the reader’s interest.

Types of Topic Sentences


There are three main types of topic sentences that cover a wide range of functions. Each type is suitable for a different purpose, but they all aim to include the key information in the current paragraph and emphasize the reader’s attention to it.


The topic sentence is presented as a question, and the following paragraph provides the answer. Such a topic sentence will effectively attract attention, increasing interest in reading. However, be careful to give an unambiguous answer to the question posed in your topic sentence.


Topic: Fast fashion

Topic sentence: What changes are required in the organization of the fashion industry to overcome total environmental pollution?


Topic sentences and supporting details can serve as a reinforcement, supporting the central idea expressed in the essay’s thesis statement. This keeps the story flowing, showing that you’re not jumping between ideas inconstantly.


Thesis statement: AI development will provide the labor market with dozens of new positions.

Topic sentence: A lot of new job opportunities will be discovered with the development of AI.


The topic sentences can also play the role of a link, logically and smoothly connecting several paragraphs into one whole. In this way, a clear structure of academic writing is maintained, and the author can relate one central point to another.


Last sentence of the previous paragraph: The issue of the need for school uniforms has been actively discussed for many years.

Topic sentence: School uniform is necessary for the development of discipline in children.

How to Write a Good Topic Sentence

First, remember that the focus sentence is the most important sentence in a paragraph. It should not only state the paragraph’s main idea, but it should be intriguingly interesting, concise, and include a controlling idea. Experts of our writing service have prepared for you some tips on how to make a topic sentence. It’s important to consider many different factors before writing a topic sentence for an essay. Keep reading to see the most essential ones.

Understanding the Paragraph’s Main Idea

The key to writing the topic sentence is to determine the main point of the paragraph. Think about the purpose for which you wrote this fragment. What would you like the reader to remember most? In other words, if you extract all the topic sentences from your essay and compose a text from them, you will get a complete digest of all the main ideas of the thesis.

Keeping it Concise

Sometimes, it can be difficult to fit everything you want to convey to the reader into one concluding sentence. After all, everything you wrote is valuable information worthy of attention. Still, be brief when writing your topic sentence to entice the audience to continue reading the rest of the paragraph.

Positioning the Topic Sentence

The topic sentence can be written in any part of the paragraph. Most commonly, placing it in the beginning, thus you ensure a smooth transition from the previous paragraph and give readers a hint about what the upcoming piece will be about. If it’s in the middle of the text, it can describe the main idea after having revealed some crucial background details of the main idea. When you write the topic sentence at the end of the paragraph, it concludes and highlights the essential concepts of the piece.

Make it Interesting but not Over-complicating

To start with, brainstorm to point out the most creative and interesting idea for your topic sentences. For example, if you use statistics in later paragraphs, include them in the hook sentence as well, this will intrigue readers. At the same time, do not forget that due to the topic sentence structure, the size of the topic sentence is very limited, so do not try to overcomplicate it.

Better to Use Active Voice

From a grammatical and lexical point of view, it is believed that the passive voice complicates the construction of sentences. You may consider the previous sentence as an example of a topic sentence that is difficult for a reader. Your topic sentences should be brief and comprehensive yet simple to understand. Prefer active voice to make the body paragraph easier to read.

Enhance with Evidence

First of all, any essay, likewise scientific work, requires accuracy. That is why using verified statistical data and citing reliable sources makes your topic sentence and controlling idea credible and respected. Pay attention to the plausibility of data when you write academic essay papers to avoid misleading information. Topic sentences for essays should also contain precise facts, which you subsequently describe in the new paragraph.

Bind the Paragraph Together by Repeating Words or Phrases

In poetry, there is a technique called anaphora, when each line or sentence of a verse begins the same. This is often used to influence the reader’s emotions, strengthening his awareness of a certain concept of the subject. So, to reinforce your main idea and relate your paragraphs, you can also use this device in your essay writing.

Use Transition Words

Of course, without connecting words, argumentative essays will turn into a collection of words and incoherent sentences. Build a clear essay structure by combining topic sentences with the rest of the paragraph with linking words. Therefore, to make your narrative coherent and logical, you should soften the transitions. Introduce these words at the beginning: first of all, to start with, therefore, based on this, moreover, and many others to enrich your writing.

Examples of Topic Sentences

Example 1:

Modern technologies have helped to significantly simplify working conditions for people. For centuries, people have had to work hard to provide basic means of living. In the absence of mechanization, unfathomable amounts of effort were required to complete basic tasks. For this reason, people worked day and night for six days a week and, in some cases, without days off at all. However, our generation was much luckier. The development of artificial intelligence and the automation of most production processes at this point allow people to work more efficiently while spending less time and effort.

Example 2:

What we know about recycling is a drop, what we don’t know is the ocean. In recent years, there have been many environmental campaigns to explain the importance of recycling. Most developed countries invest a large share of their budget in developing environmental solutions for the most optimal recycling of waste. However, at the same time, ordinary users still know very little about the rules for sorting waste. In reality, only a very small percentage of plastic can be recycled. Few people know that only the cap of a plastic bottle is recycled.

Example 3:

Society is moving online, and the changes it brings to the future are difficult to ignore. Of course, we don’t know exactly what the future of our society will be, but now we can trace some trends that will lead to steady changes. The children from the youngest age know how to use gadgets and independently find information on the Internet. Friendship, relationships, study, work, and all this already exist in the electronic dimension. Sociologists are interested in the question of what the society of the future will look like and whether there will be a place for offline communication in it.

Example 4:

The eternal question of style: to follow or not to follow the fashion trends. There probably is no single correct answer to this question. Social media influencers are actively sharing the hottest trends in the fashion world. The main fashionistas immediately run to the store to buy the latest new items. However, one thing is obvious – trends are certainly not for everyone. Starting from different body types to color types. We are all different, and this is our uniqueness. Trends certainly cannot look complimentary to everyone.

Example 5:

Our inner confidence provides external attractiveness. I have seen more than once that confident people often receive more positive attention. This is due to certain biological factors since a person with leadership qualities can lead a community, and therefore, people are drawn to him/her. And yet the advantage is not only respect from others. People with high self-esteem are perceived as more physically attractive.

Topic Sentences as an Integral Part of Every Paragraph

Your creative ideas that bring scientific novelty are the key element of your academic essays. At the same time, an idea without form is just a set of concepts. Using topic sentences will help you navigate and organize your ideas in a logical flow. Furthermore, it not only provides direction and focus for a paragraph, ensuring coherence and unity, but it also guides the reader’s journey through a text.


How to find a topic sentence?

To find a topic sentence in a paragraph, read the entire content first to understand its overall message. Typically, the topic sentence is at the beginning or end and presents a general idea, while supporting sentences provide details or examples. Ensure every sentence in the paragraph relates to the topic sentence. If writing, after drafting, discern the main theme and craft a topic sentence based on it.

How long should a topic sentence be?

A topic sentence should be concise and straight to the point, effectively conveying the main idea of the paragraph. While there’s no strict word limit, a typical topic sentence is usually one to two sentences long.

Is the topic sentence always the first sentence?

No, the topic sentence is not always the first sentence of a paragraph. While it’s commonly placed at the beginning to introduce the main idea, it can also appear in the middle or at the end of a paragraph, depending on the writer’s stylistic choice and the structure they desire.

Can topic sentences be questions?

Yes, topic sentences can be questions. Using a question as a topic sentence can engage the reader. This approach can be especially effective in essays or articles that aim to explore a particular issue, challenge a common belief, or introduce a new perspective.

What is the difference between a topic sentence and a thesis statement?

A topic sentence introduces the main idea of a specific paragraph, guiding its content. It’s found within body paragraphs of an essay. A thesis statement, on the other hand, presents the central argument or point of an entire essay, typically appearing in the introduction. While topic sentences address individual points, the thesis encapsulates the essay’s overall stance or message.
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