Table of         Contents           
Writing a Paragraph
Topic Sentences
Supporting Sentences
Concluding Sentences
Paragraph Editing
Paragraph Feedback
Paragraph Resources

What are Topic Sentences?

The topic sentence is the sentence in a paragraph the gives the reader insight into what the paragraph is about. It will give the main idea that the paragraph is going to focus on.

How Do You Write A Topic Sentence?

There are five different ways you can start a paragraph:

1. List Statements
A list statement tells the reader exactly what the paragraph will be about by listing the three main ideas.

Example: My favorite sports include soccer, football, and baseball.

2. Power Number Statements
Power number statements do not tell the reader all of the main ideas, but use number words (few, many, a number of, three) to present the general topic.

Example: There are several things you can do to become a better writer.

3. Two Nouns and Two Commas
This topic sentence starts with a noun (person, place, or thing), describes the noun, and then makes a statement about the noun.

Example: The St. Louis Cardinals, a major league baseball team, is the best team in the MLB.

4. Occassion Position
This topic sentence starts with an occassion and use words like whenever, when, although, or even though, and then end with the writers position on the topic.

Example: Even though writing an essay is a lot of work, you do learn a lot from the process.

5. Hook the Reader
This topic sentence grabs the readers attention by making a statement that is provoking, controversial, or interesting.

Example: Technology should be banned at school!

Test Your Skills
Can you find the problem in the following paragraph?

Piranhas rarely feed on large animals; they eat smaller fish and aquatic plants. When confronted with humans, piranhas’ first instinct is to flee, not attack. Their fear of humans makes sense. Far more piranhas are eaten by people than people are eaten by piranhas. If the fish are well-fed, they won’t bite humans.

If you found yourself wondering where the topic sentence is, you are on the right track! The topic sentence is missing from the paragraph. Without a topic sentence you leave your reader wondering what the purpose of your paragraph is.

Put your skills to the test using this online quiz!
Topic Sentence Quiz

If you find yourself needing more help with topic sentence check out the paragraph writing resources page.

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