TOPIC SENTENCES

A topic sentence, the main idea of a paragraph, is key to organizing any paper.  Topic sentences should inform a reader what the paragraph is about and why that topic is an important step in understanding the entire argument. Useful ways to think of topic sentences are as mini-theses for each paragraph or as a main point in an outline.

In fact, a helpful rule of thumb is to determine the effectiveness of topic sentences is to read only the thesis and topic sentences aloud. If the topic sentences effectively connect to other main ideas and build upon the thesis statement, then they should flow together and convey the entire argument. If not, then perhaps the argument has too many gaps that need extra paragraphs to bridge two ideas, or the topic sentences are just saying the same point multiple times and need to be consolidated.

Generally, in order to make the main point clear to readers, topic sentences are the first sentence of a paragraph, sometimes the second. As a stylistic choice, many experience writers can get away with putting a topic sentence even further from the beginning, or sometimes just imply the topic and skip writing a topic sentence altogether. All images and content