A topic sentence is the first sentence of your paragraph that states the focus, or central idea, of the paragraph — sort of a mini-thesis. A strong topic sentence (not to be confused with essay topic) will also provide a transition from the previous paragraph and refer to your thesis statement. Each point of your thesis statement should provide you with a guide for writing your paragraphs’ topic sentences, if you used a three-pronged strategy.
Like a thesis statement, your topic statements may be implicit instead of explicit, suggesting a focus rather than saying it outright. Inexperienced writers, however, should be cautious not to lose their focus if they choose an implicit topic sentence.
Here are a few guidelines for writing a thesis
- do not use fact
Provide a focus for your paragraph by stating the paragraph’s subject and the assertion that the paragraph will support. For example:
- Not only does Star Trek emphasize non-violent strategies for problem solving, it introduces new ways of considering and solving current social problems, like racial conflict.
This sentence provides a transition from the previous paragraph, it directly refers to the thesis statement, and it introduces the specific topic that will be addressed in the current paragraph.
- Writing Topic Sentences — by Dorothy Turner from the University of Ottawa