What is a Topic Sentence?

What is a Topic Sentence? Introducing Ideas in Paragraphs


We all use sentences in our everyday speech, but sentences serve more than just for conversation. There are many kinds of sentences to provide a specific purpose. Here we will learn about the importance of a topic sentence, which is used to introduce ideas in paragraphs.

What is a topic sentence?

Like what its name suggests, a topic sentence introduces the main idea of the paragraph. The topic sentence often serves as the main sentence. It is often found at the beginning of the paragraph although some creative writers do not follow this rule. This type of sentence summarizes what you intend to talk about in that particular paragraph. The purpose of a topic sentence is to allow your readers to know what you will be talking about. An effective topic sentence should be brief and definite. It should contain the important words and phrases.

Like other sentences, a topic sentence has a subject and a  predicate. Many students often just give a couple of words or a phrase as their topic. However, once you get used to thinking of your topics in sentences, then making a topic sentence will be easier.

Study the samples below to serve as your guide in writing your topic sentence.

A topic sentence needs to have an assertion or a declaration about the subject. This is why topic sentences rely heavily on the verb of the predicate. In the first example, the topic sentence has a certain drama to it. Clearly, this topic sentence has made a strong assertion. From here, you can expound by relating the particulars of this life-changing event.

The second sample of a topic sentence not only makes an assertion, but also a glimpse or a brief summary of what is in store for your readers. Your readers instantly know that the trip to Europe is not just about spending one’s summer vacation but also learning about history. Here you can expound by telling every particular spot you visited and some historical trivia about the place. From here, your readers clearly know what your essay is all about.

Let us review a few sample 5sentences paragraphs with their topic sentences for you to understand the relationship of the topic sentence with the other sentences.

The topic sentence in this sample answers the important questions starting with Who went to the zoo? It is the children. What did they do? Naturally, this part requires an action. The verb here is “enjoyed” with its object “visit to the zoo”. The latter answers Where? By stating these facts, it will be easy to introduce what a zoo is, what kind of animals were there and how the children responded to the trip.

To further illustrate this point, let us take another example.

From this example, the topic sentence already introduced the main idea, which will be detailed in the following sentence or paragraphs. From the sound premise of a fundraising concert, we then go to other information like how it was done and what is it for. In this way, you can see that a topic sentence is like the root of the tree from where branches grow from. Succeeding paragraphs may further go into details like how the kids responded to the project and what impact the play may have for them.

To sum up, what is a topic sentence? It is the sentence that introduces, declares and summarizes the main or focus idea in the paragraph.

How to write one? Start with your subject and then proceed with your predicate, which is an action that makes a declaration about the subject. This declaration also describes and summarizes the whole paragraph so that you are giving your readers a heads up.