You cannot begin a paragraph without the point that you are hoping to prove in the subsequent paragraphs. Just like we did with this one. Generally, every paragraph should begin with a ‘topic sentence’. But what is it and why is it so named? Let’s find out!

What are topic sentences?

It’s is described as a sentence that identifies the main idea of the paragraph.It also states the point that the writer wishes to make about the subject. It appears at the beginning of the paragraph and it is often the first sentence. It must be general enough to express the paragraph’s overall subject, but it should be specific enough so that the reader understands the main point of the paragraph.

What should it contain?

It should identify the main idea and point of the paragraph.
The supporting details in the paragraph should develop or explain the topic sentence.
It should not be too general or too specific.

How to write a strong topic sentence?

A good thing about topic sentences is that you don’t need to write them in order; first, or last. They are something that you develop throughout the writing process. But there are some points that you should keep in mind when you develop them:

– Write a thesis statement
It will be easier to write topic sentences throughout your essay if you have a strong thesis statement that basically sums up the purpose and argument of the whole paper.
– Make an essay outline
It is ideal to make an outline of your paper/essay so that you know what you want to say in every paragraph. It will help you structure your text coherently. Make sure that the main sentence is more specific than the thesis statement, but always related to it.
– Expand with evidence
You should expand your topic sentences with evidence, examples, and your argumentation. This will ensure that your paragraphs are focused on your topic sentence, which in turn connects them efficiently to the thesis statement.
– Refine your topic sentences
It’s important to revise topic sentences as you write. It’s not compulsory that you won’t add something new to the paragraph which is crucial but not corroborative to the topic sentence. Keep refining your topic sentences as you go along.

Topic sentences as transitions between paragraphs

Add transition words to your topic sentences so that it’s easier to show the connections between your ideas. For example: To give more emphasis or to imply similarity to the sentence, you can use words like furthermore, indeed, in fact, also, etc.
For example: Furthermore, he is grateful that his new wife earns enough money to let him do that.
For example: Indeed, mobile towers are responsible for the declining population of bees.

You can also use topic sentences to summarize and anticipate. For example: If your paragraph starts on a different aspect of the same subject, the topic sentences can sum up the previous paragraph briefly and make way for the new paragraph, like while, even though, As a result of, etc.
For eg: While kings claimed they ruled by a divine right, dictators claimed their right to rule through might.
For eg: Even though he’s a multi-millionaire, he drives a second-hand car.

A topic sentence clarifies the essay’s claims to the reader. Good essays/theses/dissertations contain strong topic sentences that establish their relevance right away and make it clear to the reader the importance of the points they’re making to the main idea(s). A sub-topic under this is signposts. As the name suggests, a signpost prepares the reader for a change in the argument’s direction and shows how far it has progressed according to the claims that the thesis makes.

Forms

Complex sentences. Topic sentences that are at the beginning of the paragraph are often combined with a transition word from the previous paragraph. You can write a sentence that contains both subordinate and independent clauses. For example:
“Although Romeo and Juliet employs a fantastical and irrational love story, you have given a technological angle to it; giving it the feel of a modern-day romance.”

Questions. For eg: “Does Hamlet’s obsession with revenge rest on an unfulfilled desire of acceptance from his father?” You can write the remaining paragraph as an answer to this question. Good essays strive for forward momentum, which a question automatically answers.

Bridge sentences. Bridge sentences can act as substitutes for more formal sentences. They indicate both what came before and what comes next, without being too formal. For example: “But there is a clear indication that this was wrong.”

Pivots. When topic sentences come in the middle of the paragraph, they are termed as pivot. This always needs another word such as ‘but’, ‘yet’, and ‘however’ that indicates a contradictory opinion.

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