Q: What is a topic sentence?

A: Think of a topic sentence as the main idea of a paragraph. By reading a topic sentence, your reader knows exactly what your paragraph is about because the topic sentence tells him exactly what to expect.

Q: In what part of the paragraph is a topic sentence located?

A: Since the topic sentence tells the reader what a paragraph is about, the topic sentence is always the first sentence of a paragraph.

Q: What should I include when I write a topic sentence?

A: Generally, you should include two things when writing a topic sentence:

  • A topic (what you’re writing about)
  • Ideas (your opinions about your topic)

Example: The key to being a successful student is taking ownership of your own education.

In this example, the topic is what it takes in order for a person to be a successful student. The idea is that in order to be a successful student, one needs to take ownership of his own education.

Example: Investing money in the stock market can be risky business.

In this example, the topic is investing money in the stock market. The idea is that by investing money, one takes on certain risks.

Example: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle includes exercising and keeping a balanced diet.

In this example, the topic is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The idea is that a healthy lifestyle includes exercise and diet.

Q: Does every sentence in a paragraph after the topic sentence have to relate to the topic sentence?

A: Yes! Once you write a topic sentence, every single sentence in that paragraph needs to relate clearly to the topic sentence. Try doing it this way: after you write each sentence, stop and ask yourself, “Is this sentence about my topic?” If not, cut it out!

Contact Us

Have more questions? Visit the Writing Studio, and we’ll be happy to help!

Contact Information

Campus Address
Writing Studio, Kemp Library
Title of Department Leader
Director, Writing Studio
Sandra Eckard
(570) 422-3593