How to Write a Good Topic Sentence. Perfecting the skill of good rhetorical analysis essay topic sentences is essential to successful essay writing.
A topic sentence usually comes at the beginning of a paragraph and lets your reader know what to expect from each paragraph. Make sure your topic sentences are up to par, and the rest of your writing will feel like a breeze. Image titled Write a Good Topic Sentence Step 4. State your main idea clearly. Because your topic sentence is likely the first sentence in the paragraph, it needs to clearly state the subject matter of your paragraph without being wordy or difficult to understand. It must include your topic and an opinion, or your controlling idea. Keep in mind that this is not an invitation to simply announce your topic.
Today I’m going to discuss the benefits of gardening” is not an effective topic sentence. You should be able to make your intentions clear without stating them explicitly. Image titled Write a Good Topic Sentence Step 5. Balance the topic sentence between specifics and general ideas. The topic sentence needs to relate the paragraph to the thesis statement of the essay. However, you need to make sure that your topic sentence strikes a good balance between the broad and the narrow. Don’t write too vague or general an idea or you will never be able to discuss it in a single paragraph.
This is too general: “The United States suffered a lot during the Civil War. Don’t write too narrow of a statement. There’s nothing much to talk about then, because it’s probably a fact. This is too narrow: “Christmas trees are either cedars or firs. Sherman’s destruction in the South during the Civil War also caused incredible suffering.
This is big enough to relate to the broader idea of an essay, but not so narrow that there’s nothing left to discuss. Image titled Write a Good Topic Sentence Step 6. One of the many important roles of a topic sentence is to draw the readers in. Bring up questions in their minds that you intend to answer. An effective way to do this is to drop them straight into the action.
This can be a physical or emotional description. If there is a relevant conversation that will attract your reader’s attention, consider using part of it to start your paragraph. Use the opening sentence to portray an emotion to your reader. While you don’t want to write a run on sentence by creating too much detail, it’s a good idea to create interest using sensory language in your topic sentence. While you want your reader to formulate questions in his or her mind, you do not want to formulate the questions yourself. Image titled Write a Good Topic Sentence Step 7.
Keep it short and sweet. The topic sentence should act as a middle ground in your paragraph: it should be slightly more specific than your thesis, but it should not encompass the information from your entire paragraph. Image titled Write a Good Topic Sentence Step 8. The body of your paragraph is meant to prove your topic sentence. Therefore, your topic sentence should state something that you think or believe that can be supported by concrete evidence. You can choose to state an opinion in your topic sentence, but do so only if you are able to back it up in the following paragraph. Take, for example, the topic sentence “Growing herbs will further your appreciation for fresh cooking.
The phrase “further your appreciation” states something that you believe, and you can now spend the rest of the paragraph explaining why you believe what you believe. Avoid presenting only facts in your topic sentence. While facts may be interesting, they do not introduce the reader to your paragraph nor do they draw the reader in. If you wish to include a fact, also include your own input. For example, instead of writing “All dogs need food,” try “All dogs need regular care, including healthy food, and children are the best ones to do it.
Alternatively, save your facts to use as evidence in the body of your paragraph. Image titled Write a Good Topic Sentence Step 9. Use the topic sentence as a transition. Topic sentences that also work as transitions can help guide your readers through your argument, which can keep them from getting lost. Although gardening has many health benefits, people still need to exercise caution when outside. Image titled Write a Good Topic Sentence Step 1.
Every paragraph of your essay should have a main idea, point, or goal that you’re trying to get across. The topic sentence will identify that main idea. For you to write good topic sentences, you need to know what your paragraphs are going to be about. An outline will help you do that. You don’t have to write a formal outline using Roman numerals and the like. Even a loose, idea-based outline can help you know what you want to discuss. Image titled Write a Good Topic Sentence Step 2.
A thesis statement presents the main idea, goal, or argument of your essay. William Shakespeare uses the theme of fate to critique the religious beliefs of his era. Public funding for education should be expanded. Topic sentences are like the mini thesis statements of each paragraph. A topic sentence, unlike a thesis statement, doesn’t have to present an argument. Image titled Write a Good Topic Sentence Step 3. If you are new to writing topic sentences, it can help to look at some examples.