A classic definition sentence is one that captures the meaning of a group of sentences that form a paragraph. If the definition can be expanded into a paragraph, it becomes a topic sentence. The topic sentence is a glossary definition that constitutes the formula: a term, its class, and description (Hogan, 23). To generate a good topic sentence, one can pick one from the already completed passage. However, one may not be fully satisfied by any of the sentences. In such a case then, he or she can write his or her topic sentence by bringing together some ideas from the other sentences. A topic sentence is important while writing because it serves as a signpost for the reader. It does so by alerting them to most important points in the essay. Once the reader has read the topic sentence, he or she is also free of any confusion that may emerge regarding the argument you are trying to put across. In simpler terms, your topic sentences provide a sketch of the entire essay.
Topic sentences appear at the very start of paragraphs. Though this is usually the most appropriate place of placing it, some transitional sentences can come before it. If the first sentence is transitional, it should be paving the way for your topic sentence. Due to the last sentence in a paragraph offers a connection to the next topic sentence (Macceca, 28), the transitional sentence should also be at par with this requirement. Sometimes it can become challenging to build your argument when you begin with a topic sentence (Hogan, 48). In such a case, one can write their topic sentence at the end of the paragraph instead. Before writing it, however, you should ask why you have decided to include the information that is in your paragraph. Again, it is important to include the point you are trying to drive home.
Not every paragraph needs a topic sentence, but most of them do. The reason as to why a paragraph may not require a topic sentence is if it is assisting in developing the same point in the previous paragraph. A new topic sentence, in this case, would be redundant. On the other hand, you may not require a topic sentence because the evidence in your paragraph is so solid that it delivers your point effectively (Macceca, 33). In this case, a topic sentence would remain implicit. If you are sitting on a fence, however, it would be best to use one.
It is important to also note that your topic sentence is adequate if it does a lot more than just ascertain a connection between the paragraph and your thesis. This kind of relation can only lend a hand in strengthening the consistency of your essay. If a thesis statement is part of your introduction, the keywords from that statement should also form your topic sentence. However, it is crucial to be adequately explicit when echoing the opinion statement. Make it subtle and not heavy-handed. If your topic sentence does not adequately refer to the thesis statement, then your topic sentence requires reformulating. This can help in ensuring that your paragraph is not that redundant. Nevertheless, do not make the common mistake of restating your thesis in several of your topic sentences. This will ensure that you avoid repetition.
Hogan, Gina B. Building Better Paragraphs. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning Wadsworth, 2013. Print.
Macceca, Stephanie. Traits of Good Writing: Grade 6. Huntington Beach, CA: Shell Education, 2008. Print.
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