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How to Write Topic Sentences | 4 Steps, Examples & Purpose

Published on July 21, 2022 by Shona McCombes . Revised on June 5, 2023.

How to Write Topic Sentences

Every paragraph in your paper needs a topic sentence . The topic sentence expresses what the paragraph is about. It should include two key things:

  • The  topic of the paragraph
  • The central point of the paragraph.

After the topic sentence, you expand on the point zwith evidence and examples.

To build a well-structured argument, you can also use your topic sentences to transition smoothly between paragraphs and show the connections between your points.

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Table of contents

Writing strong topic sentences, topic sentences as transitions between paragraphs, topic sentences that introduce more than one paragraph, where does the topic sentence go, frequently asked questions about topic sentences.

Topic sentences aren’t the first or the last thing you write—you’ll develop them throughout the writing process. To make sure every topic sentence and paragraph serves your argument, follow these steps.

Step 1: Write a thesis statement

The first step to developing your topic sentences is to make sure you have a strong thesis statement . The thesis statement sums up the purpose and argument of the whole paper.

Thesis statement example

Food is an increasingly urgent environmental issue, and to reduce humans’ impact on the planet, it is necessary to change global patterns of food production and consumption.

Step 2: Make an essay outline and draft topic sentences

Next, you should make an outline of your essay’s structure , planning what you want to say in each paragraph and what evidence you’ll use.

At this stage, you can draft a topic sentence that sums up the main point you want to make in each paragraph. The topic sentences should be more specific than the thesis statement, but always clearly related to it.

Topic sentence example

Research has consistently shown that the meat industry has a significant environmental impact .

Step 3: Expand with evidence

The rest of the paragraph should flow logically from the topic sentence, expanding on the point with evidence, examples, or argumentation. This helps keep your paragraphs focused: everything you write should relate to the central idea expressed in the topic sentence.

In our example, you might mention specific research studies and statistics that support your point about the overall impact of the meat industry.

Step 4: Refine your topic sentences

Topic sentences usually start out as simple statements. But it’s important to revise them as you write, making sure they match the content of each paragraph.

A good topic sentence is specific enough to give a clear sense of what to expect from the paragraph, but general enough that it doesn’t give everything away. You can think of it like a signpost: it should tell the reader which direction your argument is going in.

To make your writing stronger and ensure the connections between your paragraphs are clear and logical, you can also use topic sentences to create smooth transitions. To improve sentence flow even more, you can also utilize the paraphrase tool .

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how to write topic sentences for essay

As you write each topic sentence, ask yourself: how does this point relate to what you wrote in the preceding paragraph? It’s often helpful to use transition words in your topic sentences to show the connections between your ideas.

Emphasize and expand

If the paragraph goes into more detail or gives another example to make the same point, the topic sentence can use words that imply emphasis or similarity (for example, furthermore , indeed , in fact , also ).

Indeed , cattle farming alone is responsible for a large proportion of greenhouse gas emissions.

Summarize and anticipate

If the paragraph turns to a different aspect of the same subject, the topic sentence can briefly sum up the previous paragraph and anticipate the new information that will appear in this one.

While beef clearly has the most dramatic footprint, other animal products also have serious impacts in terms of emissions, water and land use.

Compare and contrast

If the paragraph makes a comparison or introduces contrasting information, the topic sentence can use words that highlight difference or conflict (for example, in contrast , however , yet , on the other hand ).

However , the environmental costs of dietary choices are not always clear-cut; in some cases, small-scale livestock farming is more sustainable than plant-based food production.

You can also imply contrast or complicate your argument by formulating the topic sentence as a question.

Is veganism the only solution, or are there more sustainable ways of producing meat and dairy?

Sometimes you can use a topic sentence to introduce several paragraphs at once.

All of the examples above address the environmental impact of meat-eating versus veganism. Together, they make up one coherent part of a larger argument, so the first paragraph could use a topic sentence to introduce the whole section.

In countries with high levels of meat consumption, a move towards plant-based diets is the most obvious route to making food more sustainable. Research has consistently shown that the meat industry has significant environmental impacts.

The topic sentence usually goes at the very start of a paragraph, but sometimes it can come later to indicate a change of direction in the paragraph’s argument.

Given this evidence of the meat industry’s impact on the planet, veganism seems like the only environmentally responsible option for consumers. However, the environmental costs of dietary choices are not always clear-cut; in some cases, small-scale livestock farming is more sustainable than plant-based food production.

In this example, the first sentence summarizes the main point that has been made so far. Then the topic sentence indicates that this paragraph will address evidence that complicates or contradicts that point.

In more advanced or creative forms of academic writing , you can play with the placement of topic sentences to build suspense and give your arguments more force. But if in doubt, to keep your research paper clear and focused, the easiest method is to place the topic sentence at the start of the paragraph.

View topic sentences in an example essay

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A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.

Topic sentences help keep your writing focused and guide the reader through your argument.

In an essay or paper , each paragraph should focus on a single idea. By stating the main idea in the topic sentence, you clarify what the paragraph is about for both yourself and your reader.

The topic sentence usually comes at the very start of the paragraph .

However, sometimes you might start with a transition sentence to summarize what was discussed in previous paragraphs, followed by the topic sentence that expresses the focus of the current paragraph.

Let’s say you’re writing a five-paragraph  essay about the environmental impacts of dietary choices. Here are three examples of topic sentences you could use for each of the three body paragraphs :

  • Research has shown that the meat industry has severe environmental impacts.
  • However, many plant-based foods are also produced in environmentally damaging ways.
  • It’s important to consider not only what type of diet we eat, but where our food comes from and how it is produced.

Each of these sentences expresses one main idea – by listing them in order, we can see the overall structure of the essay at a glance. Each paragraph will expand on the topic sentence with relevant detail, evidence, and arguments.

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Writing Beginner

How to Write a Topic Sentence (30+ Tips & Examples)

Writing the perfect topic sentence took me years to master.

After endless drafts, feedback sessions, and seeing what resonates with readers, I’ve distilled the ultimate guide to craft attention-grabbing, informative, and concise topic sentences.

Let’s dive into the essential tips for how to write a topic sentence.

What Is a Topic Sentence and Why Is It Important?

Bright lights spell 'TOPIC SENTENCES' above an awe-inspired crowd -- How to Write a Topic Sentence

Table of Contents

A topic sentence introduces the main idea, usually appearing at the start of a paragraph.

It sets the tone for the entire paragraph by giving a glimpse of what’s coming. Think of it as a headline for each paragraph that keeps your writing clear and focused.

A strong topic sentence is important because:

  • Grabs Attention: Captures the reader’s interest, encouraging them to keep reading.
  • Guides Structure: Helps organize thoughts in a logical way.
  • Provides Focus: Prevents rambling by clarifying the main point.

Types of Topic Sentences

Different types of topic sentences can fit various writing styles and purposes.

Understanding these types will help you select the best approach for your specific content.

  • Declarative Statements: These are straightforward sentences that make a clear assertion. They introduce the main idea without any fluff or ambiguity. Example: “Water conservation is critical in regions prone to drought.”
  • Interrogative Sentences: These topic sentences pose a question, encouraging readers to think critically and seek answers within the paragraph. Example: “How can sustainable practices help reduce waste in the fashion industry?”
  • Complex Sentences: By combining independent and dependent clauses, these topic sentences present a nuanced main idea that prepares readers for a more detailed discussion. Example: “Although renewable energy sources are gaining popularity, fossil fuels still dominate the global energy sector.”
  • Bridge Sentences: These link the preceding paragraph to the next, providing continuity and coherence in the overall structure. Example: “While electric vehicles offer a greener alternative to traditional cars, the infrastructure for widespread adoption remains lacking.”
  • Contrasting Statements: These topic sentences highlight opposing viewpoints or circumstances, building intrigue and depth into the following paragraph. Example: “Despite the technological advancements in healthcare, access remains limited for underserved communities.”

My 30 Best Tips for Writing a Topic Sentence

Now let’s get into the main section of this guide — where you will learn all the best tips for writing a compelling topic sentence on any subject.

Tip #1: State the Main Idea Clearly

Make sure your topic sentence introduces the primary idea succinctly.

Avoid vague language or cluttered wording. Your reader should immediately understand the topic.

  • Clear: “Recycling programs reduce landfill waste by promoting reusable packaging.”
  • Unclear: “Programs for recycling can be a good thing because it’s important.”

Tip #2: Keep It Simple and Direct

A topic sentence should be straightforward. Avoid complex structures and over-complicated phrasing.

Shorter sentences work best.

  • Simple: “Exercise improves mental health through endorphin production.”
  • Complicated: “One can expect to experience benefits in their mental state with exercise due to the generation of endorphins.”

Tip #3: Link to the Previous Paragraph

Create a smooth flow by connecting ideas to the paragraph before.

Transition words like “similarly,” “however,” or “in contrast” help show relationships.

  • Linked: “Similarly, the agricultural industry is also impacted by climate change.”
  • Disjointed: “Farmers are struggling with erratic weather patterns.”

Tip #4: Avoid Announcing Your Intentions

Steer clear of sentences like “In this paragraph, I will discuss…” They sound amateurish and reduce reader engagement.

  • Natural: “Effective communication skills are crucial for career advancement.”
  • Announcing: “This paragraph will explain why communication skills are important.”

Tip #5: Vary Sentence Structure

Using the same structure repeatedly can bore readers.

Mix up your approach by experimenting with different forms like questions, facts, and lists.

  • Varied: “How does cultural background influence consumer behavior?”
  • Repetitive: “Consumer behavior is influenced by cultural background.”

Tip #6: Be Specific, Not General

A vague topic sentence leaves the reader confused. Instead, provide specific information to establish clarity and interest.

  • Specific: “Remote work improves productivity by reducing commute times.”
  • General: “Remote work is beneficial for many reasons.”

Tip #7: Reflect Your Argument’s Tone

Match your topic sentence with the tone of your argument. For serious discussions, avoid informal language.

  • Formal: “The socioeconomic impact of urbanization requires comprehensive policy solutions.”
  • Informal: “The effects of city living need some fixing.”

Tip #8: Include a Controlling Idea

The controlling idea limits the scope of the paragraph, ensuring the reader knows what to expect next.

  • With Control: “Social media marketing increases brand visibility through targeted campaigns.”
  • Without Control: “Social media is important.”

Tip #9: Use Active Voice

Active voice is more engaging and dynamic. It also provides clarity.

  • Active: “New policies will reshape healthcare accessibility.”
  • Passive: “Healthcare accessibility will be reshaped by new policies.”

Tip #10: Make It Unique

Avoid using overused phrases or predictable statements. Offer a fresh perspective to captivate your reader.

  • Unique: “Biodegradable packaging is transforming the fast-food industry.”
  • Cliché: “The fast-food industry is changing with new trends.”

Tip #11: Create Curiosity

Tease your reader by leaving questions unanswered. Encourage them to keep reading for more.

  • Curious: “What are the unexpected benefits of rising inflation rates?”
  • Blunt: “Rising inflation rates have some positive effects.”

Tip #12: Support Your Thesis

Your topic sentence should align with your overall thesis. It will give your argument more coherence.

  • Aligned: “Reducing plastic waste aligns with our sustainability goals.”
  • Unaligned: “Plastic recycling is controversial.”

Tip #13: Focus on One Point

Don’t overwhelm readers with multiple ideas in one topic sentence. Stick to one clear concept.

  • One Point: “Artificial intelligence streamlines data analysis.”
  • Too Broad: “Artificial intelligence changes marketing, finance, and data analysis.”

Tip #14: Use Key Terms From the Prompt (if applicable)

If you are responding to an assignment or specific topic prompt, make sure your topic sentence directly incorporates relevant keywords.

  • Key Terms Included: “Global warming solutions must involve international cooperation.”
  • Lacks Terms: “Solutions for the environment require cooperation.”

Tip #15: Offer Context

Provide some context in the topic sentence to frame the discussion, giving the reader essential background information.

With Context: “As urbanization accelerates, city infrastructure struggles to keep up.” Without Context: “City infrastructure is lagging.”

Tip #16: Incorporate Comparisons

Comparisons can clarify complex concepts and give readers a familiar reference.

  • Comparison: “Just as the printing press revolutionized communication, the internet has transformed modern commerce.”
  • No Comparison: “The internet has transformed modern commerce.”

Tip #17: Present Solutions

Offering a solution at the start engages readers who are seeking actionable advice.

  • Solution: “Installing solar panels reduces energy bills while cutting carbon emissions.”
  • Problem-Only: “High energy bills are a widespread issue.”

Tip #18: Address Common Misconceptions

Challenge preconceived notions to spark curiosity and highlight the importance of your argument.

  • Challenging: “Despite common belief, vitamin supplements aren’t always beneficial.”
  • Reinforcing: “Vitamin supplements have benefits.”

Tip #19: Use Emotional Appeals

Appeal to the reader’s emotions to deepen their connection to your writing.

  • Emotional: “Volunteering at shelters uplifts communities and transforms lives.”
  • Neutral: “Volunteering at shelters is helpful.”

Tip #20: Avoid Redundancy

Ensure your topic sentence adds new value. Avoid repeating points covered elsewhere.

  • New Value: “Stronger copyright laws are crucial for protecting intellectual property.”
  • Redundant: “Intellectual property needs stronger protection.”

Tip #21: Ask a Thought-Provoking Question

Pose a question that makes the reader stop and think. This engages them immediately.

  • Provocative: “How will automation reshape the global workforce?”
  • Plain: “Automation is changing the global workforce.”

Tip #22: Include an Action Verb

Action verbs add momentum and urgency to your topic sentence. They make your point more dynamic.

  • Active Verb: “Investing in renewable energy fosters long-term economic growth.”
  • Lacks Action: “Renewable energy investments are beneficial.”

Tip #23: Paint a Picture

Use descriptive language to help readers visualize your point.

  • Descriptive: “Increased droughts have turned fertile farmlands into arid deserts.”
  • Bland: “Droughts are affecting farmlands.”

Tip #24: Use Parallel Structure

Parallel structure involves repeating similar grammatical forms.

It makes your writing rhythmic and easy to follow.

  • Parallel: “Tackling pollution requires reducing emissions, cleaning waterways, and limiting waste.”
  • Non-Parallel: “Tackling pollution requires emission reductions, waterways cleaning, and limiting waste.”

Tip #25: Emphasize Urgency

Highlight the time-sensitive nature of your argument to create urgency.

  • Urgent: “Immediate action is needed to prevent further deforestation.”
  • Calm: “Deforestation is a concern.”

Tip #26: Highlight Contrasts

Contrasting different ideas helps to emphasize your point and draw clear distinctions.

  • Contrast: “While technology creates new jobs, it also disrupts traditional industries.”
  • No Contrast: “Technology affects the job market.”

Tip #27: Lead with a Statistic

Start with a compelling number to catch the reader’s attention and back up your argument.

  • Statistic: “80% of small businesses struggle to comply with data privacy regulations.”
  • General Statement: “Small businesses struggle with data privacy.”

Tip #28: Build on Existing Knowledge

Assume the reader has some background knowledge and expand on it.

  • Builds On Knowledge: “With the rise of remote work, companies are rethinking their office spaces.”
  • Basic Information: “Remote work is changing office spaces.”

Tip #29: Start with an Anecdote

A brief anecdote adds a human touch, creating an immediate connection with the reader.

  • Anecdotal: “After years of burnout, Sarah switched to a part-time schedule to improve her work-life balance.”
  • Abstract: “Work-life balance is important.”

Tip #30: Use an Engaging Metaphor

A metaphor can illuminate your argument in an unexpected way.

  • Metaphor: “Effective teamwork is the glue that holds successful organizations together.”
  • Literal: “Effective teamwork is important for organizations.”

Check out this video about how to write a topic sentence:

Final Thoughts: How to Write a Topic Sentence

Writing compelling topic sentences takes practice, but mastering this skill can transform your writing.

I hope this guides empowers you in your topic-sentence writing journey.

Beyond the topic sentence, there are other techniques and terms you really need to know to improve your writing.

Read This Next:

  • 30 Narrative Writing Examples to Elevate Your Writing
  • What Is a Summary In Writing? (Explained + 40 Examples)
  • What Is A Warrant In Writing? (Explained + 20 Examples)
  • What Is A Universal Statement In Writing? (Explained)
  • How to Describe Tone in Writing: 300 Examples You Can Use

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how to write topic sentences for essay

How to Write a Strong Topic Sentence + Examples

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What’s Covered:

  • What Is a Topic Sentence?
  • 5 Steps to Writing a Good Topic Sentence

Elements of a Good Topic Sentence

Common pitfalls to avoid.

  • Where To Get Your Essay Edited For Free

Crafting the perfect essay takes time and dedication. There are so many elements you have to worry about, such as tone, purpose, and correct spelling and grammar. Writing a strong topic sentences is another critical part in writing a cohesive essay. 

Without a strong topic sentence, you risk losing your reader and perhaps part of your grade. If it’s a college admissions essay, then you need it to be as strong as possible to back up your application. Learn about what steps you should take to write a strong topic sentence.

What Is a Topic Sentence? 

People often confuse a topic sentence with a thesis statement. A thesis statement is typically at the end of your opening paragraph, that dictates the main argument you’ll be making in your essay. 

Throughout your essay, you’ll have multiple topic sentences, as each paragraph should start off with one. This beginning sentence is used to direct the topic of the paragraph and outline the flow of the following sentences. It’s used to help guide your reader and to continue to keep them hooked on your overall essay. Without topic sentences, your essay will be unorganized, lack transitions, and sound very choppy. To write a good topic sentence, there are several steps to take.

Writing a Good Topic Sentence: 5 Steps

Step 1: decide what you’re going to write about..

When you see the essay prompt, you’ll have some time to think through what you want to say and why. You have to decide if it’s a persuasive essay, informative, narrative, or descriptive. Determine your purpose for writing the essay after reading through the prompt. Whether it’s an assignment for school or if it’s to get into college, you need to make sure you have that purpose clearly outlined. 

Step 2: Create a thesis statement.

One of the first things you need to do is create a thesis statement. This is typically a sentence with three points that you’ll back up throughout your essay. 

For example: The Office became a cultural phenomenon because it spurred the careers of many of today’s successful movie stars, it talked about situations that most American workers can relate to, and even 15 years later, offers funny, relevant content that helps to break down prejudices. 

You then use that thesis statement to create an essay around the points you want to make. 

Step 3: Make your essay outline.

Once you have the points you want to make within your thesis statement hammered out, make an outline for your essay. This is where you’ll start to create your topic sentence for each paragraph. You want to clearly state the main idea of that paragraph in the very first sentence. From there, you back up that main idea with facts and reputable sources. Make sure your topic sentence is clear, but does not just announce your topic. 

For example, do not write something like: “In this paragraph, I will discuss why it’s bad that poachers are killing giraffes.”

Instead, write something that clearly states your idea with a reasonable opinion and that gives direction to the paragraph: “Giraffes are a key part of the African ecosystem, so it’s important to enforce regulations against the poachers who are killing them for their body parts.” 

You’d then follow that up with reasons why giraffes are a key part of the African ecosystem and how poachers are destroying their population.

Step 4: Begin writing your essay.

Once you have your thesis statement and you’ve created an outline with supporting paragraphs and their topic sentences, you can begin writing your essay. It’s important to make that outline before just jumping in–a disorganized essay can spell disaster for you as you continue to write, and could result in a poor grade. Many times, teachers will even require you to turn in your outline as part of your overall essay grade. 

Step 5: Proofread and check your resources.

After you’ve written the essay, go back through it with a fine tooth comb. Read through each topic sentence and the paragraphs that follow to ensure that you’ve written clear, solid topic sentences throughout and that the paragraphs with them make sense. During the proofreading phase, you also need to recheck the sources you’re using. Make sure each source is reputable. In other words, do not use sites like Wikipedia where anyone can go in and edit an article to add misinformation. Use sites that:

  • Are actual reputable news sources, such as the New York Times , CNN, CBS News
  • Have domain names that end in .edu or .gov
  • Come from an encyclopedia, such as Encyclopedia Britannica

Using sites that are not reputable could jeopardize the validity of your argument. 

how to write topic sentences for essay

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Now that you know the steps to set yourself up for success when writing a topic sentence, there are certain elements that go into a quality first sentence. Always make sure that your topic sentence is the first sentence of a paragraph. You don’t want to make your reader hunt for the point you’re trying to make. Check out some key elements of a good topic sentence:

Make sure your topic sentence isn’t too vague.

You need a topic sentence that has some specifics to it. It also needs to hook in your reader in some way with an opinion. A vague sentence makes it harder to write a paragraph that can clearly backs up your thoughts. For example:

DON’T: “In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Bingley seems like a nice guy.”

DO: “When Mr. Bingley is first introduced, he comes across as a kind person because he speaks to everyone and doesn’t immediately pass judgment.”

Choose a reasonable opinion.

Your topic sentence should clearly outline whatever point you’re trying to make in the paragraph, but you want to pick a reasonable opinion that you can easily reinforce with facts and statistics. Here’s an example of what you should and should not do:

DON’T: “It’s obvious that Mr. Bingley was a total loser with no backbone.”

DO: “Mr. Bingley could have shown more confidence in his choices and stood up to Mr. Darcy when he found himself in love with Jane Bennet.”

You can then back that up with facts, saying that he was a wealthy Englishman and thus one of the key players in society at the time, which should have given him more confidence. If he’d been more confident, perhaps he would not have left and devastated Jane.

Use your topic sentence as a transition.

Along with telling the reader the point of your next paragraph, your topic sentence should also serve as a transition from the previous paragraph. Without a transition, the essay can feel like it’s choppy and disjointed. For example:

DON’T: “Mr. Bingley is a good man and here’s why.”

DO: “Although Mr. Bingley did break Jane’s heart by leaving, he ended up redeeming himself by returning to Netherfield Hall.”

Keep your topic sentence short.

A long, drawn-out topic sentence can risk losing your reader. Many times, it’s hard to determine the point of a sentence when it goes on for too long. You want a clear, concise sentence that draws in the reader but also leaves some room for you to expand on it in the following paragraph.

DON’T: “Throughout the novel of Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Bingley was often quite different from Mr. Darcy as he would treat all people in a friendly manner, considering them all his friends and acquaintances, even agreeing to throw a ball after Elizabeth’s sisters rudely demanded he do so and was gracious to Mr. and Mrs. Bennet as well despite their manners.”

DO: “Overall, Mr. Bingley served as a foil to Mr. Darcy throughout the story by treating everyone around him equally with dignity and grace.”

Writing an essay can be overwhelming at times, but so long as you avoid some of these common pitfalls, it can be easier to get it done on time. 

Don’t wait until the last minute.

If your teacher assigns you an essay or tells you that you have an essay test coming up, don’t wait until the day before to do anything about it. You have to plan or study and you need to give yourself time to do that. If you know it takes you a while to write something, then start planning it as soon as you get the assignment.

Don’t forget to write an outline.

Along with planning, make sure you have that outline written up and planned out well. It will serve as your guideline for writing the essay. Without it, you’ll face the risk of a disorganized essay that does not clearly illustrate your point.

Ask for help if you need it.

This may be the most important pitfall to avoid. If you get in over your head while writing, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask a friend to review the essay or ask your teacher for guidance. 

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how to write topic sentences for essay

Topic sentences and signposts make an essay's claims clear to a reader. Good essays contain both.  Topic sentences   reveal the main point of a paragraph. They show the relationship of each paragraph to the essay's thesis, telegraph the point of a paragraph, and tell your reader what to expect in the paragraph that follows. Topic sentences also establish their relevance right away, making clear why the points they're making are important to the essay's main ideas. They argue rather than report.  Signposts , as their name suggests, prepare the reader for a change in the argument's direction. They show how far the essay's argument has progressed vis-ˆ-vis the claims of the thesis. 

Topic sentences and signposts occupy a middle ground in the writing process. They are neither the first thing a writer needs to address (thesis and the broad strokes of an essay's structure are); nor are they the last (that's when you attend to sentence-level editing and polishing). Topic sentences and signposts deliver an essay's structure and meaning to a reader, so they are useful diagnostic tools to the writer—they let you know if your thesis is arguable—and essential guides to the reader

Forms of Topic Sentences

 Sometimes topic sentences are actually two or even three sentences long. If the first makes a claim, the second might reflect on that claim, explaining it further. Think of these sentences as asking and answering two critical questions: How does the phenomenon you're discussing operate? Why does it operate as it does?

There's no set formula for writing a topic sentence. Rather, you should work to vary the form your topic sentences take. Repeated too often, any method grows wearisome. Here are a few approaches.

Complex sentences.   Topic sentences at the beginning of a paragraph frequently combine with a transition from the previous paragraph. This might be done by writing a sentence that contains both subordinate and independent clauses, as in the example below.

 Although  Young Woman with a Water Pitcher  depicts an unknown, middle-class woman at an ordinary task, the image is more than "realistic"; the painter [Vermeer] has imposed his own order upon it to strengthen it. 

This sentence employs a useful principle of transitions: always move from old to new information.  The subordinate clause (from "although" to "task") recaps information from previous paragraphs; the independent clauses (starting with "the image" and "the painter") introduce the new information—a claim about how the image works ("more than Ôrealistic'") and why it works as it does (Vermeer "strengthens" the image by "imposing order"). 

Questions.   Questions, sometimes in pairs, also make good topic sentences (and signposts).  Consider the following: "Does the promise of stability justify this unchanging hierarchy?" We may fairly assume that the paragraph or section that follows will answer the question. Questions are by definition a form of inquiry, and thus demand an answer. Good essays strive for this forward momentum.

Bridge sentences.   Like questions, "bridge sentences" (the term is John Trimble's) make an excellent substitute for more formal topic sentences. Bridge sentences indicate both what came before and what comes next (they "bridge" paragraphs) without the formal trappings of multiple clauses: "But there is a clue to this puzzle." 

Pivots.   Topic sentences don't always appear at the beginning of a paragraph. When they come in the middle, they indicate that the paragraph will change direction, or "pivot." This strategy is particularly useful for dealing with counter-evidence: a paragraph starts out conceding a point or stating a fact ("Psychologist Sharon Hymer uses the term Ônarcissistic friendship' to describe the early stage of a friendship like the one between Celie and Shug"); after following up on this initial statement with evidence, it then reverses direction and establishes a claim ("Yet ... this narcissistic stage of Celie and Shug's relationship is merely a transitory one. Hymer herself concedes . . . "). The pivot always needs a signal, a word like "but," "yet," or "however," or a longer phrase or sentence that indicates an about-face. It often needs more than one sentence to make its point.

Signposts operate as topic sentences for whole sections in an essay. (In longer essays, sections often contain more than a single paragraph.) They inform a reader that the essay is taking a turn in its argument: delving into a related topic such as a counter-argument, stepping up its claims with a complication, or pausing to give essential historical or scholarly background. Because they reveal the architecture of the essay itself, signposts remind readers of what the essay's stakes are: what it's about, and why it's being written. 

Signposting can be accomplished in a sentence or two at the beginning of a paragraph or in whole paragraphs that serve as transitions between one part of the argument and the next. The following example comes from an essay examining how a painting by Monet,  The Gare Saint-Lazare: Arrival of a Train,  challenges Zola's declarations about Impressionist art. The student writer wonders whether Monet's Impressionism is really as devoted to avoiding "ideas" in favor of direct sense impressions as Zola's claims would seem to suggest. This is the start of the essay's third section:

It is evident in this painting that Monet found his Gare Saint-Lazare motif fascinating at the most fundamental level of the play of light as well as the loftiest level of social relevance.  Arrival of a Train  explores both extremes of expression. At the fundamental extreme, Monet satisfies the Impressionist objective of capturing the full-spectrum effects of light on a scene.

 The writer signposts this section in the first sentence, reminding readers of the stakes of the essay itself with the simultaneous references to sense impression ("play of light") and intellectual content ("social relevance"). The second sentence follows up on this idea, while the third serves as a topic sentence for the paragraph. The paragraph after that starts off with a topic sentence about the "cultural message" of the painting, something that the signposting sentence predicts by not only reminding readers of the essay's stakes but also, and quite clearly, indicating what the section itself will contain. 

Copyright 2000, Elizabeth Abrams, for the Writing Center at Harvard University

how to write topic sentences for essay

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Paragraphs: Topic Sentences

Topic sentences video playlist.

Note that these videos were created while APA 6 was the style guide edition in use. There may be some examples of writing that have not been updated to APA 7 guidelines.

  • Academic Paragraphs: Introduction to Paragraphs and the MEAL Plan (video transcript)
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The best way to understand the role of the topic sentence in paragraph development is to imagine that any given paragraph is a miniature essay that has its own thesis, support, and conclusion. The parts of a paragraph easily correspond to the parts of an essay:

Thesis statement Topic sentence
Body paragraphs Supporting details, explanation, analysis
Conclusion Wrap-up sentence(s)

Just as an effective essay starts off with an introduction that presents the paper's thesis statement and indicates the specific claim or argument that the essay will develop, each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence that indicates the focus of that paragraph, alerting the reader to the particular subtopic that the paragraph will provide evidence to support.

A strong topic sentence should be placed at or near the beginning of a paragraph. In addition, this sentence should focus on a specific issue, avoid the use of direct quotations, and leave room for support and analysis within the body of the paragraph. Read on to learn more about creating an effective topic sentence.

The topic sentence does not have to be the first sentence in the paragraph; however, it should come early in the paragraph in order to orient the reader to the paragraph's focus right away. Occasionally a writer may place a transition sentence before the topic sentence, to create continuity between topics.

Topic Sentence to begin paragraph:

In the novel Sula , Morrison uses the physical bonds of female friendship to propel her characters into self-awareness.

Transition Sentence + Topic Sentence to begin paragraph:

However, Morrison does not only use the emotional and spiritual bonds between her female characters to initiate their coming-of-age. In addition, the author uses the physical bonds of female friendship to propel her adolescent protagonists into self-awareness.


Your topic sentence should be more narrowly focused than your thesis sentence, and you will want to make sure the claim you are making can be supported, argued, and analyzed within the body of your paragraph.

Example: In the novel Sula , Morrison uses the physical bonds of female friendship to propel her characters into self-awareness.

In this topic sentence, the essayist is arguing that physical bonds of friendship, specifically, make the female characters more self-aware. Because this idea can be refuted or supported by readers (based on how successfully the essayist persuades his or her readers with examples and analysis from the novel), and because the claim is narrow enough to address within a single paragraph, the above sentence is a successful topic sentence.

Direct Quotations (Are Best Avoided)

Although it might be tempting to begin a paragraph with a compelling quotation, as a general rule, topic sentences should state the main idea of the paragraph in your own words. Direct quotations have a place later in the paragraph, where they may be incorporated to support the topic sentence.

Needs Improvement: As Morrison (1982) conveyed, the girls' "friendship let them use each other to grow on…they found in each other's eyes the intimacy they were looking for" (p. 52).
Better: In the novel Sula , Morrison uses the physical bonds of female friendship to propel her characters into self-awareness. Pointing to the connection of eyes meeting and bodies growing together, Morrison makes coming-of-age an interactive physical process between the adolescent protagonists. Specifically, Morrison describes how Sula and Nel have used "each other to grow on…they found in each other's eyes the intimacy they were looking for" (p. 52).

In this second paragraph, the topic sentence appears first, immediately orienting readers to the main focus (or topic) of the paragraph. The quotation is used later in the paragraph as a form of evidence or support for the topic sentence.

If you are finding it challenging to create effective topic sentences, you might consider outlining before beginning to write a paper. The points and subpoints of an outline can then become the topic sentences for the paper's paragraphs.

Additionally, because the topic sentence functions similarly at the paragraph level to the thesis at the essay level, you may also find it helpful to check out our thesis statement construction information. Our resource on paragraphs has helpful information about the scope of a paragraph, as well.

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Using Topic Sentences

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What is a topic sentence?

A topic sentence states the main point of a paragraph: it serves as a mini-thesis for the paragraph. You might think of it as a signpost for your readers—or a headline—something that alerts them to the most important, interpretive points in your essay. When read in sequence, your essay’s topic sentences will provide a sketch of the essay’s argument. Thus topics sentences help protect your readers from confusion by guiding them through the argument. But topic sentences can also help you to improve your essay by making it easier for you to recognize gaps or weaknesses in your argument.

Where do topic sentences go?

Topic sentences usually appear at the very beginning of paragraphs. In the following example from Anatomy of Criticism , Northrop Frye establishes the figure of the tragic hero as someone more than human, but less than divine. He backs up his claim with examples of characters from literature, religion and mythology whose tragic stature is a function of their ability to mediate between their fellow human beings and a power that transcends the merely human:

The tragic hero is typically on top of the wheel of fortune, half-way between human society on the ground and the something greater in the sky. Prometheus, Adam, and Christ hang between heaven and earth, between a world of paradisal freedom and a world of bondage. Tragic heroes are so much the highest points in their human landscape that they seem the inevitable conductors of the power about them, great trees more likely to be struck by lightning than a clump of grass. Conductors may of course be instruments as well as victims of the divine lightning: Milton’s Samson destroys the Philistine temple with himself, and Hamlet nearly exterminates the Danish court in his own fall.

The structure of Frye’s paragraph is simple yet powerful: the topic sentence makes an abstract point, and the rest of the paragraph elaborates on that point using concrete examples as evidence.

Does a topic sentence have to be at the beginning of a paragraph?

No, though this is usually the most logical place for it. Sometimes a transitional sentence or two will come before a topic sentence:

We found in comedy that the term bomolochos or buffoon need not be restricted to farce, but could be extended to cover comic characters who are primarily entertainers, with the function of increasing or focusing the comic mood. The corresponding contrasting type is the suppliant, the character, often female, who presents a picture of unmitigated helplessness and destitution. Such a figure is pathetic, and pathos, though it seems a gentler and more relaxed mood than tragedy, is even more terrifying. Its basis is the exclusion of an individual from the group; hence it attacks the deepest fear in ourselves that we possess—a fear much deeper than the relatively cosy and sociable bogey of hell. In the suppliant pity and terror are brought to the highest possible pitch of intensity, and the awful consequences of rejecting the suppliant for all concerned is a central theme of Greek tragedy.

The context for this passage is an extended discussion of the characteristics of tragedy. In this paragraph, Frye begins by drawing a parallel between the figure of the buffoon in comedy and that of the suppliant in tragedy. His discussion of the buffoon occurred in a earlier section of the chapter, a section devoted to comedy. The first sentence of the current paragraph is transitional: it prepares the way for the topic sentence. The delayed topic sentence contributes to the coherence of Frye’s discussion by drawing an explicit connection between key ideas in the book. In essays, the connection is usually between the last paragraph and the current one.

Sometimes writers save a topic sentence for the end of a paragraph. You may, for example, occasionally find that giving away your point at the beginning of a paragraph does not allow you to build your argument toward an effective climax.

How do I come up with a topic sentence? And what makes a good one?

Ask yourself what’s going on in your paragraph. Why have you chosen to include the information you have? Why is the paragraph important in the context of your argument? What point are you trying to make?

Relating your topic sentences to your thesis can help strengthen the coherence of your essay. If you include a thesis statement in your introduction, then think of incorporating a keyword from that statement into the topic sentence. But you need not be overly explicit when you echo the thesis statement. Better to be subtle rather than heavy-handed. Do not forget that your topic sentence should do more than just establish a connection between your paragraph and your thesis. Use a topic sentence to show how your paragraph contributes to the development of your argument by moving it that one extra step forward. If your topic sentence merely restates your thesis, then either your paragraph is redundant or your topic sentence needs to be reformulated. If several of your topic sentences restate your thesis, even if they do so in different words, then your essay is probably repetitive.

Does every paragraph need one?

No, but most do. Sometimes a paragraph helps to develop the same point as in the previous paragraph, and so a new topic sentence would be redundant. And sometimes the evidence in your paragraph makes your point so effectively that your topic sentence can remain implicit. But if you are in doubt, it’s best to use one.

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How to Write a Good Topic Sentence

Last Updated: June 26, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Megan Morgan, PhD . Megan Morgan is a Graduate Program Academic Advisor in the School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Georgia. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Georgia in 2015. There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 2,251,616 times.

Perfecting the skill of writing topic sentences is essential to successful writing. A topic sentence usually comes at the beginning of a paragraph and lets your reader know what to expect from each paragraph. Think of it as the preview for a movie or a headline in a newspaper, highlighting the “main point” that’s to come in that paragraph. [1] X Research source Make sure your topic sentences are up to par, and the rest of your writing will feel like a breeze.

Writing a Successful Topic Sentence

Step 1 State your main idea clearly.

  • 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.
  • The topic sentence in this example states a clear direction (“health benefits of gardening”) that you can then elaborate on in your paragraph.

Step 2 Balance the topic sentence between specifics and general ideas.

  • 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."
  • Instead, aim for a good balance: “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.

Step 3 Hook your reader.

  • Describe a character. This can be a physical or emotional description.
  • Use dialogue. If there is a relevant conversation that will attract your reader’s attention, consider using part of it to start your paragraph.
  • Portray an emotion. Use the opening sentence to portray an emotion to your reader.
  • Use detail. 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.
  • Avoid rhetorical questions. While you want your reader to formulate questions in his or her mind, you do not want to formulate the questions yourself.

Step 4 Keep it short and sweet.

  • 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.

Step 6 Use the topic sentence as a transition.

  • Using transitional elements, such as “In addition” or “In contrast,” is a good way to show the relationship between your ideas.
  • For example: “Although gardening has many health benefits, people still need to exercise caution when outside.” This topic sentence establishes a connection to the main idea of the previous paragraph (“health benefits of gardening”) and points to the direction of the new paragraph (“things to be cautious of”).

Planning Your Topic Sentences

Step 1  Write an...

  • 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.

Step 2 Understand the connection...

  • A topic sentence, unlike a thesis statement, doesn’t have to present an argument. It can present a “preview” of what the paragraph will argue or discuss.

Step 3 Look at some examples.

  • For example, a topic sentence could look like this: “In addition, increasing funding for public roads in Jackson County will improve local residents’ quality of life.” The rest of the sentences in this paragraph would relate to the main idea of public roads and how they will help benefit local residents.
  • This is not as successful a topic sentence: “Increased funding for public roads in Jackson County has decreased traffic by 20%.” While this is probably an interesting fact for your argument, it’s too narrow for a topic sentence. The topic sentence has to direct the whole paragraph.

Avoiding Common Problems

Step 1 Avoid introducing yourself.

  • Unless it is an opinion piece, avoid using ‘I’ in your topic sentences.

Step 2 Make sure your wording is clear.

  • Rather than stating something like “In the story, Amelia did many good things such as help out her friends, talk to her parents, and support her team at school” say something like “As a result of the many activities Amelia participated in, she was recognized for her positive influence on the community.”

Step 4 Avoid starting with a quote.

Sample Topic Sentences

how to write topic sentences for essay

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Avoid using words like you or we because it implies you know the reader, which you don’t. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • In formal writing, avoid contractions such as “don’t,” “can’t,” and “isn’t.” Also avoid other common contractions like “would’ve” and “could’ve” which are commonly used. Instead type them out to look like “do not,” “can not”, “is not”, “would have”, and “could have.” Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Type out all numbers under a ten. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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  • ↑ http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/planning-and-organizing/topic-sentences
  • ↑ https://wts.indiana.edu/writing-guides/paragraphs-and-topic-sentences.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/paragraphs_and_paragraphing/index.html
  • ↑ https://stlcc.edu/student-support/academic-success-and-tutoring/writing-center/writing-resources/topic-sentence-paragraph.aspx
  • ↑ https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/paragraphs/topicsentences
  • ↑ https://www.rit.edu/ntid/sea/processes/paragraph/process/sentence
  • ↑ https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/writingprocess/outlining
  • ↑ https://www.touro.edu/departments/writing-center/tutorials/topic-sentence/
  • ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/engagement/2/2/57/
  • ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/paragraphs/

About This Article

Megan Morgan, PhD

If you’re trying to write a good topic sentence, start by clearly stating your main idea, which should include the topic and the position you’re taking on it. Aim to write a sentence that’s broad enough for discussion but narrow enough to be covered in a single paragraph. If you can, start with a hook, like a detail, character, or emotion that would draw in your readers. For more advice from our reviewer on writing a good topic sentence, like how to make it effective while keeping it short and sweet, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Writing Topic Sentences — Purpose, Structure, and Examples

What is a topic sentence.

A topic sentence in academic writing identifies how a body paragraph relates to the overall purpose of an essay stated in the thesis statement . Topic sentences are usually at the beginning of a paragraph and identify the paragraph’s controlling idea.

While an essay’s thesis statement identifies the point of the essay in its entirety, the topic sentence has a much narrower focus, as it relates only to the paragraph in which it is located.

Topic sentence vs. thesis statement

What is the purpose of a topic sentence?

The purpose of a topic sentence is to inform the reader of the main idea of the paragraph and how it connects to the overall objective of the essay. An effective topic sentence accomplishes one or more of the following:

Makes a claim

Supports other claims made in the paper

Identifies the purpose of the rest of the paragraph

Relates the paragraph to the purpose of the paper

Precedes information that defends a claim

Purposes of a topic sentence

How to write a topic sentence

To write a topic sentence, incorporate the following guidelines:

Determine the thesis of the essay.

Identify the main supports that help prove the thesis.

Use each main support to structure a topic sentence for each paragraph.

Compose a sentence that answers the following questions:

What will the paragraph prove?

How does the paragraph connect to the thesis?

How to write a topic sentence

Where is the topic sentence in a paragraph?

Topic sentences can be placed at the beginning or end of a paragraph.

Although it does not need to be the first sentence, the topic sentence should be placed at the beginning of the paragraph so the reader can quickly identify the purpose of the paragraph.

While not a common placement for a topic sentence, some writers use topic sentences at the end of a paragraph. Writers who choose this method want the reader to deduce the main point of the paragraph by presenting the evidence first.

Topic sentence examples

The following list identifies topic sentences based on the provided thesis statements for five-paragraph essays:

Thesis Statement: Capital punishment should be banned because it is inhumane, unconstitutional, and ineffective at deterring crime.

Support Paragraph 1 Topic Sentence: The inhumane nature of the death penalty proves it should be abolished.

Support Paragraph 2 Topic Sentence: Capital punishment should be outlawed because it violates the Constitution.

Support Paragraph 3 Topic Sentence: Because the death penalty does not effectively deter criminal behavior, states should not continue to use it.

Thesis Statement: College athletes should be financially compensated because they sacrifice their minds and bodies, cannot hold an outside job, and increase the school’s revenue.

Support Paragraph 1 Topic Sentence: Student athletes should be paid for their performance because of sports’ impact on their minds and bodies.

Support Paragraph 2 Topic Sentence: Because most college athletes cannot play their sport and hold a job, colleges should give them a living wage.

Support Paragraph 3 Topic Sentence: Student-athletes’ ability to increase their college’s revenue proves they should be awarded financial compensation.

Example topic sentences

Thesis Statement: Using alternative energy sources can help lessen the impact of global climate change.

Support Paragraph 1 Topic Sentence: Through the widespread use of solar power, countries can limit the environmental impact of other energy sources.

Support Paragraph 2 Topic Sentence: Utilizing more wind turbines as a power source can help mitigate the effects of climate change.

Support Paragraph 3 Topic Sentence: Using geothermal power will effectively decrease the world's reliance on fossil fuels.

How To Write An Essay

Topic Sentence

Barbara P

Learn How to Write a Topic Sentence that Stands Out

Published on: Jan 13, 2021

Last updated on: Jan 30, 2024

topic sentence

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As a student, you have probably heard the term "topic sentence" thrown around a lot in your English or writing classes. But do you really understand what it means and how important it is for effective writing?

Well, many students struggle with crafting strong topic sentences that effectively convey their ideas. They may find themselves unsure of how to make their topic sentence stand out in a sea of other ideas.

In this blog, we will explore the art of writing a great topic sentence, with examples and tips to help you enhance your skills. By the end of this blog, you will have a better understanding of how to craft a topic sentence that will make your writing clear, concise, and engaging.

So let’s get started!

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What is a Topic Sentence?

A topic sentence is the first sentence of a paragraph in an essay that introduces the main idea or topic of that paragraph. It serves as a roadmap for the reader, letting them know what to expect in the upcoming paragraph. 

Purpose of Topic Sentence

The purpose of a topic sentence is to clearly and concisely convey the main point of the paragraph to the reader. 

It helps to guide the reader through the essay, making it easier for them to follow the overall argument or narrative.

Features of a Good Topic Sentence

A good topic sentence has a few key features. Let’s take a look: 

  • Expresses the main idea of the paragraph or essay clearly and concisely.
  • Is specific and focused , avoiding vague or overly general statements.
  • Introduces the main point and is typically located at the beginning of the paragraph or essay.
  • Presents a claim or position that is arguable or debatable, which the rest of the paragraph or essay will support.
  • Can be a complete sentence or a concise phrase that effectively conveys the main idea.
  • Is relevant to the thesis statement and overall topic of the essay.
  • Engages the reader by creating interest and highlighting the significance of the topic.
  • Is well-written and avoids grammar and spelling errors.
  • Provides a roadmap for the rest of the paragraph or essay by indicating what will be covered.
  • Encourages coherence and unity in the writing by linking the paragraph or essay to the broader topic.

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Types of Topic Sentences

There are several different types of topic sentences that can be used in writing to introduce the reader through a paragraph or essay.

Simple Statement Topic Sentence This is the most common type of topic sentence, which straightforwardly states the main point or idea of the paragraph or essay.

Example: The rise of social media has revolutionized the way people communicate with each other.

Complex Topic Sentence This type of topic sentence is more nuanced and may require some explanation or elaboration to fully understand.

Example: While the rise of social media has had many positive effects on communication, it has also led to concerns about privacy and online harassment.

Pivot Topic Sentence A pivot topic sentence begins by connecting the current paragraph or idea to the previous one, before pivoting to introduce a new point or idea.

Example: Building on the idea of social media's impact on communication, it is important to consider how it has also affected business and marketing strategies.

Question Topic Sentence A question topic sentence poses a question that the rest of the paragraph or essay will answer or explore.

Example: How has social media changed the way businesses interact with customers and advertise their products?

Command Topic Sentence This type of topic sentence gives a directive or instruction, often used in persuasive or argumentative essays.

Example: Support local businesses by shopping at independently owned stores instead of large chains.

How to Write a Topic Sentence?

Here are a few instructions to help you write a good topic sentence. 

Step#1 Clearly State The Main Idea

A topic sentence is the first paragraph of the paragraph. It must clearly explain the particular subject that would be discussed in the paragraph. This should be stated in very clear language so that the reader can easily understand the idea. 

Also, it should include a bit of your personal opinion and also the main idea. 

Step#2 Hook Your Reader

Grab your reader's attention with an intriguing topic sentence. It would excite and make the reader curious about the content and convince them to read the particular part. 

Look out for some amazing hook examples and see what fits your essay type. 

Use a meaningful and relevant question or a fact as a topic sentence of the paragraph. Make sure that you have identified your audience and are developing everything accordingly. 

Step#3 Keep It Short and Precise

The paragraph topic sentence must be expressive enough that a reader understands your point of view effortlessly. This is only possible if you keep everything to the point, short, and meaningful. 

Choose the words in such a way that they help you express your idea in an ideal way. Avoid using complex sentences and use independent clauses.  

A topic sentence acts as a link between a paragraph and the main thesis statement. It should be specific and connected to the overall essay. Keeping it short and precise helps maintain the paragraph's flow and its relevance to the rest of the writing.

Step#4 Give A Reasonable Opinion

The body paragraph explains a topic sentence. This is why it is important that you should write this sentence in such a way that it can be explained in the paragraph.  If you are mentioning a fact in the topic statement, make sure that you have authentic evidence to support it. 

While the topic sentence is an integral part of the paragraph, it should stand out and possess a distinctiveness that sets it apart from the other sentences. This can be achieved by employing transition words and establishing connections between sentences.

Step#5 Use The Topic Sentence As A Transition

The topic sentences that serve as transition sentences can be considered a guide for the readers. This way, they can help the reader to move through the essay in a flow. 

Write this sentence in such a way that it creates a gateway between the previous paragraph and the rest of the essay. Moreover, it will also help keep the essay organized, and the reader understands the point of a paragraph.

Step#6 Look For Some Good Examples

Examples can help you learn a thing in a better way. If you are new to writing topic sentences, it can help to look at some examples. Find some great examples of topic sentences relevant to your essay topic.

Difference Between Topic Sentence and Thesis Sentence

Here's a table outlining the differences between a topic sentence and a thesis statement:

A sentence that introduces the main idea or topic of a paragraphA statement that presents the main argument or claim of an essay or research paper

Typically found at the beginning of a paragraphTypically found at the end of an introduction

Limited to one paragraphSpans the entire essay or research paper

Introduces the main idea of a paragraph and connects it to the thesis statementPresents the main argument or claim of an essay and provides a roadmap for the reader

Helps to organize the content of the paragraph and keeps the writer focused on the main pointHelps to organize the content of the entire essay or research paper and guides the reader through the argument

Good Topic Sentence Examples

Here are ten examples of good topic sentences:

  •  "Despite the advancements in technology, traditional forms of communication are still essential in today's society."
  • "The theme of power is prevalent throughout Shakespeare's play, Macbeth."
  • "In recent years, there has been a growing concern over the impact of climate change on our planet."
  • "The legalization of marijuana has been a topic of debate for many years." "Education is the key to success in life."
  • "The rise of social media has greatly impacted the way we communicate with one another."
  • "The effects of childhood trauma can have a lasting impact on mental health."
  • "The concept of justice is explored in depth in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird."
  • "Eating a balanced diet is crucial for maintaining good health."
  • "The Industrial Revolution had a profound effect on the world as we know it today."

The Bottom Line!

An opening sentence is crucial to grab your reader's attention and set the tone for your piece of writing. The topic sentence introduces the controlling idea and acts as an important sentence in the essay outline. 

Effective topic sentences are necessary for a well-structured and organized essay. It's an integral part of the writing process that should not be overlooked. 

Make sure to spend time crafting a compelling topic sentence that clearly conveys your main point and guides your readers throughout your essay. You can even take ideas from an AI essay generator to get started.

However, if you find yourself struggling to write a good opening sentence, don't worry! CollegeEssay.org is here to help you with all your writing needs. We have the best online essay writing service providing top-quality essays that are sure to impress your professors.

So, why wait? Contact our essay writing service now and take the first step toward academic success!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is a topic sentence.

A topic sentence can be multiple sentences long. The first sets the context for your ideas, while the second provides more depth on what you are saying beyond just stating it outright.

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Topic Sentences for Body Paragraphs: Examples and Explanation

An essay with the first sentence highlighted and the words

A key to becoming a better writer is learning how to cover one main idea in each paragraph and write clearly—topic sentences can help you do that by focusing your writing.

Let’s look at what a topic sentence is, how to write a good topic sentence, and topic sentence examples.

What is a topic sentence in a paragraph?

A topic sentence is a sentence that introduces the main idea of the paragraph—it tells the reader what the paragraph is about in a clear and concise manner. It organizes an essay, engages the reader, provides a focus for the paragraph, and relates each paragraph back to the thesis.

A topic sentence is generally the first sentence in your body paragraph or at least at the beginning of the paragraph.

Topic sentences provide structure and organization to your essay—this is helpful for both the writer and the reader.

You have to build on your topic sentence. You make your claim in the topic sentence, which serves as a base to add your supporting details, evidence, and examples that strengthen your argument.

The purpose of a topic sentence is to provide a clear focus for your paragraph and preview what you will discuss in the paragraph.

Is the topic sentence always the first sentence?

The topic sentence is usually at the beginning to help the reader understand what the paragraph is about. However, a topic sentence can be in the middle or end of the paragraph (though this would be rare for body paragraphs).

Can a topic sentence be more than one sentence?

A topic sentence is traditionally one sentence—this is recommended to state your point clearly and concisely. However, a topic sentence can be 2 or 3 sentences long if you are explaining the claim.

If you decide you must make your topic sentence longer to express your main idea, make sure to edit and try to remain as concise as possible. Also, do not overly use multiple topic sentences, as this can make your essay lack focus or structure.

Topic sentences for paragraphs that are not a part of an essay

What is a good topic sentence.

A good topic sentence is clear and concise. It is general enough to cover what the entire paragraph is about but specific enough to make it easy to understand the main idea of what will be discussed. It should relate back to the thesis or question and help maintain the flow of the essay.

How to write a topic sentence for a body paragraph

Effective strategies for writing a topic sentence include that you pivot between ideas, make sure that you express the topic and what you will talk about in the paragraph, and use transition words—such as although, another example/way/argument, even though, in addition to, likewise, therefore, or however.

Make sure you then expand on the statement and give supporting details and reasons, examples, or sources.

Topic sentences for body paragraphs examples

Let’s look at topic sentences that illustrate your point that you will expand on, provide transitions, compare and contrast topics, show cause and effect relationships, express counterclaims that you will proceed to address, or answer a question.

Example 1: Stating your claim

These could look like:

If I only talk about the benefits of learning a new language on your memory, I would make my topic sentence more specific—”Learning a new language can improve a person’s memory.”

Example 2: Transitions

If your writing an opinion essay about why dogs make the best pets, and your previous paragraph said that they are good companions because they are loyal, your next paragraph could start with the topic sentence: “Another reason why dogs are good companions is that they are affectionate.”

Example 3: Compare and contrast topics

For example: “While in-person classes offer better social interactions, online classes offer more flexibility.”

Example 4: Show cause and effect relationship

Example 5: introduce a counterclaim.

A topic sentence can also introduce a counterclaim.

Example 6: Answering a question

Let’s look at an example of a topic sentence that answers a question.

You can also answer a question in a topic sentence in an essay if you end the previous paragraph with a question.

Now that you know how to write a topic sentence and have seen topic sentences for body paragraphs examples, you are well on your way to becoming a better writer.

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Topic Sentence in an Essay: Pillar of Your Writing


Table of contents

  • 1 What Is a Topic Sentence
  • 2 Characteristics of an Effective Topic Sentence
  • 3.1 Interrogative
  • 3.2 Reinforcement
  • 3.3 Transitional
  • 4.1 Understanding the Paragraph’s Main Idea
  • 4.2 Keeping it Concise
  • 4.3 Positioning the Topic Sentence
  • 4.4 Make it Interesting but not Over-complicating
  • 4.5 Better to Use Active Voice
  • 4.6 Enhance with Evidence
  • 4.7 Bind the Paragraph Together by Repeating Words or Phrases
  • 4.8 Use Transition Words
  • 5 Examples of Topic Sentences
  • 6 Topic Sentences as an Integral Part of Every Paragraph
  • 7.1 How to find a topic sentence?
  • 7.2 How long should a topic sentence be?
  • 7.3 Is the topic sentence always the first sentence?
  • 7.4 Can topic sentences be questions?
  • 7.5 What is the difference between a topic sentence and a thesis statement?

The structure of academic writing requires several standards to be followed to ensure the coherence of your essay. One of the techniques you should use in your writing is essay topic sentences. However, why is it necessary, and how to write a topic sentence? We will answer this and many further questions in this article. Keep reading if you want to know:

  • The essence of the topic sentence and its use;
  • The crucial aspects of composing a topic sentence;
  • Types of topic sentences and their implementation in the text;
  • How to write your topic sentence and see the examples of it.

A strong topic sentence is a guarantee to be heard by the readers! Let’s start by looking at the meaning of this term and the main purpose of topic sentence.

What Is a Topic Sentence

what is a topic sentence in a paragraph

A topic sentence is a generalized main idea of a paragraph summarized in one phrase. This statement provides a smooth transition from one central point to the next. But do not confuse it with the thesis statement. So, let’s review the topic sentence vs thesis statement and see if there is any difference.

A thesis statement sums up the idea of your essay or thesis, but it is usually found in the introduction, presenting the main point of the whole piece. Our service is ready to help you with writing a thesis statement correctly to ensure the highest results. An effective topic sentence includes two parts: the topic and the controlling idea. Use a topic sentence to organize your formal writing. Thus, you will delimit the main ideas within the boundaries of your essay paragraphs and ensure your text is coherent. This technique also aims to interest the reader by revealing the concept of your written work.

Characteristics of an Effective Topic Sentence

Using a topic sentence is an efficient strategy that will inform a reader about the topic of its paragraph briefly. To achieve this result of idea explanation and its evolution through the following parts of the text, learn the main characteristics of effective topic sentences. Below, we listed particular features that create a perfect topic sentence formula.

A good topic sentence requires clarity and unambiguity. The reader must understand exactly what work he is about to read. Therefore, your task is to introduce the main idea of each paragraph clearly.

Always remember about the idea of your paper, and don’t add anything extraordinary. You should only include information in your topic sentences that will be presented in the supporting sentences of the body part of an essay . Thus, your text will be easy and exciting to read, regardless of the topic.

  • Completeness

You are faced with the difficult task of condensing a complete main idea into just one topic sentence. It must be comprehensive, express a complete thought, contain the controlling idea, and convey the topic you presented in a particular paragraph.

The topic sentences should motivate further reading. Therefore, you should present the information in a captivating way, ensuring the reader’s interest.

Types of Topic Sentences

topic sentence meaning and types

There are three main types of topic sentences that cover a wide range of functions. Each type is suitable for a different purpose, but they all aim to include the key information in the current paragraph and emphasize the reader’s attention to it.


The topic sentence is presented as a question, and the following paragraph provides the answer. Such a topic sentence will effectively attract attention, increasing interest in reading. However, be careful to give an unambiguous answer to the question posed in your topic sentence.

Topic: Fast fashion

Topic sentence: What changes are required in the organization of the fashion industry to overcome total environmental pollution?


Topic sentences and supporting details can serve as a reinforcement, supporting the central idea expressed in the essay’s thesis statement. This keeps the story flowing, showing that you’re not jumping between ideas inconstantly.

Thesis statement: AI development will provide the labor market with dozens of new positions.

Topic sentence: A lot of new job opportunities will be discovered with the development of AI.


The topic sentences can also play the role of a link, logically and smoothly connecting several paragraphs into one whole. In this way, a clear structure of academic writing is maintained, and the author can relate one central point to another.

Last sentence of the previous paragraph: The issue of the need for school uniforms has been actively discussed for many years.

Topic sentence: School uniform is necessary for the development of discipline in children.

How to Write a Good Topic Sentence

First, remember that the focus sentence is the most important sentence in a paragraph. It should not only state the paragraph’s main idea, but it should be intriguingly interesting, concise, and include a controlling idea. Experts of our writing service have prepared for you some tips on how to make a topic sentence. It’s important to consider many different factors before writing a topic sentence for an essay. Keep reading to see the most essential ones.

Understanding the Paragraph’s Main Idea

The key to writing the topic sentence is to determine the main point of the paragraph. Think about the purpose for which you wrote this fragment. What would you like the reader to remember most? In other words, if you extract all the topic sentences from your essay and compose a text from them, you will get a complete digest of all the main ideas of the thesis.

Keeping it Concise

Sometimes, it can be difficult to fit everything you want to convey to the reader into one concluding sentence. After all, everything you wrote is valuable information worthy of attention. Still, be brief when writing your topic sentence to entice the audience to continue reading the rest of the paragraph.

Positioning the Topic Sentence

The topic sentence can be written in any part of the paragraph. Most commonly, placing it in the beginning, thus you ensure a smooth transition from the previous paragraph and give readers a hint about what the upcoming piece will be about. If it’s in the middle of the text, it can describe the main idea after having revealed some crucial background details of the main idea. When you write the topic sentence at the end of the paragraph, it concludes and highlights the essential concepts of the piece.

Make it Interesting but not Over-complicating

To start with, brainstorm to point out the most creative and interesting idea for your topic sentences. For example, if you use statistics in later paragraphs, include them in the hook sentence as well, this will intrigue readers. At the same time, do not forget that due to the topic sentence structure, the size of the topic sentence is very limited, so do not try to overcomplicate it.

Better to Use Active Voice

From a grammatical and lexical point of view, it is believed that the passive voice complicates the construction of sentences. You may consider the previous sentence as an example of a topic sentence that is difficult for a reader. Your topic sentences should be brief and comprehensive yet simple to understand. Prefer active voice to make the body paragraph easier to read.

Enhance with Evidence

First of all, any essay, likewise scientific work, requires accuracy. That is why using verified statistical data and citing reliable sources makes your topic sentence and controlling idea credible and respected. Pay attention to the plausibility of data when you write academic essay papers to avoid misleading information. Topic sentences for essays should also contain precise facts, which you subsequently describe in the new paragraph.

Bind the Paragraph Together by Repeating Words or Phrases

In poetry, there is a technique called anaphora, when each line or sentence of a verse begins the same. This is often used to influence the reader’s emotions, strengthening his awareness of a certain concept of the subject. So, to reinforce your main idea and relate your paragraphs, you can also use this device in your essay writing.

Use Transition Words

Of course, without connecting words, argumentative essays will turn into a collection of words and incoherent sentences. Build a clear essay structure by combining topic sentences with the rest of the paragraph with linking words. Therefore, to make your narrative coherent and logical, you should soften the transitions. Introduce these words at the beginning: first of all, to start with, therefore, based on this, moreover, and many others to enrich your writing.

Examples of Topic Sentences

Modern technologies have helped to significantly simplify working conditions for people. For centuries, people have had to work hard to provide basic means of living. In the absence of mechanization, unfathomable amounts of effort were required to complete basic tasks. For this reason, people worked day and night for six days a week and, in some cases, without days off at all. However, our generation was much luckier. The development of artificial intelligence and the automation of most production processes at this point allow people to work more efficiently while spending less time and effort.

What we know about recycling is a drop, what we don’t know is the ocean. In recent years, there have been many environmental campaigns to explain the importance of recycling. Most developed countries invest a large share of their budget in developing environmental solutions for the most optimal recycling of waste. However, at the same time, ordinary users still know very little about the rules for sorting waste. In reality, only a very small percentage of plastic can be recycled. Few people know that only the cap of a plastic bottle is recycled.

Society is moving online, and the changes it brings to the future are difficult to ignore. Of course, we don’t know exactly what the future of our society will be, but now we can trace some trends that will lead to steady changes. The children from the youngest age know how to use gadgets and independently find information on the Internet. Friendship, relationships, study, work, and all this already exist in the electronic dimension. Sociologists are interested in the question of what the society of the future will look like and whether there will be a place for offline communication in it.

The eternal question of style: to follow or not to follow the fashion trends. There probably is no single correct answer to this question. Social media influencers are actively sharing the hottest trends in the fashion world. The main fashionistas immediately run to the store to buy the latest new items. However, one thing is obvious – trends are certainly not for everyone. Starting from different body types to color types. We are all different, and this is our uniqueness. Trends certainly cannot look complimentary to everyone.

Our inner confidence provides external attractiveness. I have seen more than once that confident people often receive more positive attention. This is due to certain biological factors since a person with leadership qualities can lead a community, and therefore, people are drawn to him/her. And yet the advantage is not only respect from others. People with high self-esteem are perceived as more physically attractive.

Topic Sentences as an Integral Part of Every Paragraph

Your creative ideas that bring scientific novelty are the key element of your academic essays. At the same time, an idea without form is just a set of concepts. Using topic sentences will help you navigate and organize your ideas in a logical flow. Furthermore, it not only provides direction and focus for a paragraph, ensuring coherence and unity, but it also guides the reader’s journey through a text.

How to find a topic sentence?

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how to write topic sentences for essay


Topic Sentence: Definition, Examples and Useful Tips for Writing A Topic Sentence

When writing, there are many aspects which we need to take into consideration. One such aspect is the topic sentence, but how do we use this? In this article, we are looking at what the topic sentence is and how it is used within a piece of writing . We are also going to be looking at a variety of examples to give us a better understanding of its function.

Topic Sentence

What is a topic sentence.

Some might say that the topic sentence is one of the most important aspects and definitely the most vital sentence within a paragraph . In some cases, you might hear the topic sentence is referred to as the focus sentence but these are essentially the same thing.

A topic sentence is used to summarise all of the information within a paragraph. When writing in a more formal style, the topic sentence will usually feature at the beginning of the paragraph, although this is not a set rule.

What Is A Topic Sentence Used For?

A writer will use a topic sentence as a way of explaining to the audience what the paragraph is going to be about. Any sentences which appear after the topic sentence should give further information about the topic sentence or should give facts about it in order to prove the claim that it has made. The following sentences might also serve as a way to further describe the topic sentence by giving more details about it. For example, if the topic sentence is about animals kept as domestic pets, the following sentences should relate back to that subject.

On top of this, the topic sentence should always refer back to the thesis statement which was made at the beginning of the essay . You can imagine the thesis statement as being a map which directs the reader as to where you are going with the information and how it is being treated.

Controlling Ideas

When writing a topic sentence, each one should feature a controlling idea. This will serve as an indicator as to where the rest of the paragraph will go and what will be discussed.

Topic Sentences Examples

Now that we are clear on what a topic sentence is, we are going to take a look at some examples to further grow our understanding of them.

  • ‘There are a lot of reasons why (name of a city) is the most polluted in the world.’

The controlling topic here is that there are ‘a lot of reasons’ and the topic is that a certain town is the most polluted.

  • ‘In order to be an effective manager, one must have certain qualities.’

The topic of this sentence is being an effective manager and it has a controlling idea of ‘certain qualities.’

  • ‘There are a lot of factors which contribute to global warming .’

This sentence has a topic of global warming whilst the controlling idea is related to ‘factors which contribute.’

  • ‘We can improve teen pregnancy rates by improving education.’

The topic of this sentence in that teen pregnancy can be improved and the controlling idea is ‘improving education.’

How To Write A Topic Sentence

When it comes to writing a good topic sentence, there are many things that you should take into consideration before you put pen to paper. We are now going to look at the various steps you should take in order to write an effective and strong topic sentence.

Write Your Thesis Statement

Before you can write a topic sentence, you must have a thesis statement. This should be strong and be effective in summing up the purpose of the essay as well as the main argument.

Outline Your Essay And Draft Out The Topic Sentences

The next step is to create your essay outline, this will give your essay structure and will allow you to detail what is going to be discussed in each paragraph. You will also make note of what data and evidence will be included in each of the paragraphs.

This is the point where you can play with words and draft up some topic sentences for each of your paragraphs. A topic sentence needs to be much more specific than your thesis statement but it should relate clearly to it.

Expand With Some Evidence

The remaining sentences within your paragraph should logically flow from the original topic sentence. They should be used to expand on what has been said in the topic sentence. This will not only make your workflow but will also ensure that each paragraph remains focused and relevant to the topic sentence. You should give some evidence to support your topic sentence.

Revise The Topic Sentences

What your topic sentence looks like to begin with may not be how it ends up in the final draft and that is OK. It is very important that you look over and edit each topic sentence within the essay as you go along. This will ensure that they remain relevant to the content of your paragraphs.

When making the final edits for your topic sentences, you should ensure that they are clear enough to allow the reader to know what the paragraph is going to be about but also not so clear that they detail everything you wish to talk about within that paragraph.


Your topic sentence will sometimes serve as a transition between your paragraphs and in this case, they may do one of the following things:

  • Compare and contrast
  • Emphasise or expand

A topic sentence is one which appears, usually (but not always) at the beginning of each paragraph of an essay. The topic sentence is used to layout the ideas and arguments that will be covered within the paragraph and should be carefully planned out to ensure that they are clear enough to give the reader an idea of what will be discussed but not to give away too much about the content of the paragraph. Your topic sentence may serve one of many purposes including summarising and comparing.

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Topic Sentence: Definition, Examples and Useful Tips for Writing A Topic Sentence

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Grammar Check

70 “How To” Essay Topics

Referred to by names such as process essay or process analysis essay, the How-To essay details the steps to complete an assigned task in the most efficient way possible.

What Are the Key Steps to Writing a “How To” Essay?

How-to essays are pretty straightforward in their writing process, but there are a few key things to remember to ensure that the reader understands the steps involved.

The most important part of writing a How-To essay is ensuring that every necessary step is included in the writing – especially in the order they must be carried out.

This means that the writer shouldn’t avoid any steps, skip around, or leave out key details.

Secondly, it is essential to be concise when writing a How-To essay. Avoid detailing unnecessary steps or processes not related to the essay’s main topic.

Finally, must use sequential phrasing to denote the order of the steps. Phrases such as “first,” “second,” and “third” are helpful when writing a How-To essay.

By following these key steps, the writer can ensure that their How-To essay is clear, concise, and easy to follow!

Steps for Writing a “How To” Essay

When it comes to writing a How-To essay, the following formatting structure will ensure that the essay is easy to follow for the reader.

Introductory Paragraph

The introductory paragraph should briefly introduce the topic of the essay and provide a general overview of the steps involved. It should also introduce the main point of each individual step.

To engage the reader better, be sure to open with an attractive hook statement that will capture the reader’s attention. For example, if you are writing a How-To essay about cooking pasta, you might open with the line “Nothing beats a hot plate of mac and cheese” to grab the reader’s attention.

The introduction paragraph should also end with a thesis statement that details the essay’s main point. For example, in the case of the pasta cooking example, the thesis statement would be, “This essay will outline the steps necessary to cook a perfect plate of pasta from start to finish.”

Pro tip: Your thesis statement shouldn’t simply detail the benefits of following the steps in the essay. For example, the pasta cooking thesis statement could be rewritten as “This essay will outline the steps necessary to cook a perfect plate of pasta, which will not only save you time and money but will also taste better than if you had ordered it from a restaurant.”

Body Paragraphs

Each body paragraph should detail one step in the overall process. The individual steps should be written sequentially, not skipping any steps and providing all necessary details.

The body paragraphs should each follow the same structure:

  • 1st Sentence: A topic sentence that briefly discusses the step in the process.
  • 2nd Sentence: A transitional sentence that details when this step should be completed in relation to the other steps in the process
  • 3rd Sentence: A detailed explanation of how to complete this step, based on a combination of research and common sense.
  • 4th Sentence: A concluding sentence that briefly restates the step.

This formula should be repeated for each and every step in the process being detailed. This may only require a few paragraphs for how-to essays describing simple processes. However, for more complicated topics, this may require many sections to ensure that every step has been covered and every necessary detail included.

Concluding Paragraph

The concluding paragraph should summarize the steps outlined in the essay and restate any key points. It can also include a brief discussion of why following these steps is beneficial or potential pitfalls when skipping certain steps.

In order to avoid any confusion, the concluding paragraph should also summarize the thesis statement for the essay. For the pasta cooking example, this would be “In conclusion, this essay has outlined the steps necessary to cook a perfect plate of pasta from start to finish. By following these steps, you will ensure that your pasta is cooked perfectly every time.”

Pro tip: If you’re feeling stuck, try outlining the steps for your essay on a piece of paper. This will help you see the process as a whole and better understand where each step should fit in.

How-To essays can be a great way to teach or inform the reader about a specific topic. By following the key steps detailed above, you can ensure that your How-To essay is written with maximum clarity and follows the proper format.

70 “How To” Essay Topics

When writing a How-To essay, the biggest challenge can be choosing a topic. Essay topics too broad or general can be too difficult to cover in a single essay. On the other hand, essay topics that are too specific can be too difficult for the writer, who might accidentally leave out critical steps or details.

In order to make it easier for you to choose a topic, we have compiled a list of 70 How-To Essay topics that can be broken down into a variety of categories. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it should give you a good starting point for your essay.

How-To Essay Topics About Life Skills

  • How to make a bed properly
  • How to pack for a trip
  • How to study for a test
  • How to write a resume
  • How to network
  • How to interview for a job
  • How to give a presentation
  • How to deal with stress
  • How to make a budget
  • How to save money
  • How to cook a basic meal
  • How to do laundry
  • How to change a tire
  • How to use public transportation
  • How to ask for a raise
  • How to deal with difficult people
  • How to deal with passive-aggressive behavior
  • How to make a good impression
  • How to write a thank you letter
  • How to speak in public
  • How to make friends as an adult
  • How to ace a job interview
  • How to manage your time
  • How to be an effective leader

How-To Essay Topics About Technology

  • How to set up a wireless network at home
  • How to download music legally online
  • How to reset your browser’s homepage
  • How to navigate social media sites like Facebook and Twitter
  • How to use your phone’s camera
  • How to set up a Bluetooth device
  • How to use Zoom effectively
  • How to use a VPN
  • How to set up an email account
  • How to use Siri on your iPhone

How-To Essay Topics About Fitness and Health

  • How to get rid of belly fat
  • How to lose weight fast
  • How to do crunches properly
  • How to do squats
  • How to run faster
  • How to jump higher
  • How to stretch
  • How to prevent sports injuries
  • How to deal with pain
  • How to improve your diet
  • How to get in shape for summer
  • How to lower blood pressure

How-To Essay Topics About Home Improvement

  • How to paint a room
  • How to hang curtains
  • How to unclog a drain
  • How to patch a hole in the wall
  • How to fix a broken doorknob
  • How to install crown molding
  • How to install laminate flooring
  • How to clean hardwood floors properly
  • How to have an eco-friendly home
  • How to decorate your home on a budget
  • How to choose paint colors for your home
  • How to make your home more energy-efficient

How To Essay Topics About Science

  • How to make a volcano
  • How to make a model of the solar system
  • How to grow crystals
  • How to make a simple electrical circuit
  • How to make slime
  • How to extract DNA from a strawberry
  • How to make a terrarium
  • How to make a potato battery
  • How to measure pH level
  • How to write a lab report
  • How to identify different species of flora & fauna

Using these how-to writing prompts, students can have a great start to writing their own How-To essays. Remember to keep each step of the process for a smooth transition from one to another.

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How to Write an Academic Paragraph (Step-by-Step Guide)

academic paragraph

Unlike creative writing or day-to-day writing, academic writing is highly focused on critical analysis, is typically based on research, and adheres to strict academic conventions. In academic writing, every paragraph seeks to serve the purpose of discussing and sharing information on scientific or scholarly topics with a focused academic community. That is why it is important that each sentence within a paragraph should be relevant and flow in a logically correct and engaging narrative.    

There are different elements that constitute an academic paragraph. Each of these elements works together to present concepts, ideas, and innovative new developments in a coherent manner. Let’s take a look at how to craft an impactful academic paragraph.   

How to write an academic paragraph?  

Any academic writing is centered on a well-formulated main idea or argument. This main idea needs to be developed further, or a research question needs to be answered in a systematic and logical manner. Such a process entails identifying and building points along with relevant supporting evidence to support the main idea.   

In academic writing, the discussion of each of these points is done in separate paragraphs. To aid this process, an outline of your academic assignment can be prepared that helps organize your thoughts and ideas and list the various points or topic sentences to build your argument. A well-articulated and strong paragraph can be developed by ensuring that it contains certain key elements, as discussed below.   

Topic sentence

Each paragraph can have a topic sentence at or near its start. The topic sentence is basically the main point that you will be focusing on in the paragraph. The scope of the topic sentence should be such that it can be discussed and developed in a single paragraph. In reading the topic sentence, the reader should get an idea of the focus of the paragraph.    


The significance of the point that is being discussed in the paragraph should come out clearly in the ensuing body sentences. This allows readers to understand how it relates to the overall article, thesis, or dissertation.   

What you state in the topic sentence should be backed by evidence. This will depend on your topic, discipline, and nature of the assignment. Evidence can include information drawn from primary sources, such as surveys or interviews that were conducted as part of the study, while secondary sources typically include personal experience based on practice, such as education. You must assess how much evidence needs to be provided to substantiate and prove your point.   

In the rest of the body sentences, the focus should be on your interpretation and analysis of the data and evidence, how these support your argument and the main thesis, and how it is building up to your conclusion. The paragraph can be wrapped up in a concluding sentence that underlines the implications of the evidence.   

4 strategies to enhance academic paragraphs     

In order to achieve clarity and coherence, every paragraph must advance the reader’s understanding of the topic, provide evidence or support for the main argument, and establish connections between ideas. Without this deliberate organization and structure, academic writing can become disjointed, confusing, and less persuasive.   

Using the right transition words

The main purpose of paragraphs is to provide logical sequencing to your ideas and main points. Hence, in moving from one point to another through paragraphs, the use of transition sentences helps in linking ideas presented in one paragraph to the next and previous ones. Transition sentences are usually used either at the beginning or the end of a paragraph.    

Adding citations and references

Where supporting evidence is provided from secondary sources, it is crucial to provide citations and references to acknowledge original sources and avoid the risk of plagiarism.    

Ensuring cohesion and flow

Each sentence in the paragraph should be relevant to the point you are conveying. Hence, while writing a paragraph, make sure that you have a topic sentence, body sentences which develop the ideas and provide evidence and interpretation, a linking sentence that links the point to the overall thesis of the assignment, and appropriate transitions. Then, evaluate whether these provide a cohesive whole and logical flow.   

Ideal length

The ideal length of a paragraph varies between 200 and 300 words, but it can be more. Ensure that a paragraph is neither too long nor too short and that there are sufficient explanations and analysis. Overly lengthy paragraphs with huge volumes of information tend to distract and confuse readers from the main argument.   

Once the paragraph has been written, a close reading is needed to assess whether the core idea is being communicated logically and if there is sufficient evidence and analysis. Each paragraph must link seamlessly with the previous ones using transitions. See that each sentence is conveyed coherently and relevant and that the thread of the argument is flowing clearly. By following the basic structure and key elements of academic paragraphs and implementing strategies to enhance clarity, cohesion, and flow, writers can effectively communicate their ideas and engage with scholarly discourse.  

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11 Great College Essay Topics (With Examples!)

11 great college essay topics (with examples).

Bonus Material: PrepMaven’s 35 College Essays That Worked

The college application process is more selective than ever. That also means your college application essays are more important than ever! 

If you want to lock in an acceptance to a competitive university, you need to make sure that you have a strong essay that wows admissions officers. And that starts with your topic. If you write a beautiful essay on the wrong topic, you’re going to be in trouble. 

At PrepMaven, we’ve got over 20 decades of experience matching elite tutors with students applying to college. 

Because almost all of our tutors hail from Ivy League schools, we were able to have them share what essay topics worked to get them into schools like Princeton, Harvard, and Brown. 

Below, we’ll offer examples of college essays that worked to get our tutors into top schools. As you read, think about how you can use these as jumping-off points for your own potential essay topics. 

Download PrepMaven’s 35 College Essays That Worked

Jump to section: College Essay Topic 1: Learning to Write College Essay Topic 2: Privilege College Essay Topic 3: Social Class College Essay Topic 4: A Meaningful Extracurricular College Essay Topic 5: Pennies College Essay Topic 6: Social Integration College Essay Topic 7: Barry the Bike College Essay Topic 8: A Work of Art College Essay Topic 9: A Unique Passion College Essay Topic 10: Religion College Essay Topic 11: An Unusual Skill Next steps

College Essay Topic 1: Learning to Write

Here’s an excerpt from a student who wrote on this topic and was admitted to Princeton: 

What was the point of slaving over a novel if I had to start from scratch again? My father’s advice would force me to rewrite the entire novel. What sort of writer was I, that my work warranted such substantial alteration? As I soon learned—a normal one.

Why does this essay topic work? It fulfills two key tests for a good college essay topic: 

how to write topic sentences for essay

  • It’s personal.
  • It shows growth.

Because trying to write a novel is quite unusual and clearly very important to this student, we’re getting an authentic look at what they’re passionate about. 

At the same time, the essay shows growth: the student has to come to learn what it means to accept criticism in their writing!

You can read the full essay here !

College Essay Topic 2: Privilege

The following excerpt comes from an essay written by a well-off, privileged student. Take a look at how they explore that background rather than taking it for granted: 

how to write topic sentences for essay

Flappers, speakeasies, and jazz. Two world wars. Pagers, hippies, and disco. I’m barely a 90’s kid who relishes SpongeBob episodes, and I know nothing of prior generations. Royal weddings, tribal ceremonies, and Chinese New Years. I fast during Ramadan, but I know nothing of other cultures. Hostile political parties. Progressive versus retrospective. Right and wrong. I am seventeen, and I know nothing of politics. Is ignorance really bliss?

It’s true that many students who apply to elite universities are privileged, coming from relatively comfortable backgrounds. 

That’s not necessarily a problem, and it’s not something every student needs to address in their personal statement. 

However, it is potentially an excellent topic for an application essay. Why? Because it shows that the student is thinking critically about their background and issues of social justice. 

Colleges want students who are ready to question the assumptions they grew up with, students who are eager to engage different viewpoints and perspectives. 

By maturely and self-awarely interrogating their own privilege, this student shows admissions officers that they’re ready to be an open-minded member of the college community. 

Essays like this have to be handled carefully. There’s always the risk of coming off like you’re being inauthentic–one of the worst things you can do in a college essay. 

That’s why we recommend working with an experienced tutor if you’re writing on a potentially risky essay topic. Contact us today and we can pair you with an elite tutor who can help you steer clear of any pitfalls in your application essay. 

College Essay Topic 3: Social Class

Below is an excerpt from an especially powerful and insightful essay that takes up the question of social class–and excellent and highly relevant topic for college essays. 

how to write topic sentences for essay

    As I got older, I gradually conformed to my identity as part of the lower class. On playdates, I learned to accept that I couldn’t always get Lunchables or a McDonald’s Happy Meal like the other kids. Instead, opening the cupboard revealed the average WIC potpourri—Crispix cereal, frozen grape-juice, skim milk. However, despite my circumstances, I have always been surrounded by peers of a higher economic class. Since I was homeschooled until grade eight, the friends I had were from the wealthier church I attended. When my friend came over for the first time, I was met with incredulity—“you live here ?” Looking back, others asked strange questions like how many bedrooms my house had or remarked on the cramped room I shared with my sister. 

Contemporary political issues–like social class and wealth inequality–make for interesting potential essay topics. 

This student’s essay uses their specific experiences growing up in Ohio as jumping-off points for an investigation into broader questions of privilege, wealth, and perspective. 

This perfect essay comes off without a hitch, but politics can be a controversial topic for essays and applications. 

That doesn’t mean you should stay away from big issues in your writing! But it does mean you’ll likely benefit from the feedback and perspective that an expert college essay tutor can offer. 

To read the rest of this student’s essay, download our collection of 35 successful essays below!

College Essay Topic 4: A Meaningful Extracurricular

Although we often advise students not to write about sports, sometimes it can work! Just take a look at this essay from a student who was accepted to Princeton: 

how to write topic sentences for essay

The pain of rowing 2000 meters is like nothing else I have ever experienced. It is a short enough distance so that there is no pacing (it’s all out, everything you’ve got, from start to finish), but at the same time it’s long enough to require every ounce of strength and will power to reach the finish. By the end, the lungs scream out for oxygen, and the legs, chest, and arms all burn as if boiling water has been injected into every pore. 

Even though this essay risks coming off cliche by focusing on sports, it manages to succeed where many other sports essays fail. How?

Partially because of how detailed and interesting it makes the opening! The writer has made sure to choose a topic about which they can be incredibly vivid. That level of detail ensures that the essay doesn’t come off cliche. 

Plus, they do an excellent job of connecting this introductory “sports” scene with bigger and more important ideas later in the essay. 

You can read the full essay here to see how the author smoothly concludes it!

College Essay Topic 5: Pennies

 Here’s an excerpt from another essay from a student accepted to Princeton: 

how to write topic sentences for essay

Over 13 billion pennies are made each year, and for the most part, they are indistinguishable from one another. Each copper-brown coin has the same feel, the same size, and even the same old Abraham Lincoln on one side. Yet, as a collector of pressed pennies, these seemingly insignificant coins have taught me some of the most important life lessons. 

This works because it gives readers insight into an unusual interest that the writer has. 

When it comes to college application essay topics, the more specific (and weirder), the less likely you are to have a generic essay. The key for this essay’s success is precisely that it’s specific and unusual. 

You can read the entire essay in our collection of 35 College Essays that Worked below. 

College Essay Topic 6: Social Integration

The following essay is unusual in that it isn’t strictly personal. Instead, it addresses a relevant social justice issue, providing insightful commentary on it. Take a look at an excerpt from this Princeton student’s essay: 

how to write topic sentences for essay

Establishing a cohesive society where common values are shared is increasingly difficult in multi-faith, globalised societies such as the one I’m part of in the UK. My studies in politics and philosophy have made me more sensitive to this problem and as I have a much larger number of friends from different ethnic backgrounds than my parents and the previous generation, I realise that the friction created by the presence of different ethnic and social groups is not going to disappear anytime soon.

Honestly, we think this is a pretty risky essay. Not because of the political nature of the topic, but rather because very little of it is about the student’s life. 

Still, this essay worked for Princeton, and that’s because it introduces enough of the writer’s perspective and values to show admissions officers that he’s the kind of student they want to have. 

College Essay Topic 7: Barry the Bike

The following essay topic is one of our favorites–in fact, we’d call it a perfect essay! Here’s the essay start:

how to write topic sentences for essay

Barry is my best friend. Strong, dependable, resilient, and most importantly-fast as hell. You won’t believe the wheels on this guy! My top speed of some 15 miles per hour-which leaves me gasping for breath after a few seconds-is nothing compared to the 30 he goes without breaking a sweat.  I remember nostalgically the day we met. That warm spring day when I entered Go-Go Gone Cycles. The store had recently opened; tools and empty delivery boxes littered the floor. Wheels and frames-both rusty and restored-clogged up the entrance, enough to scare any prospective customer away. 

What we love about this essay topic is the specificity. It’s not just about biking or a bike. It’s about Barry, a bicycle that really becomes a character in this student’s essay. 

Like some of the topics we looked at above, this one is effective because it combines voice with character. We get a great sense of how this writer thinks, talks, and jokes. But we also get a sense of this student’s values. 

As you read the rest of this essay , notice how the writer connects his love for Barry with his desire for freedom and adventure. 

College Essay Topic 8: A Work of Art

how to write topic sentences for essay

Another great college application essay topic is a work of art that is important to your life. Any book, song, film, painting, etc. that has been an important part of your life can really help admissions officers get to know you!

Take a look at an excerpt from an essay that helped one of our tutors earn admission to Brown University: 

Tucked inside the small blue box that sits on my dresser is a folded-up Market Basket receipt from November 3rd, 2010. If you flipped over the order, you’d find—written in neat and lilting handwriting—the lyrics to “My Favorite Things” from the Sound of Music. On November 3rd, 2010, I was six going on seven, watching the Sound of Music with my grandparents for the first time, nestled between them on their old brown leather couch. The themes of the film were far beyond my understanding, but I could not get the lyrics of “My Favorite Things” out of my head. I begged my grandmother to transcribe them for me to keep. The message of the song, which lists images dear to Maria—from “raindrops on roses” to “silver white winters that melt into springs”—is that by drawing upon moments of joy, we can cope with any misfortune.

The student helps us see how The Sound of Music connects to her personal experiences with her family. That’s crucial! If you write about a work of art, always be sure to relate it back to yourself and your life. 

You can read the full essay here , where it’s Essay 13 on our list of 15 College Essays that Worked. 

College Essay Topic 9: A Unique Passion

Here’s an excerpt from another student who was admitted to Princeton with this college essay topic: 

I am an aspiring hot sauce sommelier. Ever since I was a child, I have been in search for all that is spicy. I began by dabbling in peppers of the jarred variety. Pepperoncini, giardiniera, sports peppers, and jalapeños became not only toppings, but appetizers, complete entrées, and desserts. 

how to write topic sentences for essay

You might think it’s silly to write a college application about really loving spicy food. But, as with the first essay topic we looked at, this one does everything we need it to. 

First, it shows us something unique and personal about the applicant (clearly, they take spicy food very seriously). 

Equally importantly, it gives admissions officers a clear sense of the writer’s voice, style, and personality. 

And, as with any good essay, it chronicles a process of growth and development. Even in this short opening, we can see that the student is actively exploring their interests, “dabbling” in something they’ll go on to pursue more seriously. 

College Essay Topic 10: Religion

Whether you plan to pursue religion in college or not, your religious experiences can make for an original essay that impresses admissions committees. Take a look at an excerpt below: 

Teiku. I consulted the dictionary. The Aramaic word meant, “let it stand.” What a disappointment. I had followed an entire page of logic and proofs eagerly awaiting the zenith of the Talmudic debate, the statement in which one scholar’s opinion would prevail without doubt. Instead, I was left with this cryptic word, teiku, let it stand. Could this word be an answer? Over my years of studying the Babylonian Talmud, I’ve grown accustomed to such moments of confusion. The text is notoriously esoteric: rife with tangents, terse logic, and abstruse Aramaic. Developing the skills to study Talmud independently had taken patient practice. But as the Talmud became clearer, my relationship with it became more confusing, as I realized that my studies were paradoxical, both traditional and untraditional at the same time. 

how to write topic sentences for essay

This essay worked for admissions readers because it doesn’t just focus on religion in the abstract sense. 

Instead, this essay dives deep into an unusual experience this student had, one that highlights not only their intelligence but also their advanced writing style. 

By now, you’re likely picking up on a theme. The best college essay topics are the ones that let you get specific and detailed, avoiding the risk of producing a generic essay. 

You can download this full essay (and 34 more!) below. Use them for inspiration as you think of potential essay topics!

College Essay Topic 11: An Unusual Skill

If you’ve got a passion or skill that has shaped how you view the world, there’s another good candidate for the subject of your essay! 

Take a look at this student’s essay, written about how he developed his love for improv:

how to write topic sentences for essay

I first entered the world of improv listening to “Sing, Sing, Sing” by Benny Goodman in the car with my brother. He told me offhandedly that the majority of the song had been made up on the spot. I was shocked. I could hardly give a speech at the head of the classroom with five pages of prepared notes and two hours of rehearsal. How could someone just “make up” something so enjoyable? My enlightenment came in the form of music. In playing the trombone, I fell in love with the difficult yet rewarding task of jazz improvisation; the combination of intense musical focus with unbridled creative expression brought about not only a new appreciation for my childhood “Whose Line” idols but also a burning desire to reach their level of prowess in terms of music.

As we’ve seen with the other ten essays in this post, what admissions committees are really looking for is that rare combination of voice, detail, and writing ability that a perfect essay can convey. 

Here, we once again get it all: you can just hear this student’s voice as you read the excerpt, which is brimming with specific details about their past experiences. 

At the same time, we learn that this student values things that are difficult and rewarding (like jazz improv).

Read more about how these improv skills shaped the writer’s life here , where this essay is number 12 on our list of 15 College Essays that Worked. 

Now that you’ve gotten to see 11 examples of successful college essay topics, it’s time to start planning your own. 

First, we suggest you check out the full versions of the essays we excerpted in this piece. You can find 15 college essays that worked here , and you can download 35 essays by clicking the link below. 

Then, when you’re ready to start brainstorming, writing, or editing, reach out to us for professional help. 

College essays are more high stakes than ever, and you want to make sure that you have the best possible guidance. 

Our tutors come from the most elite universities in the country, go through extensive training on college essay coaching, and have a proven track record of helping students earn admission into top schools. 

Contact us , and we’ll start the personalized tutor-matching process for you!

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21 Writing Strategies To Help Aspiring Writers Plan, Create, and Finalize Their Work

Including smart ways to break through writer’s block!

Two writing strategies, including a storyboard printable worksheet and a printable student goal setting sheet.

Writing well takes practice and patience, but it’s a skill that offers real benefits both in the classroom and the real world. For many, writing is incredibly challenging, leaving people asking “Where do I even start?” Even experienced authors use a variety of writing strategies to keep themselves on track. We’ve rounded up some of the best writing strategies, with explanations and examples to help aspiring writers plan, organize, get started, and polish their final drafts.

Planning and Prep Writing Strategies

Organization writing strategies, writing strategies to overcome writer’s block, writing strategies to polish your work.

Before you ever put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), writing takes a lot of preparation and planning. Use these strategies to get yourself ready to write.

Mentor Texts

Examples of mentor texts including My Papi has a Motorcycle and Soul Food Sunday

The best writers are the ones who also read voraciously. Reading helps you develop your general language and composition skills by exposing you to correct grammar, syntax, and more. Even more importantly, reading gives you examples of great writing (and often, bad writing). It allows you to explore different writing styles so you can develop your own personal voice. Author and screenwriter Ray Bradbury recommended reading one short story before bed every single night.

Many writers, especially students, use mentor texts as examples of the type of writing they want to emulate. Reading a few of these in the style of the piece you’re working on can inspire and guide you along the way. These texts can be books, magazines, articles, poems, essays, and more. Here are some of our favorite mentor texts in various styles:

  • Opinion Writing Mentor Texts
  • Narrative Writing Mentor Texts
  • Procedural Writing Mentor Texts

To write convincingly about a topic, you must know it well, whether you’re working in nonfiction or fiction. If you decide to set your short story in Greece in the 19th century, you’ll need to know what life was like then. Writing about a main character who loves skateboarding means knowing the terminology and language of the culture. Deep knowledge on a topic adds realism and authenticity to any form of writing.

Regardless of what you’re researching, it’s important to use reliable primary sources. The Internet makes researching easier than ever before, but it can be harder to know whether your sources are trustworthy. Dedicated writers take time to verify their sources, and it’s especially important to teach young writers how to do so .

Taking good notes is vital when you’re researching. For some people, this means bookmarks and annotated text. Others prefer outlines or mind maps. Learn about smart note-taking strategies and choose a few that work best for you.

Immerse Yourself

Take your research a step further by truly immersing yourself in the time and place you’re writing about. Visit places in person if you can, or try virtual online tours through sites like Google Earth. These virtual field trips are a good option if you can’t get there yourself.

Meet or talk with people who have personal experience with your topic. Eat the foods of a country or culture, and listen to its music. Explore lots of visual sources, like pictures and videos. You can even hang some of your favorite images around your workspace for inspiration. The more familiar you are with a topic, the more comfortable you’ll feel writing about it.

Know Your Audience

Imagine you’re writing about whales. You’ve done lots of research and have plenty of interesting information to share. But the way you share it will vary a lot depending on who you’re writing for. If your audience is your teacher, you’ll probably want to use technical terms and cite your sources. But if you’re writing a book for little kids, your writing will be more descriptive and the language much simpler.

Ask defining questions like these:

  • Who will read what I’m writing?
  • Why are they reading it?
  • What kind of language will they understand?
  • What might they already know about this topic?
  • What will these readers really care about?
  • How will their personal experiences affect them as they’re reading?
  • What style and tone of writing are they likely to enjoy most?

Character Profiles

Fiction writers need to create believable characters, with fully developed personalities. Some writers envision entire backstories for their characters that never make it onto the page. But these backstories inform their writing, driving their characters’ actions and choices. Try some of these ideas to develop strong characters:

  • Create a family tree or relationship map of your characters
  • Draw the characters, or describe their physical looks in detail
  • Write timelines of your characters’ lives
  • List their personality or character traits
  • Describe a character’s hopes, dreams, and ambitions
  • Determine the character’s voice: how they talk (words and phrases, syntax, etc.) and any accents, dialects, or code-switching they use

Start at the End

It sounds a little strange, but consider writing the final sentence or paragraph of your work first. After all, when you plan a trip, you almost always have a final destination in mind. How you get there may vary, but you’re ultimately striving toward a particular goal.

If you’re working on a nonfiction essay or research paper, writing the end first allows you clarify exactly what ideas you want your reader to walk away with. Then, you can work backward to fill in the details that support those ideas. Write your first paragraph last, and you’ll find it much easier to sum up your ideas and prepare the reader for what’s to come.

Fiction writers can do this too. In fact, many mystery writers start at the end, determining the solution to their mystery first. This allows them to build up the story around that resolution, ensuring the narrative hangs together. Picture your characters at the end of the story, then decide how you’ll get them there.

One of the hardest parts of writing can be keeping everything in order, especially when you’re writing longer pieces. Writers also need to manage their time to ensure they hit any deadlines or due dates they might have. These writing techniques can help.

Establish a Routine

Every famous author has had their own particular writing routine or habits. Stephen King sat in the same place each day , with his papers arranged carefully around him. E.B. White never listened to music while he wrote (although other distractions didn’t bother him). Hemingway wrote first thing every morning , as early as possible. Simone de Beauvoir wrote a little in the morning and then again in the evening.

Each one is different, but one thing is the same: They almost always followed the same routine and habits. This kept them focused and ensured they could meet the goals they set. Set aside a specific time for writing each day, and figure out the setting and habits that suit you best. Think about when you’ve been most productive, and try to replicate that as much as possible.

Set Writing Goals

goal setting worksheet

We often teach students to set S.M.A.R.T goals : specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. These are ideal for writing, especially when you have a longer or more complex piece to finish. They also work if you just want to get a little better at your craft.

If you have a deadline or due date, start with that in mind and work backward. Be sure to allow time in your schedule for items like research, planning, a first draft, revision/editing, second draft, feedback, and a final draft. When you’re writing your first draft, consider breaking it into even smaller sections that will help you meet your goal and keep you on target. (Stephen King writes six pages a day; John Steinbeck was happy with just one.)

Outline or Story Map

For longer pieces, writers turn to outlines and story maps, creating the overall structure of their composition before they start writing in sentences and paragraphs. Some do this using the traditional outline structure , starting with the main points and filling in key details. Others like the sticky note method, where they write one fact or plot point on each note and move them around as needed.

When you map things out in advance, it makes the writing process itself much simpler. For nonfiction pieces, it ensures you don’t leave out any important information. In fiction, a story map helps you plan a narrative arc that hangs together and drives the story along. When you have an outline or story map in place, you can focus on finding the words to share these ideas with your audience.

Writing Template

Hamburger Writing Graphic Organizer Template.

A template can be a real benefit, especially for beginners or young students. It lays out the various sections and guides the writer through the process of completing each one. Think of a template kind of like training wheels; they help inexperienced writers feel a little more comfortable and keep them from missing important steps while they write. Check out our huge collection of free printable writing templates for elementary students.

Examples of video project toolkit templates on blue background

If you’re a visual person, try a storyboard instead. This method uses a blank comic-book-style template to sketch out the action scene-by-scene. You don’t necessarily need to be a strong artist to use a storyboard, as long as you can get your ideas across in your drawings. Find a free storyboard template for younger students here.

Once you have your sketches, go back and add some text underneath. This might be dialogue, descriptive terms, or facts you want to include in that section. This text provides a terrific jumping-off point to begin writing in earnest.

It happens to everyone: the horror of the blank page—and a blank mind. The deadline clock is tick-tick-ticking, so you know you’ve got to do something, and do it pretty quick. Take a deep breath, then see if one of these writing strategies can help you break through.

Free-Write (Brainstorm)

This is all about just putting something down on the page. It doesn’t need to be good, it doesn’t need to follow grammar or spelling rules, it doesn’t even necessarily need to make sense! Just start letting words flow from your brain through the pen or keyboard and onto paper. In the same way that the physical act of smiling can actually make us feel happier, the physical act of writing or typing can sometimes get the creative juices flowing at last.

Write about anything, even the fact that you don’t have anything to write about, in a stream-of-consciousness style. When you feel up to it, transition into writing a bit about your topic or plot. Even if you only manage to write one good sentence or phrase you can use, it’s still progress.

Writing Sprints

Set a timer and just WRITE. Keep your pen (or fingers on the keyboard) moving the entire time, no matter what. If you’re really stuck, just write or type the same word over and over again until something shakes loose. Or combine a writing sprint with a writing prompt (see below) and let your words run free.

Short sprints of 5 to 10 minutes are great for warming up before a longer writing session. But you can also try longer sprints (up to an hour or so), where you purposely block out all other distractions. Turn off or mute your phone, set your device to distraction-free mode, shut the door or put on noise-cancelling headphones, whatever it takes. For the duration of your sprint, your only job is to write.

Writing Prompts

Computer and tablet screen with short story prompts.

Use prompts to spark creativity and overcome writer’s block. Whether they inspire you to write a lot or a little, they get you into a creative mood and strengthen your writing muscles. We’ve got lots of writing prompts and topics to tackle:

  • Short Story Starters and Writing Prompts
  • Inspiring Picture Writing Prompts
  • Kindergarten Writing Prompts
  • First Grade Writing Prompts
  • Second Grade Writing Prompts
  • Third Grade Writing Prompts
  • Fourth Grade Writing Prompts
  • Fifth Grade Writing Prompts
  • Creative Writing Prompts for Grades 4-8
  • The Big List of Essay Topics for High School

A vignette is a short, descriptive piece that tries to bring the reader fully into one single moment. It doesn’t need a plot; rather, it tries to capture the mood and atmosphere with lots of evocative detail. Vignettes are a great way to jump-start your writing, establishing the setting of your piece or a particular scene you want to describe. Learn more about using vignettes here.

Having trouble figuring out your characters’ motivations, voices, or relationships? Try dialogue. You can approach this several different ways. One is to imagine and write a conversation between two or more characters in your story on any topic. You may or may not use this dialogue in your finished work; the point is to help you hear each character and their personality more clearly.

Another option is to have an imaginary conversation with a specific character out loud. Pretend you’re talking to them, and when they “respond,” speak aloud their voice as you imagine it in your head. Then, try to put those words into writing to see how they translate to the page.

Rough Draft

Initial drafts can actually be pretty freeing, because you’re not working toward perfection. Instead, you’re trying to get all your ideas onto paper for the first time, in sentences and paragraphs. Don’t worry too much about word choice, spelling, or even grammar at this point. Instead, just keep on writing. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to go back to revise and edit.

A rough draft might wind up being much shorter or longer than your final version. Some people like to write down anything and everything they’ve researched or planned for. Then, they condense and trim their text in later drafts. Others like to lay out the overall structure, then return to add more details and depth. Both of these methods are valid, so use whichever works best for you.

With your initial draft finally on the page, it’s time to edit, revise, and make it the best it can possibly be! These techniques and strategies will help you get there.

Captivating Opening Sentence

A strong opening sentence draws the reader in from the beginning. Try writing multiple versions to see which you like best. To ensure your opening is truly meaningful, share it with someone on its own, without the rest of the text for context. Ask what they think your writing will be about based on that single sentence, and if it interests them enough to want to read the rest.

Even nonfiction writing deserves amazing opening sentences. Darwin began On the Origin of Species by saying, “When on board H.M.S. ‘Beagle,’ as naturalist …” The book itself has a lot of dry technical writing, but that opening sentence evokes a sense of time and place, of adventure in far-off places, and it draws the reader in.

Avoid starting your writing with conventional phrases like “In this paper I will prove that …” or “I’m going to tell you about …” Thesis statements are important, but they’re rarely interesting enough to really intrigue the reader. Take a cue from Virginia Woolf, who opened A Room of One’s Own with: “But, you may say, we asked you to speak about women and fiction—what has that got to do with a room of one’s own? I will try to explain.”

Very few writers write a first draft that’s ready to be turned in or published. Instead, they revisit and refine their drafts multiple times, a process known as revision. When you revise, you focus on the overall structure and clarity of your work. Ask yourself questions like these:

Nonfiction Revision

  • Is/Are my main point/s clear?
  • Have I completely proven all the points in my thesis statement?
  • Did I use facts to back up my assertions or opinions?
  • Have I included citations or quotations that support my writing?
  • Are there any areas where my writing is vague or needs to be clarified?
  • Have I addressed any counterarguments and acknowledged alternative views?
  • Does the overall structure make sense?
  • Do my paragraphs transition well from one to the next?
  • Should I add headings or subdivisions to make the paper easier to follow?
  • Is my language and tone appropriate?
  • Have I varied my word choice, refraining from repeating words or phrases over and over?
  • Does my conclusion effectively and clearly sum up my paper?
  • How will the reader feel when they finish reading this work, and does it match how I want them to feel?

Fiction Revision

  • Does the story have a clear beginning, middle, and end?
  • Is there a strong narrative arc?
  • Have I left any plot holes or unresolved conflicts that may feel unsatisfying?
  • How is the pacing? Does the story move along well, or does it get bogged down in places?
  • Do my characters speak with clear, individual voices?
  • Have my characters grown and changed as the story progressed?
  • Do the characters’ voices feel authentic?
  • Have I added realistic details without relying too heavily on description to carry the story? (“Show, don’t tell.”)
  • Does the setting feel real? Can I picture myself living in that place and time?
  • Is the conflict interesting enough to draw in the reader and hold their attention?
  • How do I want the reader to feel when they finish the story? Have I accomplished that?

Once you’re happy with the overall structure and writing itself, it’s time to get down to the technical nitty-gritty. That means details like grammar, syntax, punctuation, and spelling. In other words, the time has come to proofread your work.

Word-processing programs or apps like Grammarly can help you catch a lot of these errors, making this job easier. But the final edit is ultimately down to you, so proofread and correct, then proofread again. Do your best to make your writing as technically perfect as you can, so the reader isn’t distracted by spelling mistakes or other minor problems.

One fantastic way to revise and edit is to read your text aloud, to yourself or others. Maya Angelou often read her writing out loud to her husband in the evening. “Hearing it aloud is good,” she explained. “Sometimes I hear the dissonance; then I try to straighten it out in the morning.”

Reading aloud is also ideal for catching errors like missing words or confusing sentences. You likely read much faster in your head than you do out loud, so this method forces you to slow down and focus. This is one of our favorite writing strategies for those who have trouble with attention to detail.

Peer Review

Experienced writers welcome feedback from others. Read the acknowledgements in any book, and you’re likely to find the author thanking their peer writing group or editors for substantially improving their text.

Some people find it hard to take feedback on writing, since it can feel very personal. Remember this: If you’re writing something only you will ever see, then you don’t need to worry about others. But if your writing is intended for an audience, you have to let that audience see your work to find out if you’ve truly managed to convey your ideas.

You don’t need to incorporate every suggestion or change your peers, teacher, or editor suggests. But feedback ultimately makes writing stronger and better. Seek it actively and use it wisely, and you’ll find it’s one of the most valuable writing strategies of all.

What are your favorite writing strategies to share with students? Come exchange ideas in the We Are Teachers HELPLINE group on Facebook .

Plus, must-have anchor charts for teaching writing of all kinds ..

Writing strategies that help students and other writers get started, stay organized, polish their work, and even push through writer's block!

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How to Write an Argumentative Essay- Steps with Examples

Being a student and writing essays is not something everybody enjoys, but in my personal opinion as a writer, anyone can find contentment and pleasure in writing, especially when it comes to argumentative essays. While they may seem tricky to navigate, they offer this unique opportunity to express your opinions and make your voice heard. Consider this a growing process—once you overcome the challenges of writing argumentative essays, you will learn the art of agreeing or disagreeing with popular opinions and defending your stance. As far as the essay is concerned, I will show you how to master this process on how to write an argumentative essay.

When is an Argumentative Essay Written?

You will likely be required to write argumentative essays throughout your academic life, from high school to university. These assignments will present opportunities to develop and showcase your critical thinking and persuasive writing skills. Here are some scenarios where you might encounter the need to write argumentative essays:

Academic Assignments

Often assigned in school or college courses to help students develop critical thinking and persuasive writing skills. These assignments encourage students to research thoroughly, form coherent arguments, and present their viewpoints convincingly.

Debates and Discussions

Serve as the basis for presenting and defending viewpoints in academic or competitive settings. Argumentative essays provide a structured way to organize thoughts and evidence, helping participants articulate their arguments effectively during debates.

Opinion Pieces

Commonly used in newspapers, magazines, and online publications to influence public opinion on current issues. These essays allow writers to present their stance on controversial topics, backed by evidence and reasoning, to sway readers' views.

Policy Proposals

Utilized in government and policy-related fields to propose and defend specific policy changes or solutions to societal problems. Argumentative essays in this context present well-researched arguments to persuade policymakers and stakeholders of the necessity and viability of the proposed changes.

Persuasive Speeches

Prepared as a foundation for delivering persuasive speeches. Writing an argumentative essay helps speakers organize their thoughts and evidence logically, providing a solid framework for their oral presentations.

What is the Structure of an Argumentative Essay?

An argumentative essay uses factual evidence and logical support to convince the reader of a particular point of view. Here's a breakdown of the structure and what goes into each part of an argumentative essay:

Basic Argumentative Essay Structure


Purpose: Introduce the topic, present the thesis, and set up the argument.

Hook: A sentence to grab the reader’s attention.

Background Information: Brief context about the topic.

Thesis Statement: The main argument or claim.

2.Body Paragraphs

Purpose: Present arguments and evidence to support the thesis and refute opposing arguments.

Topic Sentence: Introduces the main idea of the paragraph.

Evidence and Analysis: Present facts, statistics, quotes, or examples to support the argument.

Counterarguments and Rebuttals: Address opposing views and explain why they are invalid or less significant.


Purpose: Summarize the arguments, restate the thesis in light of the evidence presented, and offer final thoughts.

Restate Thesis: Reiterate the main argument.

Summarize Key Points: Highlight the main points made in the body paragraphs.

Final Thought: A closing statement that underscores the importance of the topic

How to Write an Argumentative Essay [4 Steps with Examples]

As an experienced writer, I've come to understand the structure of argumentative essays quite well. But what I found truly challenging when I first started was nailing the right approach. Many beginners, myself included at one point, fall into traps like letting personal biases creep in or thinking that being argumentative means being aggressive. Trust me, that's not the case at all!

In this section, I'm going to lay out an effective approach on how to write an argumentative essay step by step for beginners. I'll break it down in a way that I wish someone had done for me when I was starting out. Plus, I'll share some insider tips on tools like WPS Office that I've come to rely on to streamline my writing process. So let's learn how to write an argumentative essay with a few examples.


When I sit down to craft an argumentative essay, my first step is to engage in a comprehensive brainstorming session. This is your opportunity to let your creativity run wild and explore every angle of your topic. Write down every idea that comes to you, whether it supports or opposes your topic. Remember, at this stage, there are no bad ideas.

Now, while there's nothing wrong with the classic pen and paper approach, I've found that using WPS Office takes my brainstorming to a whole new level. It's not just about having a digital notepad; the AI features often toss out ideas that I might never have thought of on my own. It's like having a creative partner who never gets tired! Let me show you how I use it:

Let's say our topic is "Are Electric Cars Better for the Environment?"

Step 1: Open WPS Office and type "@AI" on a blank document to activate WPS AI.

Step 2: Click on the "Brainstorm" option and enter your prompt. Make sure it's detailed and clearly explains what you want. Here's an example of an effective prompt:

"Generate a list of arguments both for and against the idea that electric cars are better for the environment. Consider factors like emissions, manufacturing processes, battery disposal, and energy sources"

Step 3: WPS AI will generate several arguments on both sides. If you want more, simply click "Rewrite”.

Jot down any valuable arguments before hitting "Rewrite", as you might not see the same ones again.

With these arguments in hand, you'll likely find yourself leaning towards one side of the debate. Armed with a variety of points and counterpoints, you'll be well-equipped to write an effective argumentative essay. Remember, a strong argumentative essay is built on a foundation of thorough preparation and diverse ideas.


Now that we've generated our initial arguments and counterarguments, it's time to dive deeper into research to strengthen our position. Let's continue with our example topic: "Are Electric Cars Better for the Environment?"

Let's continue with our example topic: "Are Electric Cars Better for the Environment?" Our next step is to select the most impactful supporting arguments and conduct in-depth research to substantiate them with solid evidence. Simultaneously, we'll identify the strongest counterarguments and explore ways to address or neutralize them through our research.

All of this might seem a little overwhelming, but with the help of WPS AI, the research phase becomes significantly more manageable. As we gather research papers, we can upload them to WPS Office and quickly gain insights using the AI features.

Here's how to leverage WPS AI for efficient research:

Step 1: Open your research paper PDFs in WPS Office, then click on the WPS AI widget in the top right corner.

Step 2: In the WPS AI panel that appears on the right side of your screen, click "Upload" to add your PDF.

Step 3: Once processed, WPS AI will provide you with key insights from the PDF at a glance.

Step 4: For more specific information, click on the "Inquiry" tab and use the WPS AI chatbot to ask further questions about the PDF contents.

As you conduct your research, begin organizing your findings into an outline. Remember to structure your outline according to the elements we discussed in previous sections. This will ensure your outline contains all the necessary components for an effective argumentative essay.

3.First Drafting

Now that we have our research and outline ready, it's time to start writing our first draft. This is where your essay really starts to take shape. Don't worry about perfection at this stage—the goal is to get your ideas down coherently.

Using the outline we prepared during our research, you'll find it easier to organize your thoughts for your essay. To make things simpler, use WPS Office editing tools. When I write my essay, I always ensure it is properly formatted, giving it a cleaner look and helping me focus better.

Now, simply start your draft on WPS Office with an introduction, followed by a body paragraph, and conclude with a strong summary that reviews your main points and leaves the reader with something to think about.

Once you have your draft ready, make use of WPS Office's AI features, which can help you improve writing, shorten or elongate your paragraphs, and much more. Let's say you've written your first body paragraph, and it's a bit too long. So, let's shorten it with WPS AI:

Step 1: Select the paragraph you want to shorten, then click on the WPS AI icon in the hover menu.

Step 2: From the list of options, simply click on "Make shorter" to shorten your paragraph.

Step 3: WPS AI will display the shorter version on a small screen. Click on "Replace" to replace the original text with the shorter version.

4.Revising & Proofreading

Congratulations on completing your first draft! However, there is one crucial step remaining: revising and proofreading.  Revising and proofreading are where good essays become great essays.

A method I find most effective for revising my essay is reading it aloud. This technique helps in identifying awkward phrasing and run-on sentences that may go unnoticed when reading silently. As you read, ask yourself:

Does my introduction effectively grab the reader's attention and clearly state my thesis?

Do my body paragraphs each focus on a single main idea that supports my thesis?

Have I provided enough evidence to support each of my arguments?

Have I addressed potential counterarguments?

Does my conclusion effectively summarize my main points and leave a lasting impression?

You might find that you need to make some structural changes. For instance, you might realize that your second body paragraph would be more effective if it came first. Don't be afraid to move things around!

Once you have made the necessary changes to your essay, the next step is to ensure it does not have any grammatical errors. For this, I use WPS AI's spell check feature. With just a single click, WPS AI spell check ensures that my essay is complete and ready to be submitted!

Bonus Tips: How to Polish your argumentative Essay with WPS AI

WPS Office is already a premium choice among students, offering all the features needed to write a perfect essay. With WPS Office, students can write better without payment issues, annoying ads, or difficulty navigating the tools. It's a free tool with advanced features, including WPS AI, which supports the entire writing process.

1.Check for Grammar and Spelling:

WPS AI carefully scans your essay for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, ensuring that your writing is polished and professional. This feature not only helps you avoid common errors but also enhances the readability and credibility of your work.

2.Seek Style and Tone Adjustments:

WPS AI offers suggestions to improve the style and tone of your writing, making it more engaging and suitable for your target audience. Whether your essay requires a formal academic tone or a more conversational approach, WPS AI tailors its recommendations to fit your needs, ensuring your writing is coherent and compelling.

Here's an example of WPS AI's 'Improve Writing' feature in action, enhancing the formality and persuasiveness of my body paragraph for the reader.

3.Writing Assistance:

From the initial brainstorming phase to the final touches, WPS AI provides comprehensive writing assistance. It helps you structure your arguments logically, develop clear and concise thesis statements, and refine your conclusions. WPS AI also offers suggestions for enhancing clarity and coherence, making the writing process smoother and more efficient.

With the assistance of WPS AI's 'Continue Writing' feature, we can extend our essays by seamlessly incorporating additional sections that complement the existing content's flow and tone.

FAQs about Writing an Argumentative Essay

1. what’s the difference between an expository essay and an argumentative essay.

An argumentative essay is typically more extensive and requires independent research to establish a unique claim regarding a specific topic. It includes a thesis statement that presents a debatable assertion, which must be supported by objective evidence. In contrast, an expository essay strives for objectivity but does not propose an original argument. Instead, it aims to clarify and explain a topic straightforwardly, such as a process or concept. Generally, expository essays are shorter and do not rely as heavily on research.

2. When do I need to cite sources?

In a college environment, accurately citing sources is vital for essays, research papers, and other academic assignments, but this requirement does not extend to exams or in-class tasks. Proper citations are needed for direct quotes, paraphrased material, and summaries, and it is necessary to provide complete source information in a bibliography or reference list. Following the specified citation style, such as APA or MLA, is essential for maintaining academic integrity. Whenever you utilize information or ideas from another work in college-level writing, proper citation is required to acknowledge the original source.

3. What is an Argumentative essay?

An argumentative essay is a type of writing that asserts a specific stance on a debatable issue, backing it up with reasoning and evidence. The main objective is to convince the reader to accept or seriously consider the author's viewpoint. This essay usually contains a clear thesis statement and develops arguments while addressing opposing views to reinforce its position. Ultimately, it seeks to encourage critical engagement with the topic at hand.

Excel the Art of Persuasion With WPS Office

Argumentative essays are possibly the most thought-provoking when it comes to writing, presenting a higher difficulty level. Despite the challenge on how to write an argumentative essay, they are also the most fun to write, as they allow you to express your opinions in a highly opinionated form. WPS Office strives to enhance your writing experience, and as a writer, I can vouch for this. WPS Office not only offers advanced tools like WPS AI to help refine and improve your writing skills but also provides options to make your work as presentable as you want it to be. Download WPS Office today to experience the difference.

  • 1. How to Write an Essay in MLA Format | For Students
  • 2. How to Write a Conclusion - Steps with Examples
  • 3. How to Write A thesis statement - Steps with Examples
  • 4. How to Write A Literature Review - Steps with Examples
  • 5. How to Write a Research Paper [Steps & Examples]
  • 6. How to Start An Essay- Steps with Examples

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how to write topic sentences for essay

How to Use “Essay Examples by Topic” from EssayGPT to Enhance Your Writing Skills

The journey from being an author to becoming an entrepreneur represents a significant transition, moving beyond the traditional boundaries of writing into the expansive realm of business. This shift demands a change in perspective and a strategic approach to utilising your writing skills.

Writing essays can be a compelling journey of personal and academic growth, allowing individuals to explore diverse topics, refine their thoughts, and articulate visions.

However, embarking on this journey often presents challenges, from finding the right inspiration to mastering the art of structuring arguments. Fortunately, the “Essay Examples by Topic” page provided by EssayGPT serves as a beacon for writers navigating these waters.

This how-to guide highlights how students, researchers, and enthusiasts can leverage this resource to enhance their writing skills, while also touching on the benefits of using EssayGPT’s AI essay writer for additional support.

Understanding the Importance of Essay Examples

The role of examples in academic writing.

  • Idea Generation: Examining different essay examples can spark creativity, offering fresh perspectives on familiar subjects or unveiling new areas of inquiry.
  • Structural Insights: Essays are not one-size-fits-all; they require careful construction. Analyzing examples offers a clear view of various formats and structural possibilities.
  • Style and Tone: Diversity in writing style and tone across topics enables writers to find their unique voice, balancing formal requirements with personal flair.

Accessing a Broad Spectrum of Topics

The “Essay Examples by Topic” page

stands out as a comprehensive resource, spanning a wide array of subjects from Art and Technology to Sociology and Philosophy. This breadth ensures that individuals across academic disciplines can find examples that resonate with their specific interests.

How to Effectively Use “Essay Examples by Topic”

Step 1: explore diverse subjects.

Begin by diving into the range of topics available. Whether you are writing a reflective piece on life experiences or delving into the complexities of artificial intelligence, familiarizing yourself with various essays exposes you to different approaches and methodologies.

Navigating the Collection

  • Keyword Search: Utilize the search function to find essays on specific themes or ideas you are interested in.
  • Broad Exploration: Spend time browsing through different categories to discover subjects you might not have considered initially.

Step 2: Analyze Essay Structures

Once you’ve selected a few essays, focus on their structure. Understand how introductions set the stage, how arguments are organized within the body, and how conclusions tie everything together, providing closure and insights.

Dissecting Components

  • Introduction Analysis: Identify thesis statements and observe how writers engage the audience from the start.
  • Body Breakdown: Study paragraph layouts and the integration of evidence and analysis to support claims.
  • Conclusion Critique: Learn how to effectively reinforce the thesis and summarize key arguments in the closing paragraph.

Step 3: Absorb and Adapt Writing Styles

Through exposure to various writing styles, discern which elements resonate with your personal or academic goals. Pay attention to the use of language, sentence structure, and the art of persuasion or narrative storytelling.

Style Adaptation

  • Voice and Tone: Note the difference between formal and conversational tones and how they impact reader engagement.
  • Vocabulary and Syntax: Adopt new vocabulary and experiment with different syntactical structures to enhance readability and effectiveness.

Step 4: Practice and Apply

Use the insights gained from these essay examples to practice writing your own piece. Start by drafting essays on topics you are passionate about, employing new structures and styles you’ve learned.

Application Strategies

  • Outline Creation: Build an outline incorporating structural elements observed in examples.
  • Draft Writing: Write a first draft without worrying about perfection, focusing instead on integrating new techniques and ideas.

Integrating EssayGPT’s AI Essay Writer into Your Process

While “Essay Examples by Topic” by EssayGPT provides a solid foundation for learning, EssayGPT’s AI essay writer offers a dynamic tool for further enhancing your writing process.

how to write topic sentences for essay

Generating Ideas and Drafts

Input prompts related to your chosen topic and utilize the AI to generate drafts or brainstorm ideas. This can be particularly useful for overcoming writer’s block or when seeking different angles on a subject.

Refining and Expanding

Use the AI tool to refine sentences, improve coherence, or expand sections of your drafts based on feedback or personal intuition about where more depth is needed.

Customization and Learning

Adjust the AI settings to match the desired tone, style, or complexity level. Engage with the generated content critically, comparing it with examples you’ve studied to continue learning and refining your writing skills.

Concluding Thoughts on Writing Mastery

The journey to writing mastery is continuous, marked by perpetual learning, adapting, and experimenting. The “Essay Examples by Topic” resource, coupled with the innovative capabilities of EssayGPT’s AI essay writer, offers a robust framework for anyone aspiring to elevate their academic or personal writing. By strategically engaging with these tools, writers can harness their full potential, unlocking pathways to compelling narratives, persuasive arguments, and insightful analyses that resonate with audiences across the academic spectrum.

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How to Write an Editorial: Useful Steps for Students

How to Write an Editorial: Useful Steps for Students

Editorials significantly shape public opinion and discourse. For students, aspiring journalists, or advocates, mastering the craft of captivating editorial writing can be transformative. By harnessing the power of well-crafted arguments and insightful perspectives, commentaries have the potential to spark critical thinking and inspire action on pressing societal issues.

Let's explore the process of crafting an editorial essay that deeply resonates with readers and stimulates meaningful discussions.

What is an Editorial Essay?

An editorial paper reflects an author's perspective on a specified up-to-date topic or issue, often featured in magazines, newspapers, and online platforms. Its main goal is to convince readers to adopt a specific viewpoint or take action. By way of example, a commentary might passionately advocate for rigorous environmental policies or endorse reforms in education. Typically organized with an introduction, argumentative body paragraphs, and a succinct conclusion, these essays concisely summarize key arguments while advocating for changes.

Editorials play a key role in dissecting and advocating for critical issues impacting our communities. Here's how they do it:

  • Interpret and explain: Begin by critically analyzing how the newspaper approaches a controversial topic or issue, dissecting its viewpoints and the arguments it presents to its readership.
  • Criticize: Constructively critique decisions and actions by providing real-life examples that resonate with the audience before suggesting solutions.
  • Persuade: After outlining the problem, present actionable solutions to encourage your readers to take specific, positive steps.
  • Praise: Optionally, acknowledge and commend individuals or organizations already addressing the issue; omit this section if the topic is relatively new or lacks notable initiatives.
Harnessing tools like the Aithor AI essay generator can aid significantly in writing editorial essays by refining arguments, suggesting relevant ideas and quotes, and enhancing the overall readability and impact of the essay’s message. By combining critique with actionable solutions and acknowledgment, advocacy essays can inspire change and foster informed dialogue.

5 Steps to Write a Decent Editorial Essay

Composing an editorial essay requires careful outlining and execution to efficiently convey your view on a pertinent issue. Here's our step-by-step guide designed to help you craft a high-quality commentary that engages the audience and leaves a meaningful impact.

  • Selecting a Relevant Topic:

Choose a current issue that strikes a chord with your readers’ interests and current societal concerns. For instance, explore the influence of social sites on teenagers' mental health.

  • Researching Thoroughly:

Gather compelling statistics, factual evidence, and expert opinions to bolster your central point. This approach strengthens both the credibility of your standpoint and your persuasive efforts.

  • Writing a Captivating Intro:

Begin writing the paper with a hook that captivates the readers' attention, such as startling data or a provocative statement or question. State your thesis clearly – your core argument or standpoint on the topic.

  • Developing Coherent Arguments:

Introduce your main points logically in the body paragraphs, with each section focusing on a distinct aspect of the matter and providing strong evidence to back up your claim.

  • Concluding with an Impact:

Recap the central points in your concluding section and reaffirm your thesis statement. End the composition with a stimulating statement or call to action to prompt reflection on your stance.

  • Ensure your assignment’s topic is relevant, and captures your audience’s interest from the outset.

Remember, crafting a compelling editorial involves a blend of meticulous research, persuasive writing, and an unwavering commitment to engaging your audience on issues that matter. Useful Tips on How to Write Your Editorial

Comprehending how to write an editorial effectively can empower you to articulate compelling arguments on critical and current issues.

  • Know Your Readers: Adapt your writing style, language, tone, and central points to resonate with your target readership. Let’s say, a local newspaper commentary on community issues should address concerns relevant to residents.

Example : In a student newspaper editorial, discussing campus sustainability initiatives can engage peers in environmental stewardship.

  • Use Persuasive Language: Utilize rhetorical devices like pathos, ethos, and logos to appeal to readers' emotions, logic, and credibility, respectively.

Example: "By investing in renewable energy sources, we not only protect our environment but also create sustainable economic opportunities for future generations."

  • Respond to Counterarguments: Consider opposing perspectives and rebut them effectively. Acknowledging counterarguments shows fairness and strengthens yourstance.

Example: "While some may argue that technology isolates individuals, advancements in social networks have also connected millions worldwide, fostering international communities."

  • Be Concise and Straightforward: Steer clear of specific technical terminology or overly intricate language that could distance readers. Aim for succinctness and clarity, ensuring each argument effectively supports your thesis.

Example: "Implementing stricter regulations on single-use plastics is crucial for mitigating environmental pollution and safeguarding marine ecosystems."

  • Edit and Proofread: Editing your writing for coherence and readability ensures your paper’s message resonates with audiences, promoting clarity and engagement.
Example: "Thorough editing ensures our arguments flow logically and effectively support our thesis, enhancing reader engagement and clarity." By mastering these essay-crafting techniques, you can effectively influence public opinion and foster informed discussions on significant societal issues.

Exploring Curious Editorial Essay Topics

Interested in delving deeper into contemporary issues? Consider these editorial essay topics that provoke thought and discussion:

  • The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Job Market Dynamics: Explorehow AI advancements are reshaping employment opportunities and workforce dynamics.
  • The Future of Online Education Post-Pandemic: Discuss the evolution of virtual learning platforms and their implications for traditional educational models.
  • Youth Activism in Climate Change Movements: Analyze the role of young activists in advocating for environmental sustainability and policy reforms.
These topics offer a platform to examine crucial societal changes and challenges through insightful editorial essays.

Empowering Student Voices Through Editorials

For students, editorials provide an academic platform to voice ideas on significant issues. Whether advocating for campus reforms, discussing societal challenges, or exploring global trends, commentaries empower students to engage critically with the world around them. Mastering editorial writing cultivates analytical thinking, persuasive communication skills, and civic engagement – essential attributes for future leaders and changemakers.

To wrap up, writing an editorial essay involves far more than just expressing views; it's about shaping public dialogue and advocating for change. By following structured steps, employing persuasive strategies, and choosing relevant topics, you can write commentaries that resonate with your readers and stimulate meaningful discourse.

Embrace the potential of editorial writing to stimulate reflection, shape perspectives, and contribute to a more enlightened society. Start drafting your advocacy paper today and let your voice be heard on issues that ignite your passion and concern.

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American Psychological Association

Webpage on a Website References

This page contains reference examples for webpages, including the following:

  • Webpage on a news website
  • Comment on a webpage on a news website
  • Webpage on a website with a government agency group author
  • Webpage on a website with an organizational group author
  • Webpage on a website with an individual author
  • Webpage on a website with a retrieval date

1. Webpage on a news website

Bologna, C. (2019, October 31). Why some people with anxiety love watching horror movies . HuffPost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/anxiety-love-watching-horror-movies_l_5d277587e4b02a5a5d57b59e

Roberts, N. (2020, June 10). Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, qualifies to run for elected office . BET News. https://www.bet.com/news/national/2020/06/10/trayvon-martin-mother-sybrina-fulton-qualifies-for-office-florid.html

Toner, K. (2020, September 24). When Covid-19 hit, he turned his newspaper route into a lifeline for senior citizens . CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/04/us/coronavirus-newspaper-deliveryman-groceries-senior-citizens-cnnheroes-trnd/index.html

  • Parenthetical citations : (Bologna, 2019; Roberts, 2020; Toner, 2020)
  • Narrative citations : Bologna (2019), Roberts (2020), and Toner (2020)
  • Use this format for articles from news websites. Common examples are BBC News, BET News, Bloomberg, CNN, HuffPost, MSNBC, Reuters, Salon, and Vox. These sites do not have associated daily or weekly newspapers.
  • Use the newspaper article category for articles from newspaper websites such as The New York Times or The Washington Post .
  • Provide the writer as the author.
  • Provide the specific date the story was published.
  • Provide the title of the news story in italic sentence case.
  • List the name of the news website in the source element of the reference.
  • End the reference with the URL.

2. Comment on a webpage on a news website

Owens, L. (2020, October 7). I propose a bicycle race between Biden and Trump [Comment on the webpage Here’s what voters make of President Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis ]. HuffPost. https://www.spot.im/s/00QeiyApEIFa

  • Parenthetical citation : (Owens, 2020)
  • Narrative citation : Owens (2020)
  • Credit the person who left the comment as the author using the format that appears with the comment (i.e., a real name and/or a username). The example shows a real name.
  • Provide the specific date the comment was published.
  • Provide the comment title or up to the first 20 words of the comment in standard font. Then in square brackets write “Comment on the webpage” and the title of the webpage on which the comment appeared in sentence case and italics.
  • Provide the name of the news website in the source element of the reference.
  • Link to the comment itself if possible. Otherwise, link to the webpage on which the comment appears. Either a full URL or a short URL is acceptable.

3. Webpage on a website with a government agency group author

National Institute of Mental Health. (2018, July). Anxiety disorders . U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml

  • Parenthetical citation : (National Institute of Mental Health, 2018)
  • Narrative citation : National Institute of Mental Health (2018)
  • For a page on a government website without individual authors, use the specific agency responsible for the webpage as the author.
  • The names of parent agencies not present in the author element appear in the source element (in the example, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health). This creates concise in-text citations and complete reference list entries.
  • Provide as specific a date as possible for the webpage.
  • Some online works note when the work was last updated. If this date is clearly attributable to the specific content you are citing rather than the overall website, use the updated date in the reference.
  • Do not include a date of last review in a reference because content that has been reviewed has not necessarily been changed. If a date of last review is noted on a work, ignore it for the purposes of the reference.
  • Italicize the title of the webpage.

4. Webpage on a website with an organizational group author

World Health Organization. (2018, May 24) . The top 10 causes of death . https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/the-top-10-causes-of-death

  • Parenthetical citation : (World Health Organization, 2018)
  • Narrative citation : World Health Organization (2018)
  • For a page from an organization’s website without individual authors, use the name of the organization as the author.
  • Because the author of the webpage and the site name are the same, omit the site name from the source element to avoid repetition.

5. Webpage on a website with an individual author

Horovitz, B. (2021, October 19). Are you ready to move your aging parent into your home? AARP. https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/home-care/info-2021/caregiving-questions.html

Schaeffer, K. (2021, October 1). What we know about online learning and the homework gap amid the pandemic. Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/10/01/what-we-know-about-online-learning-and-the-homework-gap-amid-the-pandemic/

  • Parenthetical citations : (Horovitz, 2021; Schaeffer, 2021)
  • Narrative citations : Horovitz (2021) and Schaeffer (2021)
  • When individual author(s) are credited on the webpage, list them as the author in the reference.
  • Provide the site name in the source element of the reference.

6. Webpage on a website with a retrieval date

U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). U.S. and world population clock . U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved January 9, 2020, from https://www.census.gov/popclock/

  • Parenthetical citation : (U.S. Census Bureau, n.d.)
  • Narrative citation : U.S. Census Bureau (n.d.)
  • When contents of a page are designed to change over time but are not archived, include a retrieval date in the reference.

Webpage references are covered in the seventh edition APA Style manuals in the Publication Manual Section 10.16 and the Concise Guide Section 10.14

how to write topic sentences for essay

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In Many Countries Schools Have Severe Problems With Student Behaviour Essay: IELTS Writing Task 2

Updated on Jul 17, 2024, 12:12

The  IELTS Writing section is crucial for showcasing your proficiency in written English. It consists of two tasks:  Task 1 and  Task 2 . In Task 1, Academic test-takers describe visual data like graphs or charts, while General Training candidates write a letter based on a scenario. Task 2, common to both versions, requires you to write an essay responding to a specific topic.

Task 2 serves as a unifying element across the test formats, demanding a clear and well-supported argument in response to a viewpoint, argument, or problem. The primary distinction between the two formats, Task 1, significantly distinguishes between the  Academic  and  General Training test formats. 

Getting a good score in IELTS Writing is important for your overall  IELTS result . 'in Many Countries Schools Have Severe Problems With Student Behaviour' is a useful essay topic to practice for Task 2.

In recent years, schools across numerous nations have grappled with increasingly severe issues related to student behaviour. This trend disrupts the learning environment and poses significant challenges to educators and administrators alike. 

Understanding the root causes behind these behavioural problems is crucial in formulating effective solutions to mitigate their impact.

This topic belongs to the problem-solution essay category and prompts you to analyse a specific issue and propose effective solutions. 

Let’s explore sample essays for this. 

On This Page

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1. In Many Countries Schools Have Severe Problems With Student Behaviour: How to Answer?

When writing an IELTS Writing Task 2 problem-solution essay, clearly understand the prompt and plan your response. In your introduction, state the problem and briefly mention the solution.

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2. In Many Countries Schools Have Severe Problems With Student Behaviour: Sample Essay

Let's explore essay samples for In Many Countries Schools Have Severe Problems With Student Behaviour below.

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In Many Countries Schools Have Severe Problems With Student Behaviour: How to Answer?

When writing an IELTS Writing Task 2 problem-solution essay, clearly understand the prompt and plan your response. In your introduction, state the problem and briefly mention the solution. Each body paragraph should focus on one part of the problem and its solution, starting with a topic sentence and then details and examples.   

Make sure your solutions are specific and realistic. Conclude by summarising your main points and reinforcing your solutions. Keep your language clear and accurate, vary your sentence structures, and proofread for errors. This approach will help you effectively write your problem-solution essay.

The topic will look like this:   

In many countries, schools have severe problems with student behaviour. What do you think are the causes of this? What solutions can you suggest? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience. Word limit: Make sure you keep it in 250 words!

Here’s how you can structure this essay to provide a balanced argument: 

1. Introduction:  

  • Paraphrase the Topic: Begin by rephrasing the given topic to introduce it in your own words.
  • Thesis Statement: Clearly state that you will discuss the causes of severe student behaviour problems in schools and propose possible solutions.

2. Body:  

  • Topic Sentence: Start with a topic sentence that introduces the causes of severe student behaviour problems.
  • Explanation: Discuss various causes in detail, such as lack of parental guidance, influence of media, and inadequate school discipline policies.
  • Supporting Points: Provide supporting points for each cause to strengthen your argument.
  • Topic Sentence: Begin with a topic sentence introducing potential solutions to address the student behaviour problems.
  • Explanation: Discuss different solutions, such as implementing stricter school discipline policies, enhancing parental involvement, and incorporating character education programs.
  • Supporting Points: Provide supporting points for each solution, explaining how they can effectively address the identified causes.

3. Conclusion:  

  • Summary of Points: Summarize the main causes and solutions discussed in the body paragraphs.
  • Restate Thesis: Restate the importance of addressing student behaviour problems and the need for a combined effort from schools, parents, and the community.
  • Closing Statement: End with a concluding statement that emphasises the potential positive outcomes of implementing the suggested solutions.

Learn about Problem-solution essay type in detail.

In Many Countries Schools Have Severe Problems With Student Behaviour: Sample Essay


In educational institutions worldwide, student behavior has become a pressing issue, disrupting the learning environment and hindering academic achievement. It is imperative to delve into the underlying causes of these behavioral challenges to devise effective solutions. This essay aims to investigate the key reasons contributing to severe student behavior in schools and offer pragmatic approaches to tackle these issues. Understanding these root causes is pivotal in fostering a supportive and conducive environment that promotes learning and student well-being.

One significant cause of disruptive behaviour is the lack of parental involvement and guidance. Busy schedules and societal pressures often prevent parents from actively participating in their children’s upbringing, leading to a lack of discipline and support at home. Consequently, students may seek attention through disruptive behaviour in school. Moreover, peer pressure and social media exacerbate these issues, as students may mimic negative behaviours they observe among peers or on various online platforms.

To tackle these challenges, collaborative efforts between schools and parents are crucial. Schools can initiate educational programs for parents to emphasise the importance of their role in fostering positive behaviour and academic success. Additionally, implementing comprehensive anti-bullying policies and conflict resolution programs can help mitigate disruptive behaviour stemming from peer influence. Promoting a supportive school culture that values diversity and encourages empathy can also positively influence student behaviour.


In conclusion, severe student behaviour problems in schools arise from inadequate parental guidance and negative peer influences. By strengthening partnerships between schools and parents, implementing proactive disciplinary measures, and fostering a supportive school environment, educators can create a conducive atmosphere where students feel safe, respected, and motivated to learn. These proactive steps are essential for addressing behavioural challenges and promoting students' overall well-being in educational settings.

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Q. How important is it to address both sides of the argument in an IELTS Writing Task 2 essay?

Ans. It is crucial to address both sides of the argument in Task 2 essays. This demonstrates your ability to present a balanced view and consider different perspectives. While you may have a strong opinion, acknowledging opposing viewpoints strengthens your argument and shows critical thinking skills, key criteria for scoring well in the IELTS Writing Task 2.

Q. What role do examples play in supporting arguments in Task 2 essays?

Ans.  Examples are essential in Task 2 essays as they provide concrete evidence to support your arguments or illustrate abstract concepts. Effective examples help clarify your points, make your arguments more persuasive, and demonstrate your understanding of the topic. It is advisable to use relevant and specific examples that enhance the coherence and credibility of your essay.

Q. How can I manage my time effectively during the IELTS Writing Task 2 exam?

Ans.  Time management is crucial in the IELTS Writing Task 2 exam. Allocate approximately 5 minutes for planning, 30 minutes for writing your essay, and 5 minutes for reviewing and editing. Use the planning stage to outline your essay structure and main points. During the writing phase, develop each paragraph coherently and address all parts of the essay prompt. Finally, use the last few minutes to check for grammar, spelling, and coherence errors to ensure a polished final draft.

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