What is a 'topic sentence?' How do I write one general sentence about a topic?And than write three or four sentences that add specifics to the description.???? Could anyone give me any examples...

What is a 'topic sentence?' How do I write one general sentence about a topic?

And than write three or four sentences that add specifics to the description.????

Could anyone give me any examples or insight!

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A good paragraph is composed of a topic sentence, which then is followed by supporting sentences, that are explained by examples, statistics, or statements by authorities.  Then, the paragraph is finished by a reworded topic sentence.  Here is a outline of a paragraph:

Topic sentence

Specific support

Specific support

Specific support

Reworded topic sentence

According to The Practical Writer by Edward P. Bailey and Phillip A. Powell, a good topic sentence has two parts:

  1. a limited subject
  2. a precise opinion about that subject

TOPIC SENTENCE:  The cover photos on magazines look too good to be true.

Supporting sentences then explain why they are so perfect. (Be sure to use transitional words to connect your ideas.)

#1SUPPORTING SENTENCE: Photos are often improved by strategic lighting.  EXPLANATION OF SUPPORT: For instance, direct light on a person's face eliminates any shadows that might make flaws or wrinkles seem worse than they are. (GIVE ANOTHER EXPLANATION OF SUPPORTING SENTENCE #1----------------------------------------------------)

#2 SUPPORTING SENTENCE: Nowadays photos of people's faces can be altered with the aid of the computer.EXPLANATION OF THE SUPPORT:  One way to do this is------------ TRANSITION----EXPLANATION OF THE SUPPORT



e.g.  If the photos on magazine covers seem too good to be true, they probably are, thanks to technology.

Keep in mind that a paragraph needs UNITY.  That is, be sure all the sentences relate to the topic.

And, have coherence, an orderly structure to the paragraph.  Here are three ways to achieve COHERENCE:

  1. provide explanations of the supporting sentences by using examples, statistics, or statements from authorities
  2. remind the reader in your support of the opinion in the topic sentence
  3. Use transitions, words or phrases that connect ideas from sentence to sentence.  (see the site below for examples of transitions)

See also the enotes site below which will also assist you in your writing of a paragraph.




besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first thing you will do is choose a topic. Once you have done this you will need to research the topic in order to gain a better understanding of it.

A general sentence is basically going to introduce the specific details that you will share with the reader. This sentence will let the reader know what he or she is about to read.

For example, you could write about obesity in America. Here is a sample sentence: Obesity is on the rise in America and the leading cause of numerous medical problems. You could then elaborate with a sentence that contains the percentage of Americans that are obese, followed by a couple of sentences that include health issues relating to obesity.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First, pick a topic that you have feelings or opinions about and write a sentence that describes a feeling or opinion you have about that topic.  For example

For all of my life, sports have been a major source of happiness for me.

Then you go on and talk about why this is.  Some examples would be.

Sports have brought me joy because I enjoy competing.  I love to try to beat my opponents, but I also get a lot out of simply trying to do my very best -- it's as if I compete against myself.  In addition, I love the way it feels to move in athletic and (I hope) graceful ways.

These sentences tell more about why I feel the opinion that I gave in the first sentence.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Actually, a topic sentence is usually the first sentence in each of your body paragraphs. One way to look at it is to consider it an introduction. You will support it with the rest of your paragraph. It should just briefly introduce your topic, as decided by your thesis.
lit24 | Student

A well-organized paragraph supports or develops a single controlling idea, which is expressed in a sentence called the topic sentence. The first sentence of your paragraph is usually the 'Topic Sentence' and it introduces the main idea to be elaborated in that paragraph. On reading the 'topic sentence' the reader will straightaway know what this particular paragraph is all about.

A topic sentence has several important functions: it substantiates or supports an essay’s thesis statement; it unifies the content of a paragraph and directs the order of the sentences; and it advises the reader of the subject to be discussed and how the paragraph will discuss it.

Readers generally look to the first few sentences in a paragraph to determine the subject and perspective of the paragraph. That’s why it’s often best to put the topic sentence at the very beginning of the paragraph.