Topic Sentences Are you sure your topic sentences are close to perfect? Do they really make your paper stronger? Let's check it!

Topic Sentences: 3 Golden Rules to Follow

Topic sentence in academic writing is the first sentence in each body paragraph, which identifies the main idea of the paragraph that follows.


The 3 golden rules of a good topic sentence are:

  • brief summary of what follows
  • attention hook for readers
  • no spoilers, disclosing all the arguments at once

Topic Sentences: 5 Main Types with Cue Words


Whereas all topic sentences pursue the same goal of preparing readers for what will follow in a body paragraph, these sentences can take different forms. For example:

  1. Description
  2. Cue words: is, turns out, has proven
    Example: Animal testing has proven to be not only inhuman, but also ineffective.

  3. Cause and effect
  4. Cue words: causes, influences, effects, results in
    Example: The lack of sleep results in poor concentration.

  5. Verdict
  6. Cue words: should, need to, ought to
    Example: Smoking in public places should be banned.

  7. Relationship
  8. Cue words: related, connected
    Example: There is a direct relationship between the time you invest in study and your grade.

  9. Observation
  10. Cue words: reveal, show
    Example: The recent studies have shown that too much intake of carrots can’t make your eyes healthier.

Sample Topic Sentences

So, a good topic sentence should give a general idea of what readers should expect from the following paragraph and make them curious and willing to continue reading. Did you hear of a hamburger paragraph structure? According to the classic hamburger paragraph structure, the topic sentence should be followed by supporting sentences and a concluding sentence. The latter sentence actually repeats the topic sentence but uses different wording.

So, that was probably all you need to know to make your essay structure just perfect and convince everyone that it deserves an A and nothing less than it.