How to Write a Topic Sentence for a Research Paper


A topic sentence states the main idea of a paragraph. All the other sentences should support this idea by providing details, facts, or pieces of evidence. Just as your thesis statement briefly summarizes the point of your whole paper, a topic sentence should do the same for each single paragraph. In academic writing, a topic sentence usually goes first.

Writing a good topic sentence is not really difficult if you have a clear idea of what the paragraph will be about. However, there are still some rules to follow.

First of all, a topic sentence should include two things: a topic and a controlling idea. The topic is just what it sounds like, and the controlling idea gives your reader a hint of what will follow. For example, “The causes of such a severe financial crisis are attributed to a set of factors.” In this sentence, “a severe financial crisis” is the topic, and “a set of factors” is the controlling idea.

More tips on how to compose a topic sentence: