Topic Sentence Examples

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Topic sentences can be likened to miniature thesis statements for individual paragraphs. They are the main idea of the paragraph. They provide the basics of an 'answer' to the question being posed. They provide a focus for both the writer and the reader. All the information found in the paragraph must relate in some way to the claim made in the topic sentence. 

Many students have a hard time recognizing topic sentences, especially when they are not the first sentence of the paragraph.

Following are a number of topic sentences that can be used as either writing prompts or as models for students as they read and write: 

Examples of Topic Sentences

  1. There are several advantages to owning a small car. The advantages of owning a small car include...
  2. Most states require commercial drivers to pass a specialized test for a number of reasons. The reasons for this include... 
  3. Students can avoid getting sick when they go away to college by taking certain precautions. These precautions include... 
  4. The United States Civil War was started for a number of reasons. The causes of the Civil War include...
  5. The Great Depression was a period of great distress and economic problems for many Americans and individuals across the globe. The effects of the Great Depression include...
  6. Changing the oil of a car is easy if you follow these steps. (The steps for changing a car's oil include...
  7. There are several ways that a student can obtain a college scholarship. These ways include...
  1. There are a number of methods that cooks use to make a turkey moist. The methods to create a moist and tender turkey include...
  2. Animals in the same family share common characteristics. These characteristics include...
  3. There are a number of types of card games that use trump suits. The types include...
  1. There are many kinds of pollution that can affect your health. The different kinds of pollution include...
  2. Effective teachers possess specific qualities that help students achieve greater results. The qualities of effective teachers include...
  3. Successful leaders of large companies often share similar traits. These traits include... 
  4. It has been shown that attending college can aid students in having a better quality of life.The positive effects of attending college include...
  5. In order to travel to Mars, scientists have to overcome a number of obstacles. The obstacles of traveling to Mars include...
  6. There are a number of different reasons why a real Christmas tree is preferred by many to an artificial one. These reasons include...
  7. I am great at a grilling a steak but I can never seem to make a good cake. This is because...
  8. Texting and driving is dangerous. This is because...

Each of these sentences is just an example of different types of topic sentences. When a student is given a writing assignment, they can use these as a basis for writing their own topic sentence. A necessity to writing an effective topic sentence is to have the students plan what they are trying to prove in the paragraph before they even begin writing it.

If they don't have a plan, then they will probably end up with a weak paragraph. Once students are comfortable working with basic sentences such as these, they can work on using more complex paragraph structures. However, placing the topic sentence at the beginning of a paragraph ensures that the reader knows exactly what information is going to be presented.