How To Create A Good Topic Sentence For A Term Paper: 5 Useful Tips
When writing essays there are often times you will need to include a topic sentence. Therefore, if you have a term paper to write and wondering how to create a good topic sentence for it then the following five tips may be of use.
- Be aware that the topic sentence should be included towards the beginning of a paragraph
- Ensure the topic sentence and the rest of the paragraph are related
- Include the “topic” element of the sentence
- Include a controlling idea
- Try and avoid using a question to open the paragraph as part of a topic sentence
The first thing to be aware of is that a topic sentence should normally be included towards the beginning of a paragraph. In fact, it will generally be the very first sentence of paragraph or, at the very least, it will be included shortly thereafter.
Essentially, topic sentences will generally set up the rest of the paragraph, which is why they are included so need to the start.
Having written a topic sentence towards the beginning of your paragraph, you then need to make sure that the rest of the content is relevant and related to the topic sentence. It is no good writing a topic sentence before then diverting onto a completely different issue; instead, the topic sentence should give the reader an idea of what is to come.
There are two crucial elements to a topic sentence. The first is the topic, which is fairly self-explanatory. For example, if you’re talking about whether or not you think students should do homework then, depending on which point of view you’re taking, the topic will be either the fact that you think students should or shouldn’t do homework.
The controlling idea then helps to give further direction to the paragraph. For example, using the idea of homework again, supposing you were arguing for students having to do homework, then a controlling idea may be something such as, “because it teaches organisational skills.” The rest of the paragraph will then go on to confirm why you have made the statement.
One thing to consider is that it is not good practice to include a question as part of the topic sentence. Instead you should merely use a statement. For example, rather than saying, “should students do homework?” you may say, “students should do homework because”, and then provide reason.