Writing | Topic Sentence

What is a topic sentence?

The topic sentence, also called a focus sentence, is the sentence which summarizes the principal idea of the paragraph. Although topic sentences may appear anywhere in a paragraph, it is usually the first sentence in that paragraph.

The topic sentence summarizes the main idea of the paragraph and adds cohesion to a paper and helps organize ideas both within the paragraph and the whole body of work at large.

All the other sentences in a paragraph have to support the topic sentence by offering more information or details about the topic. These sentences are called supporting sentences.

Example of a topic sentence

Louisiana hosts one of the most well known celebrations - Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday". This holiday is sometimes called "Shrove Tuesday". People wear masks and costumes, overturn social conventions, dance, organize competitions and parades. Related popular practices were associated with celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent.

The sentence "Louisiana hosts one of the most well known celebrations - Mardi Gras" is the topic sentence of the paragraph. The other sentences give more information to support the topic sentence.