A topic sentence introduces the main idea of a paragraph and supports the main thesis of a paper or essay. The topic sentence is typically the first sentence of a paragraph, and it introduces the subject of a paragraph by laying out a controlling idea or particular point of view on the topic. The rest of the paragraph will include supporting sentences with examples and evidence to support the main point.\nTopic sentences are crucial elements of papers and essays that support the main thesis. A good topic sentence is essentially a mini-thesis, supporting the main thesis while keeping the subject of the paragraph clear for the reader.\nFollow these steps to write an effective topic sentence for each body paragraph of your essay or paper:\n\n1. __Have a thesis statement__. You need to know what your paper or essay is about to determine the topic sentences. Construct a [thesis statement](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-write-a-strong-thesis-statement) before beginning to write.\n2. __Outline your paper__. Create a roadmap for your essay writing so you know how each paragraph will support your thesis statement and the evidence you will include in each paragraph. \n3. __Be clear and coherent__. A topic sentence should be clear and easy to understand so the reader knows the main idea of the paragraph.\n4. __Share an opinion__. Topic sentences should contain your point of view or opinion to grab your reader's attention. Avoid stating obvious facts in topic sentences. \n5. __Be specific in your wording__. Your topic sentence should be specific enough that you can devote a few sentences supporting it. \n6. __Add transitions between paragraphs__. Topic sentences can also draw on the previous paragraph to create a throughline in your paper or essay. You can use transition words in your topic sentence to call back to the previous paragraph while leading into the next section.\nTopic sentences support an overarching thesis statement. For example, if you were writing a five-paragraph essay with a thesis statement about how to reduce global warming, your three topic sentences might be:\n\n1. __“One way to combat global warming is to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.”__ The main point of the paragraph following this sentence will be to provide the reader with one example of how to combat global warming. The topic sentence introduces the concept of transitioning away from fossil fuels, which is specific and opens the paragraph up to further explanation.\n2. __“You can invest in companies that are not reliant on fossil fuels.”__ This topic sentence offers a second way to address global warming. It contains an active verb, "invest," which grabs the attention of the reader, and it is a clear introduction to a paragraph about how to invest time, money, or resources in companies with a mission to mitigate the climate crisis.\n3. __“A third way to combat global warming is to publicly pressure large corporations to reduce their carbon footprint.”__ The main point of this final topic sentence is to give the reader one last example of how to confront the issue of global warming. The paragraph following the topic sentence will expand on actions to take to challenge companies about their practices.\nBecome a better writer with the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com). Gain access to exclusive video lessons taught by the world’s best, including James Patterson, Neil Gaiman, Walter Mosley, Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates, Dan Brown, and more.\nLearn how to write topic sentences to support the main thesis of any piece of writing.