How to Write a Good Topic Sentence

Next time you’re staring at a blank screen and wondering how to make the words for that due-in-24-hours essay magically appear, remember these two words: Topic sentence.

Varsity Tutors, Writing for
3-minute read
Episode #535

Putting Topic Sentences into Practice

Picture this: You’ve been assigned to write a 500-word essay on combating childhood obesity. Based on your research, you’ve come up with this thesis sentence: “As a society, we can make strides toward a healthier youth population by increasing funding for school nutrition programs.”

From this point, you can work on crafting some topic sentences that support your thesis and help guide your argument. The keys to creating these are to keep them specific and relevant to your thesis. Make sure they directly relate to your main point, but are different enough from each other to add depth to your essay.

In the example of your childhood obesity topic, you might use topic sentences like these as a framework for the rest of your essay:

  • School nutrition programs are required to meet certain standards, including the availability of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  

  • The National School Lunch Program helps lower-income children obtain healthy food because of the subsidies it provides to reduce or eliminate the cost to the families.

  • Funding for nutrition programs at school also includes breakfast, and eating breakfast has been linked to better health.

See? Just like magic, the outline of your essay is complete. Now, elaborate on each of the points in your argument with supporting details from credible, well-cited sources, and your well-structured, top-scoring essay will be ready in no time.

Lora Wegman is a contributing writer for Varsity Tutors, a live learning platform that connects students with personalized instruction to accelerate academic achievement.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Varsity Tutors, Writing for Grammar Girl

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