An Academic Manual: How to Write Topic Sentences for Essays

Just as people ignore an ad that does not have a sensational opening, so do they ignore as essay that does not have an amazing and attention worthy topic sentence. The human attention span lasts for only twenty seconds, which means that one’s essay has only twenty seconds to attract the reader’s attention and make sure it stays there. Thus, it is necessary for a student to have a good, well thought out opening sentence, just as it is necessary for the first act of a play to be engaging. Therefore, here are some ways and tips to write a good topic sentence for an essay.

What is your main idea?

  • Make sure that you state the primary idea of your essay in a clear manner. People should not have to scramble to get to know the main idea of your essay. This will make them move on to other essays. Thus, make sure to tell people what your essay is about right in your topic sentence.

Use examples and emotions

  • “I am going to tell you the benefits of getting life insurance,” is not a good opening sentence in any way. Granted, it is best to dive into action, but there are other creative ways to do it. For example, by using examples and emotions.
  • “No matter how many times Tracy was told, it was only when her house burned down in an accidental fire that she realized she should have listened and gotten herself insured.”
  • The above sentence is one such example to open a technical and otherwise boring topic to many.

Short goes a long way

  • Try to keep your topic sentence short in length.
  • Topic sentences that are too long tend to tire the reader out and make them lose interest. Short and to-the-point sentences, however, keep it alive and give the essay rhythm. Thus, as far as possible, keep your topic sentence brief.

Write your topic sentence in accordance with your first paragraph

  • It is best to plan out your opening paragraph before your write your topic sentence. This will ensure that your topic sentence does not deviate from your opening paragraph, thus avoiding discrepancies.

Most importantly, avoid writing your essay in first person. Write in third person for all your personal information is in the essay. Thus, unless the essay is an opinionated one, try not to use first person in your work. 


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