Direct quotations have a place later in the paragraph, where they may be incorporated to support the topic sentence. In this second paragraph, the topic sentence appears first, immediately orienting readers to the main focus or topic of the paragraph. The quotation is used later in the paragraph as a form of evidence or support for the topic sentence. If you are finding it challenging to create effective topic sentences, you might consider outlining before beginning to write a paper.
The points and subpoints of an outline can then become the topic sentences for the paper's paragraphs. Additionally, because the topic sentence functions similarly at the paragraph level to the thesis at the essay level, you may also find it helpful to check out our thesis statement construction information. Our resource on paragraphs has helpful information about the scope of a paragraph, as well.
Paragraphs: Topic Sentences. Print Page Report a broken link. Overview The best way to understand the role of the topic sentence in paragraph development is to imagine that any given paragraph is a miniature essay that has its own thesis, support, and conclusion.
Placement The topic sentence does not have to be the first sentence in the paragraph; however, it should come early in the paragraph in order to orient the reader to the paragraph's focus right away. Topic Sentence to begin paragraph: In the novel Sula , Morrison uses the physical bonds of female friendship to propel her characters into self-awareness.
In addition, the author uses the physical bonds of female friendship to propel her adolescent protagonists into self-awareness. Specificity Your topic sentence should be more narrowly focused than your thesis sentence, and you will want to make sure the claim you are making can be supported, argued, and analyzed within the body of your paragraph. Example: In the novel Sula , Morrison uses the physical bonds of female friendship to propel her characters into self-awareness. Direct Quotations Are Best Avoided Although it might be tempting to begin a paragraph with a compelling quotation, as a general rule, topic sentences should state the main idea of the paragraph in your own words.
Needs Improvement: As Morrison conveyed, the girls' "friendship let them use each other to grow on…they found in each other's eyes the intimacy they were looking for" p. Better: In the novel Sula , Morrison uses the physical bonds of female friendship to propel her characters into self-awareness.
Other ways to do that are:. It is better not to say "first," but to just say your point and then on the next section, you can say "second" or "additionally" or "moreover. You could use the word, "Initially" or the phrase, "to start with. Paragraphs which should all start with a topic sentence make up the essay structure. The topic sentences should tell the main idea of each paragraph and should all work to answer the thesis question.
That thesis question should come at the end of the introduction and the answer should come after that. I have complete instructions for organizing a variety of type of essays. What are some sentence starters that can start an explanation? For example, "this proves In general, "another moment" isn't a phrase I can imagine would be used very often in writing and it is all right to use a phrase once in a while.
Here are some alternatives:. This sounds like the beginning of a speech, and so it is often polite to acknowledge who has honored you. Then, you can say thanks for this honor, or, if you are giving a speech, it is good to share the main point you will talk about, or to announce the title of the speech.
Here are some samples:. Moreover, I would like to thank First of all, it is important for any entrepreneur to know Any of the other time and sequence words will work instead of firstly and secondly.
Any conclusion words can replace finally. When you are tempted to use "so" to start a sentence, you are generally trying to convey a conclusion or a result. Here are some good transition words and phrases for that:. It would be all right to use that word to start your conclusion. I believe that what you are talking about is continuing on something in a sentence. Here are some words you can use:. There is no specific word to use for the second paragraph; however, one way to write an essay is to have your thesis question as the last sentence in the first paragraph and then your answer thesis answer would be the first sentence in the second paragraph.
Generally, if you are trying to write just the minimum, you would expect to write five sentences for each paragraph.
Write the Introduction and Conclusion
So 25 sentences in a 5 paragraph essay would be the least you should do. My article is about the benefits and the drawbacks of learning a foreign language. How should I finish the third paragraph of my article? I assume that you are talking about the conclusion of your article. A great way to conclude is to tell the reader your recommendations. You can also refute any objections that you expect your reader might have. Remember that when you are in a conversation with someone, they can ask you questions and point out flaws they see in your arguments, or other points of view. When you write, your reader has those thoughts in their head, and those alternative points of view can make them disagree with you and feel that your paper doesn't really seem very convincing.
Good Topic Sentences Examples
A way to get around that problem is to bring up those objections and then answer them. Ideally, you should answer the objections and then conclude by telling the reader how you want them to think, believe, or respond to what you are saying.
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Here is how to do that:. Some people might think put objection here, something like: learning a language is too hard. However, in my experience, answer the objection Another reason people may not want to learn a foreign language is If you can't think of any objections, then ask other people for help. Have them read your paper, or just tell them your ideas and ask them what sorts of arguments they think people might have against what you are saying. If you don't have anyone nearby that you can ask, send your paper to your parents, or a friend that you know would help you out.
You might also consider asking a friend in your class to read and respond.
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What is another word or phrase I can use instead of "this" after using a quote? For example, if my sentences goes like this: "Foucault says "power is knowledge. Using "this" is not incorrect, but you need to say a noun to indicate what "this" you are talking about. For example, "This phrase highlights Another way to do this is to re-write:. Good question because pronouns are already a substitute for the person's name. So you can use the name or a description of the person, such as their job "the teacher" or what they look like, "the tall, dark-headed man with blue eyes," or what they are wearing, "the girl in the blue dress.
Here are some words and phrases that can be substituted for "therefore":. These "easy words" that help you start sentences are also called "transition words," and their job is to link ideas together. You can use them in starting an essay or in any sentence in a paper; however, they are most effective when used inside the text, and particularly so as the first word in a paragraph.
How to Write a Good Hook for Your Essay
These transition words can help you to show that you are:. Adding an additional example or reason moreover, additionally, furthermore, not only Presenting a contrasting idea however, on the other hand, in contrast, on the one hand Start with a story about a romance. You can do a historical couple, someone you know who has an interesting love story, or a personal story you have about love or Valentine's day. Another way to start this essay is to use what I call "Reversed Expectations.
The body of your essay can be a story about Valentines, reasons why you do or do not like this holiday, explanations about how people celebrate it differently around the world, a discussion of the history of the holiday, description of how it has become a major commercial holiday, or a discussion of how important this day is for certain businesses like florists. Conclude with what the holiday means to you, why you do or do not like the holiday, or what you think should be done to make this holiday better.
Generally, in a sentence that starts with "there are" you will need to reword the sentence to change it around or add one of my sentence starters. Here is an example using the sentence "There are many different ways to word a sentence correctly in English. Correctly wording a sentence in English is easy because there are many correct ways to do it. In some languages, sentence structure is very precise but an advantage of English is that you can switch parts of a sentence around and the meaning is the same.
It gives lots of examples and help. How can I grab the reader's attention without using I, me, or my, and without stating an opinion? The best way to grab the reader's attention is by using interesting stories, examples and vivid language in describing. Another way to grab their attention is to use questions or to approach the issue from an unusual perspective. There is nothing wrong with using "in my family" to start a sentence, but I'm assuming the problem is that you have used that several times in an essay telling about what you do in your family.
Here are some variations:. Add a transition before it: Sometimes, in my family Vary the way you say it: everyone in my family, some of us, all of us, my parents and I, my siblings and I, our household, the Kearney family, our family traditions, the way we like to do it is Flip the sentence around to put the predicate first. For example, instead of saying "In my family, we like to cook tamales for Christmas" you could say "Tamales is the meal my family loves to cook at Christmas" or "At Christmas, my family loves to cook tamales together. Along with using sentence starters, there are a lot of other sentence tricks to make your writing sound more professional and educated making you sound "smart".
Those two phrases indicate that you are doing an additional activity or a sequence.
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Here are some ideas:. The most important rule about the word "this" is not to use it all by itself. For example, you would say "this couch," "this carpet" or "this lawn" to point out which one of several possible couches, carpets or lawns you are talking about.