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When you write strong, clear paragraphs, you are guiding your readers through your argument by showing them how your points fit together to support your thesis. The number of paragraphs in your essay should be determined by the number of steps you need to take to build your argument. To write strong paragraphs, try to focus each paragraph on one main point—and begin a new paragraph when you are moving to a new point or example.
A strong paragraph in an academic essay will usually include these three elements:
- A topic sentence. The topic sentence does double duty for a paragraph. First, a strong topic sentence makes a claim or states a main idea that is then developed in the rest of the paragraph. Second, the topic sentence signals to readers how the paragraph is connected to the larger argument in your paper. Below is an example of a topic sentence from a paper by Laura Connor ‘23 that analyzes rhetoric used by Frederic Douglass, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Karl Marx. In her paper, Connor argues that Marx’s rhetoric was most effective in driving social change. In his numerous writings, Marx critiques capitalism by identifying its flaws. This topic sentence makes a claim that will then need to be supported with evidence: readers can expect that the sentence will be followed by a discussion of what Marx saw as the flaws in capitalism, which will in turn help them understand Connor’s thesis about how these three authors used their rhetoric to effect social change. A topic sentence signals to your readers what idea is most important in that paragraph—and it also helps you know if you’ve effectively made your point. In this case, Connor has set up the expectation for readers that by the end of the paragraph, they will understand Marx’s view of the flaws in capitalism. Imagine that, instead of writing “Marx critiques capitalism by identifying its flaws,” Connor had begun that paragraph with a descriptive sentence. For example, she could have written something like this: “Marx wrote a critique of capitalism.” While that sentence describes something that happened, it does not give readers information about what will be in the rest of the paragraph—and it would not have helped Connor figure out how to organize the paragraph.
- Evidence. Once you’ve made a claim in your topic sentence, you’ll need to help your readers see how you arrived at that claim from the evidence that you examined. That evidence may include quotations or paraphrased material from a source, or it may include data, results, or primary source material. In the paragraph that follows Connor’s topic sentence above, she offers several quotations from Marx that demonstrate how he viewed the flaws in capitalism.
- Analysis. It’s not enough to provide evidence to support a claim. You have to tell your readers what you want them to understand about that evidence. In other words, you have to analyze it. How does this evidence support your claim? In Connor’s paragraph, she follows her presentation of evidence with sentences that tell readers what they need to understand about that evidence—specifically that it shows how Marx pointed to the flaws in capitalism without telling his own readers what to think about it, and that this was his strategy. It might be tempting to end your paragraph with either a sentence summarizing everything you’ve just written or the introduction of a new idea. But in a short paragraph, your readers don’t need a summary of all that you’ve just said. And introducing a new point in the final sentence can confuse readers by leaving them without evidence to support that new point. Instead, try to end your paragraph with a sentence that tells readers something that they can now understand because they’ve read your paragraph. In Connor’s paragraph, the final sentence doesn’t summarize all of Marx’s specific claims but instead tells readers what to take away from that evidence. After seeing what Marx says about capitalism, Connor explains what the evidence she has just offered suggests about Marx’s beliefs.
Below, you’ll find Connor’s complete paragraph. The topic sentence appears in blue . The evidence appears in green . Connor’s analysis of the evidence appears in yellow .
In his numerous writings, Marx critiques capitalism by identifying its flaws. By critiquing the political economy and capitalism, Marx implores his reader to think critically about their position in society and restores awareness in the proletariat class. T o Marx, capitalism is a system characterized by the “exploitation of the many by the few,” in which workers accept the exploitation of their labor and receive only harm of “alienation,” rather than true benefits ( MER 487). He writes that “labour produces for the rich wonderful things – but for the worker it produces privation. It produces palaces—but for the worker, hovels. It produces beauty—but for the worker, deformity” (MER 73). Marx argues capitalism is a system in which the laborer is repeatedly harmed and estranged from himself, his labor, and other people, while the owner of his labor – the capitalist – receives the benefits ( MER 74). And while industry progresses, the worker “sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class” ( MER 483). But while Marx critiques the political economy, he does not explicitly say “capitalism is wrong.” Rather, his close examination of the system makes its flaws obvious. Only once the working class realizes the flaws of the system, Marx believes, will they - must they - rise up against their bourgeois masters and achieve the necessary and inevitable communist revolution.
Not every paragraph will be structured exactly like this one, of course. But as you draft your own paragraphs, look for all three of these elements: topic sentence, evidence, and analysis.
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How to Write a Good Topic Sentence
Last Updated: November 8, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Megan Morgan, PhD . Megan Morgan is a Graduate Program Academic Advisor in the School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Georgia. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Georgia in 2015. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 2,238,428 times.
Perfecting the skill of writing topic sentences is essential to successful writing. A topic sentence usually comes at the beginning of a paragraph and lets your reader know what to expect from each paragraph. Think of it as the preview for a movie or a headline in a newspaper, highlighting the “main point” that’s to come in that paragraph.  X Research source Make sure your topic sentences are up to par, and the rest of your writing will feel like a breeze.
Writing a Successful Topic Sentence
- Keep in mind that this is not an invitation to simply announce your topic. “Today I’m going to discuss the benefits of gardening” is not an effective topic sentence. You should be able to make your intentions clear without stating them explicitly.
- The topic sentence in this example states a clear direction (“health benefits of gardening”) that you can then elaborate on in your paragraph.
- Don’t write too vague or general an idea or you will never be able to discuss it in a single paragraph. This is too general: “The United States suffered a lot during the Civil War.”
- Don’t write too narrow of a statement. There’s nothing much to talk about then, because it’s probably a fact. This is too narrow: “Christmas trees are either cedars or firs."
- Instead, aim for a good balance: “Sherman’s destruction in the South during the Civil War also caused incredible suffering.” This is big enough to relate to the broader idea of an essay, but not so narrow that there’s nothing left to discuss.
- Describe a character. This can be a physical or emotional description.
- Use dialogue. If there is a relevant conversation that will attract your reader’s attention, consider using part of it to start your paragraph.
- Portray an emotion. Use the opening sentence to portray an emotion to your reader.
- Use detail. While you don’t want to write a run on sentence by creating too much detail, it’s a good idea to create interest using sensory language in your topic sentence.
- Avoid rhetorical questions. While you want your reader to formulate questions in his or her mind, you do not want to formulate the questions yourself.
- Avoid presenting only facts in your topic sentence. While facts may be interesting, they do not introduce the reader to your paragraph nor do they draw the reader in. If you wish to include a fact, also include your own input. For example, instead of writing “All dogs need food,” try “All dogs need regular care, including healthy food, and children are the best ones to do it.” Alternatively, save your facts to use as evidence in the body of your paragraph.
- Using transitional elements, such as “In addition” or “In contrast,” is a good way to show the relationship between your ideas.
- For example: “Although gardening has many health benefits, people still need to exercise caution when outside.” This topic sentence establishes a connection to the main idea of the previous paragraph (“health benefits of gardening”) and points to the direction of the new paragraph (“things to be cautious of”).
Planning Your Topic Sentences
- You don’t have to write a formal outline using Roman numerals and the like. Even a loose, idea-based outline can help you know what you want to discuss.
- A topic sentence, unlike a thesis statement, doesn’t have to present an argument. It can present a “preview” of what the paragraph will argue or discuss.
- For example, a topic sentence could look like this: “In addition, increasing funding for public roads in Jackson County will improve local residents’ quality of life.” The rest of the sentences in this paragraph would relate to the main idea of public roads and how they will help benefit local residents.
- This is not as successful a topic sentence: “Increased funding for public roads in Jackson County has decreased traffic by 20%.” While this is probably an interesting fact for your argument, it’s too narrow for a topic sentence. The topic sentence has to direct the whole paragraph.
Avoiding Common Problems
- Unless it is an opinion piece, avoid using ‘I’ in your topic sentences.
- Rather than stating something like “In the story, Amelia did many good things such as help out her friends, talk to her parents, and support her team at school” say something like “As a result of the many activities Amelia participated in, she was recognized for her positive influence on the community.”
Sample Topic Sentences
- Avoid using words like you or we because it implies you know the reader, which you don’t. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- In formal writing, avoid contractions such as “don’t,” “can’t,” and “isn’t.” Also avoid other common contractions like “would’ve” and “could’ve” which are commonly used. Instead type them out to look like “do not,” “can not”, “is not”, “would have”, and “could have.” Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Type out all numbers under a ten. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/planning-and-organizing/topic-sentences
- ↑ https://wts.indiana.edu/writing-guides/paragraphs-and-topic-sentences.html
- ↑ http://arts.uottawa.ca/writingcentre/en/hypergrammar/writing-paragraphs
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/paragraphs_and_paragraphing/index.html
- ↑ https://stlcc.edu/student-support/academic-success-and-tutoring/writing-center/writing-resources/topic-sentence-paragraph.aspx
- ↑ https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/paragraphs/topicsentences
- ↑ https://www.rit.edu/ntid/sea/processes/paragraph/process/sentence
- ↑ https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/writingprocess/outlining
- ↑ https://www.touro.edu/departments/writing-center/tutorials/topic-sentence/
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/engagement/2/2/57/
- ↑ http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/paragraphs/
- ↑ http://www.writingcentre.uottawa.ca/hypergrammar/partopic.html
About This Article
If you’re trying to write a good topic sentence, start by clearly stating your main idea, which should include the topic and the position you’re taking on it. Aim to write a sentence that’s broad enough for discussion but narrow enough to be covered in a single paragraph. If you can, start with a hook, like a detail, character, or emotion that would draw in your readers. For more advice from our reviewer on writing a good topic sentence, like how to make it effective while keeping it short and sweet, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Writing Topic Sentences — Purpose, Structure, and Examples
What is a topic sentence?
A topic sentence in academic writing identifies how a body paragraph relates to the overall purpose of an essay stated in the thesis statement . Topic sentences are usually at the beginning of a paragraph and identify the paragraph’s controlling idea.
While an essay’s thesis statement identifies the point of the essay in its entirety, the topic sentence has a much narrower focus, as it relates only to the paragraph in which it is located.
What is the purpose of a topic sentence?
The purpose of a topic sentence is to inform the reader of the main idea of the paragraph and how it connects to the overall objective of the essay. An effective topic sentence accomplishes one or more of the following:
Makes a claim
Supports other claims made in the paper
Identifies the purpose of the rest of the paragraph
Relates the paragraph to the purpose of the paper
Precedes information that defends a claim
How to write a topic sentence
To write a topic sentence, incorporate the following guidelines:
Determine the thesis of the essay.
Identify the main supports that help prove the thesis.
Use each main support to structure a topic sentence for each paragraph.
Compose a sentence that answers the following questions:
What will the paragraph prove?
How does the paragraph connect to the thesis?
Where is the topic sentence in a paragraph?
Topic sentences can be placed at the beginning or end of a paragraph.
Although it does not need to be the first sentence, the topic sentence should be placed at the beginning of the paragraph so the reader can quickly identify the purpose of the paragraph.
While not a common placement for a topic sentence, some writers use topic sentences at the end of a paragraph. Writers who choose this method want the reader to deduce the main point of the paragraph by presenting the evidence first.
Topic sentence examples
The following list identifies topic sentences based on the provided thesis statements for five-paragraph essays:
Thesis Statement: Capital punishment should be banned because it is inhumane, unconstitutional, and ineffective at deterring crime.
Support Paragraph 1 Topic Sentence: The inhumane nature of the death penalty proves it should be abolished.
Support Paragraph 2 Topic Sentence: Capital punishment should be outlawed because it violates the Constitution.
Support Paragraph 3 Topic Sentence: Because the death penalty does not effectively deter criminal behavior, states should not continue to use it.
Thesis Statement: College athletes should be financially compensated because they sacrifice their minds and bodies, cannot hold an outside job, and increase the school’s revenue.
Support Paragraph 1 Topic Sentence: Student athletes should be paid for their performance because of sports’ impact on their minds and bodies.
Support Paragraph 2 Topic Sentence: Because most college athletes cannot play their sport and hold a job, colleges should give them a living wage.
Support Paragraph 3 Topic Sentence: Student-athletes’ ability to increase their college’s revenue proves they should be awarded financial compensation.
Thesis Statement: Using alternative energy sources can help lessen the impact of global climate change.
Support Paragraph 1 Topic Sentence: Through the widespread use of solar power, countries can limit the environmental impact of other energy sources.
Support Paragraph 2 Topic Sentence: Utilizing more wind turbines as a power source can help mitigate the effects of climate change.
Support Paragraph 3 Topic Sentence: Using geothermal power will effectively decrease the world's reliance on fossil fuels.
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How to Write a Strong Topic Sentence + Examples
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- What Is a Topic Sentence?
- 5 Steps to Writing a Good Topic Sentence
Elements of a Good Topic Sentence
Common pitfalls to avoid.
- Where To Get Your Essay Edited For Free
Crafting the perfect essay takes time and dedication. There are so many elements you have to worry about, such as tone, purpose, and correct spelling and grammar. Writing a strong topic sentences is another critical part in writing a cohesive essay.
Without a strong topic sentence, you risk losing your reader and perhaps part of your grade. If it’s a college admissions essay, then you need it to be as strong as possible to back up your application. Learn about what steps you should take to write a strong topic sentence.
What Is a Topic Sentence?
People often confuse a topic sentence with a thesis statement. A thesis statement is typically at the end of your opening paragraph, that dictates the main argument you’ll be making in your essay.
Throughout your essay, you’ll have multiple topic sentences, as each paragraph should start off with one. This beginning sentence is used to direct the topic of the paragraph and outline the flow of the following sentences. It’s used to help guide your reader and to continue to keep them hooked on your overall essay. Without topic sentences, your essay will be unorganized, lack transitions, and sound very choppy. To write a good topic sentence, there are several steps to take.
Writing a Good Topic Sentence: 5 Steps
Step 1: decide what you’re going to write about..
When you see the essay prompt, you’ll have some time to think through what you want to say and why. You have to decide if it’s a persuasive essay, informative, narrative, or descriptive. Determine your purpose for writing the essay after reading through the prompt. Whether it’s an assignment for school or if it’s to get into college, you need to make sure you have that purpose clearly outlined.
Step 2: Create a thesis statement.
One of the first things you need to do is create a thesis statement. This is typically a sentence with three points that you’ll back up throughout your essay.
For example: The Office became a cultural phenomenon because it spurred the careers of many of today’s successful movie stars, it talked about situations that most American workers can relate to, and even 15 years later, offers funny, relevant content that helps to break down prejudices.
You then use that thesis statement to create an essay around the points you want to make.
Step 3: Make your essay outline.
Once you have the points you want to make within your thesis statement hammered out, make an outline for your essay. This is where you’ll start to create your topic sentence for each paragraph. You want to clearly state the main idea of that paragraph in the very first sentence. From there, you back up that main idea with facts and reputable sources. Make sure your topic sentence is clear, but does not just announce your topic.
For example, do not write something like: “In this paragraph, I will discuss why it’s bad that poachers are killing giraffes.”
Instead, write something that clearly states your idea with a reasonable opinion and that gives direction to the paragraph: “Giraffes are a key part of the African ecosystem, so it’s important to enforce regulations against the poachers who are killing them for their body parts.”
You’d then follow that up with reasons why giraffes are a key part of the African ecosystem and how poachers are destroying their population.
Step 4: Begin writing your essay.
Once you have your thesis statement and you’ve created an outline with supporting paragraphs and their topic sentences, you can begin writing your essay. It’s important to make that outline before just jumping in–a disorganized essay can spell disaster for you as you continue to write, and could result in a poor grade. Many times, teachers will even require you to turn in your outline as part of your overall essay grade.
Step 5: Proofread and check your resources.
After you’ve written the essay, go back through it with a fine tooth comb. Read through each topic sentence and the paragraphs that follow to ensure that you’ve written clear, solid topic sentences throughout and that the paragraphs with them make sense. During the proofreading phase, you also need to recheck the sources you’re using. Make sure each source is reputable. In other words, do not use sites like Wikipedia where anyone can go in and edit an article to add misinformation. Use sites that:
- Are actual reputable news sources, such as the New York Times , CNN, CBS News
- Have domain names that end in .edu or .gov
- Come from an encyclopedia, such as Encyclopedia Britannica
Using sites that are not reputable could jeopardize the validity of your argument.
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Now that you know the steps to set yourself up for success when writing a topic sentence, there are certain elements that go into a quality first sentence. Always make sure that your topic sentence is the first sentence of a paragraph. You don’t want to make your reader hunt for the point you’re trying to make. Check out some key elements of a good topic sentence:
Make sure your topic sentence isn’t too vague.
You need a topic sentence that has some specifics to it. It also needs to hook in your reader in some way with an opinion. A vague sentence makes it harder to write a paragraph that can clearly backs up your thoughts. For example:
DON’T: “In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Bingley seems like a nice guy.”
DO: “When Mr. Bingley is first introduced, he comes across as a kind person because he speaks to everyone and doesn’t immediately pass judgment.”
Choose a reasonable opinion.
Your topic sentence should clearly outline whatever point you’re trying to make in the paragraph, but you want to pick a reasonable opinion that you can easily reinforce with facts and statistics. Here’s an example of what you should and should not do:
DON’T: “It’s obvious that Mr. Bingley was a total loser with no backbone.”
DO: “Mr. Bingley could have shown more confidence in his choices and stood up to Mr. Darcy when he found himself in love with Jane Bennet.”
You can then back that up with facts, saying that he was a wealthy Englishman and thus one of the key players in society at the time, which should have given him more confidence. If he’d been more confident, perhaps he would not have left and devastated Jane.
Use your topic sentence as a transition.
Along with telling the reader the point of your next paragraph, your topic sentence should also serve as a transition from the previous paragraph. Without a transition, the essay can feel like it’s choppy and disjointed. For example:
DON’T: “Mr. Bingley is a good man and here’s why.”
DO: “Although Mr. Bingley did break Jane’s heart by leaving, he ended up redeeming himself by returning to Netherfield Hall.”
Keep your topic sentence short.
A long, drawn-out topic sentence can risk losing your reader. Many times, it’s hard to determine the point of a sentence when it goes on for too long. You want a clear, concise sentence that draws in the reader but also leaves some room for you to expand on it in the following paragraph.
DON’T: “Throughout the novel of Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Bingley was often quite different from Mr. Darcy as he would treat all people in a friendly manner, considering them all his friends and acquaintances, even agreeing to throw a ball after Elizabeth’s sisters rudely demanded he do so and was gracious to Mr. and Mrs. Bennet as well despite their manners.”
DO: “Overall, Mr. Bingley served as a foil to Mr. Darcy throughout the story by treating everyone around him equally with dignity and grace.”
Writing an essay can be overwhelming at times, but so long as you avoid some of these common pitfalls, it can be easier to get it done on time.
Don’t wait until the last minute.
If your teacher assigns you an essay or tells you that you have an essay test coming up, don’t wait until the day before to do anything about it. You have to plan or study and you need to give yourself time to do that. If you know it takes you a while to write something, then start planning it as soon as you get the assignment.
Don’t forget to write an outline.
Along with planning, make sure you have that outline written up and planned out well. It will serve as your guideline for writing the essay. Without it, you’ll face the risk of a disorganized essay that does not clearly illustrate your point.
Ask for help if you need it.
This may be the most important pitfall to avoid. If you get in over your head while writing, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask a friend to review the essay or ask your teacher for guidance.
Where to Get Your Essay Edited for Free
Once you’ve finished your essay, you may want additional input. There are tools out there to help, but CollegeVine’s free peer essay review tool can provide you with actionable feedback from students just like you. CollegeVine’s tool has helped many students and may be able to help you, too! Asking for peer feedback can help to refine your essay and it never hurts to have an extra set of eyes read through what you’ve written. Check out the free tool today!
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Published on: Oct 22, 2017
Last updated on: Oct 20, 2023
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Do your essays and papers lack clarity and cohesion? Are your readers often left wondering what point you're trying to make?
You're not alone!
Many writers struggle with this issue, and it often stems from the absence of a strong foundation in their essay writing : the topic sentence.
In this ultimate guide, we will define what a topic sentence is, provide you with clear examples, and offer valuable tips to help you write effective topic sentences.
Let’s get started.
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What is a Topic Sentence In An Essay?
In an essay, a topic sentence is the first sentence in a paragraph, and it gives us a sneak peek into what the paragraph will talk about.
It's like a signpost that helps the reader know what's coming up next.
Each topic sentence in a paragraph must have a topic and a controlling idea to show where the information is heading.
What is the Purpose of a Topic Sentence?
The purpose of a topic sentence is to make your writing clear and organized. Think of it like this: if you're telling a story, you wouldn't jump from one topic to another without letting your friends know, right? That would be confusing!
Similarly, in writing, a topic sentence helps your reader know what to expect in each paragraph. It's like a mini-map for your essay.
When you read the topic sentence, you instantly get a sense of what the paragraph will discuss.
Here's why topic sentences are important:
- Guides the Reader : It helps the reader understand what each paragraph is about. It's like a helpful signpost along the reading journey.
- Keep Your Writing Organized: Just like you wouldn't mix up ingredients when cooking, a topic sentence keeps your ideas in order. It makes sure each paragraph has a clear focus.
- Connects Your Ideas : Topic sentences connect one paragraph to the next. They create a smooth flow in your essay, like linking train cars together.
- Helps You Stay on Track : As a writer, a topic sentence helps you stay on topic. It reminds you of what you wanted to say in that paragraph.
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Where Is The Topic Sentence Placed?
The placement of a topic sentence in a paragraph is crucial for conveying the main idea and guiding the reader's understanding.
Typically, the topic sentence is positioned at the beginning of a paragraph. This serves as a clear and concise statement that introduces the central theme or point that the rest of the paragraph will discuss and support.
Elements of a Good Topic Sentence
A good topic sentence possesses several key elements that distinguish it as an effective component of your writing:
- Clarity : It should be clear and straightforward, leaving no room for ambiguity or confusion about the paragraph's main point.
- Specificity : A strong topic sentence is precise and specific, focusing on a single aspect of the broader topic to maintain a clear direction.
- Relevance : It must be directly related to the thesis statement or overall purpose of your writing, ensuring that it contributes to the central argument.
- Conciseness : It should be concise and to the point, avoiding unnecessary wordiness and getting straight to the heart of the matter.
- Connection : A good topic sentence should establish a clear link to the previous paragraph or the essay's overarching theme, creating a seamless flow of ideas.
Although most of the essay paragraphs must have a topic sentence. But there are some cases when there is no need to add it at all. For example, you can omit if the paragraph continues to develop a story or idea that you introduced in the previous paragraph.
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How to Write a Topic Sentence - 5 Simple Steps
Writing an effective topic sentence is a skill that can significantly improve your writing. Follow these five precise steps to craft a compelling topic sentence:
Identify the Main Idea
Be specific and concise, connect to the thesis, check for unity, engage the reader.
Let's break down each of the five steps for writing a topic sentence in more detail:
Before writing your topic sentence, take a moment to identify the main idea of the paragraph. What specific point of view or information in the paragraph do you want to convey?
This is the crux of your paragraph and should be crystal clear in your mind before you start writing.
Once you've identified the main idea, express it in a specific and concise manner. Avoid general statements that lack depth or detail.
Specificity adds clarity to your writing and helps readers understand precisely what you're discussing.
Your topic sentence should align with the thesis statement of your essay or the overall purpose of your document.
This connection ensures that every paragraph contributes directly to your central argument or message. It also keeps your writing coherent and focused.
Ensure that your topic sentence serves as the glue that holds the paragraph together. All the supporting sentences in the paragraph should relate to and reinforce the main idea presented in the topic sentence.
This unity creates a logical and cohesive flow within your writing.
Consider your topic sentence as the hook that captures the reader's attention. Craft it in a way that intrigues the reader and entices them to continue reading.
This engagement is crucial, as it sets the tone for the entire paragraph and encourages readers to invest their time in your content.
Topic Sentences Examples
Here are five examples of topic sentences, along with their respective topics and controlling ideas:
- Topic: Climate change
- Controlling Idea: Growing threat to global ecosystems
- Topic: Time management skills
- Controlling Idea: academic success
- Topic: Benefits of regular exercise
- Controlling Idea: Extend beyond physical health
- Topic: Artificial intelligence
- Controlling Idea: reshaping the job market
- Topic: Digital marketing strategies
- Controlling Idea: Transforming business audience reach
Common Pitfalls in Crafting Topic Sentences
When writing a topic sentence, it's important to be aware of common pitfalls and things to avoid to ensure its effectiveness in your writing.
Here are key things to steer clear of:
- Vagueness and Ambiguity
Avoid using vague or ambiguous language in your topic sentence. A topic sentence should clearly convey the main idea of the paragraph without leaving readers guessing.
- Overly Broad Statements
Steer clear of making sweeping, overly broad statements in your topic sentence. Keep it focused on a specific aspect of the topic to maintain clarity.
- Lack of Connection
Ensure your topic sentence connects logically to the previous paragraph or the overall theme of your essay. Avoid abrupt transitions that disrupt the flow of your writing.
Avoid restating the thesis or repeating information from the essay introduction in your topic sentence. Instead, use it to introduce new ideas or aspects of your argument.
Topic sentences introducing complex sentences or information that may confuse readers. Keep it concise and straightforward.
In conclusion, writing effective topic sentences is a skill that can significantly elevate your writing.
By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your topic sentences are clear, concise, and engaging.
Remember to identify the main idea, connect to your central argument, engage your readers from the very beginning. Avoid common pitfalls like vagueness, repetition, and lack of relevance, as discussed earlier.
At MyPerfectWords.com, we understand the importance of impeccable writing, from topic sentences to the broader context of your essays.
Whether you need assistance with crafting compelling topic sentences or comprehensive writing support, we can help you out.
Don't let writing challenges hold you back. Take the next step toward achieving your writing goals and visit our professional essay writing service today.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between a topic sentence and a thesis statement.
A topic sentence is a sentence found at the beginning of a paragraph and introduces the main point of that specific paragraph.
A thesis statement, on the other hand, is usually found in the introductory paragraph of an essay and presents the overall argument or main idea of the entire document. It acts as a guidepost for the entire piece of writing, while topic sentences are specific to individual paragraphs within the document.
What are some good transition words for writing a topic sentence?
Some good topic sentence starters include:
- In contrast
- On the other hand
- In conclusion
These words can help you introduce and connect ideas between paragraphs and provide a smooth transition into the main point of each paragraph.
Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)
Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.
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How To Write An Essay
Learn How to Write a Topic Sentence that Stands Out
Published on: Jan 13, 2021
Last updated on: Jul 21, 2023
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As a student, you have probably heard the term "topic sentence" thrown around a lot in your English or writing classes. But do you really understand what it means and how important it is for effective writing?
Well, many students struggle with crafting strong topic sentences that effectively convey their ideas. They may find themselves unsure of how to make their topic sentence stand out in a sea of other ideas.
In this blog, we will explore the art of writing a great topic sentence, with examples and tips to help you enhance your skills. By the end of this blog, you will have a better understanding of how to craft a topic sentence that will make your writing clear, concise, and engaging.
So let’s get started!
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What is a Topic Sentence?
A topic sentence is the first sentence of a paragraph in an essay that introduces the main idea or topic of that paragraph. It serves as a roadmap for the reader, letting them know what to expect in the upcoming paragraph.
Purpose of Topic Sentence
The purpose of a topic sentence is to clearly and concisely convey the main point of the paragraph to the reader.
It helps to guide the reader through the essay, making it easier for them to follow the overall argument or narrative.
Features of a Good Topic Sentence
A good topic sentence has a few key features. Letâs take a look:
- Expresses the main idea of the paragraph or essay clearly and concisely.
- Is specific and focused , avoiding vague or overly general statements.
- Introduces the main point and is typically located at the beginning of the paragraph or essay.
- Presents a claim or position that is arguable or debatable, which the rest of the paragraph or essay will support.
- Can be a complete sentence or a concise phrase that effectively conveys the main idea.
- Is relevant to the thesis statement and overall topic of the essay.
- Engages the reader by creating interest and highlighting the significance of the topic.
- Is well-written and avoids grammar and spelling errors.
- Provides a roadmap for the rest of the paragraph or essay by indicating what will be covered.
- Encourages coherence and unity in the writing by linking the paragraph or essay to the broader topic.
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Types of Topic Sentences
There are several different types of topic sentences that can be used in writing to introduce the reader through a paragraph or essay.
Simple Statement Topic Sentence This is the most common type of topic sentence, which straightforwardly states the main point or idea of the paragraph or essay.
Example: The rise of social media has revolutionized the way people communicate with each other.
Complex Topic Sentence This type of topic sentence is more nuanced and may require some explanation or elaboration to fully understand.
Example: While the rise of social media has had many positive effects on communication, it has also led to concerns about privacy and online harassment.
Pivot Topic Sentence A pivot topic sentence begins by connecting the current paragraph or idea to the previous one, before pivoting to introduce a new point or idea.
Example: Building on the idea of social media's impact on communication, it is important to consider how it has also affected business and marketing strategies.
Question Topic Sentence A question topic sentence poses a question that the rest of the paragraph or essay will answer or explore.
Example: How has social media changed the way businesses interact with customers and advertise their products?
Command Topic Sentence This type of topic sentence gives a directive or instruction, often used in persuasive or argumentative essays.
Example: Support local businesses by shopping at independently owned stores instead of large chains.
How to Write a Topic Sentence?
Here are a few instructions to help you write a good topic sentence.
Step#1 Clearly State The Main Idea
A topic sentence is the first paragraph of the paragraph. It must clearly explain the particular subject that would be discussed in the paragraph. This should be stated in very clear language so that the reader can easily understand the idea.
Also, it should include a bit of your personal opinion and also the main idea.
Step#2 Hook Your Reader
Grab your reader's attention with an intriguing topic sentence. It would excite and make the reader curious about the content and convince them to read the particular part.
Look out for some amazing hook examples and see what fits your essay type.
Use a meaningful and relevant question or a fact as a topic sentence of the paragraph. Make sure that you have identified your audience and are developing everything accordingly.
Step#3 Keep It Short and Precise
The paragraph topic sentence must be expressive enough that a reader understands your point of view effortlessly. This is only possible if you keep everything to the point, short, and meaningful.
Choose the words in such a way that they help you express your idea in an ideal way. Avoid using complex sentences and use independent clauses.
A topic sentence acts as a link between a paragraph and the main thesis statement. It should be specific and connected to the overall essay. Keeping it short and precise helps maintain the paragraph's flow and its relevance to the rest of the writing.
Step#4 Give A Reasonable Opinion
The body paragraph explains a topic sentence. This is why it is important that you should write this sentence in such a way that it can be explained in the paragraph. If you are mentioning a fact in the topic statement, make sure that you have authentic evidence to support it.
While the topic sentence is an integral part of the paragraph, it should stand out and possess a distinctiveness that sets it apart from the other sentences. This can be achieved by employing transition words and establishing connections between sentences.
Step#5 Use The Topic Sentence As A Transition
The topic sentences that serve as transition sentences can be considered a guide for the readers. This way, they can help the reader to move through the essay in a flow.
Write this sentence in such a way that it creates a gateway between the previous paragraph and the rest of the essay. Moreover, it will also help keep the essay organized, and the reader understands the point of a paragraph.
Step#6 Look For Some Good Examples
Examples can help you learn a thing in a better way. If you are new to writing topic sentences, it can help to look at some examples. Find some great examples of topic sentences relevant to your essay topic.
Difference Between Topic Sentence and Thesis Sentence
Here's a table outlining the differences between a topic sentence and a thesis statement:
Good Topic Sentence Examples
Here are ten examples of good topic sentences:
- "Despite the advancements in technology, traditional forms of communication are still essential in today's society."
- "The theme of power is prevalent throughout Shakespeare's play, Macbeth."
- "In recent years, there has been a growing concern over the impact of climate change on our planet."
- "The legalization of marijuana has been a topic of debate for many years." "Education is the key to success in life."
- "The rise of social media has greatly impacted the way we communicate with one another."
- "The effects of childhood trauma can have a lasting impact on mental health."
- "The concept of justice is explored in depth in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird."
- "Eating a balanced diet is crucial for maintaining good health."
- "The Industrial Revolution had a profound effect on the world as we know it today."
The Bottom Line!
An opening sentence is crucial to grab your reader's attention and set the tone for your piece of writing. The topic sentence introduces the controlling idea and acts as an important sentence in the essay outline.
Effective topic sentences are necessary for a well-structured and organized essay. It's an integral part of the writing process that should not be overlooked.
Make sure to spend time crafting a compelling topic sentence that clearly conveys your main point and guides your readers throughout your essay. You can even take ideas from an AI essay generator to get started.
However, if you find yourself struggling to write a good opening sentence, don't worry! CollegeEssay.org is here to help you with all your writing needs. Our professional writing service provides top-quality essays that are sure to impress your professors.
So, why wait? Contact our essay writing service now and take the first step toward academic success!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is a topic sentence.
A topic sentence can be multiple sentences long. The first sets the context for your ideas, while the second provides more depth on what you are saying beyond just stating it outright.
Barbara P (Literature, Marketing)
Barbara is a highly educated and qualified author with a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university. She has spent a significant amount of time working in the medical field, conducting a thorough study on a variety of health issues. Her work has been published in several major publications.
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Topic Sentence in an Essay: Pillar of Your Writing
28 Sep 2023
The structure of academic writing requires several standards to be followed to ensure the coherence of your essay. One of the techniques you should use in your writing is essay topic sentences. However, why is it necessary, and how to write a topic sentence? We will answer this and many further questions in this article. Keep reading if you want to know:
- The essence of the topic sentence and its use;
- The crucial aspects of composing a topic sentence;
- Types of topic sentences and their implementation in the text;
- How to write your topic sentence and see the examples of it.
A strong topic sentence is a guarantee to be heard by the readers! Let's start by looking at the meaning of this term and the main purpose of topic sentence.
What Is a Topic Sentence
A topic sentence is a generalized main idea of a paragraph summarized in one phrase. This statement provides a smooth transition from one central point to the next. But do not confuse it with the thesis statement. So, let’s review the topic sentence vs thesis statement and see if there is any difference.
A thesis statement sums up the idea of your essay or thesis, but it is usually found in the introduction, presenting the main point of the whole piece. Our service is ready to help you with writing a thesis statement correctly to ensure the highest results. An effective topic sentence includes two parts: the topic and the controlling idea. Use a topic sentence to organize your formal writing. Thus, you will delimit the main ideas within the boundaries of your essay paragraphs and ensure your text is coherent. This technique also aims to interest the reader by revealing the concept of your written work.
Characteristics of an Effective Topic Sentence
Using a topic sentence is an efficient strategy that will inform a reader about the topic of its paragraph briefly. To achieve this result of idea explanation and its evolution through the following parts of the text, learn the main characteristics of effective topic sentences. Below, we listed particular features that create a perfect topic sentence formula.
A good topic sentence requires clarity and unambiguity. The reader must understand exactly what work he is about to read. Therefore, your task is to introduce the main idea of each paragraph clearly.
Always remember about the idea of your paper, and don’t add anything extraordinary. You should only include information in your topic sentences that will be presented in the supporting sentences of the body part of an essay . Thus, your text will be easy and exciting to read, regardless of the topic.
You are faced with the difficult task of condensing a complete main idea into just one topic sentence. It must be comprehensive, express a complete thought, contain the controlling idea, and convey the topic you presented in a particular paragraph.
The topic sentences should motivate further reading. Therefore, you should present the information in a captivating way, ensuring the reader’s interest.
Types of Topic Sentences
There are three main types of topic sentences that cover a wide range of functions. Each type is suitable for a different purpose, but they all aim to include the key information in the current paragraph and emphasize the reader’s attention to it.
The topic sentence is presented as a question, and the following paragraph provides the answer. Such a topic sentence will effectively attract attention, increasing interest in reading. However, be careful to give an unambiguous answer to the question posed in your topic sentence.
Topic: Fast fashion
Topic sentence: What changes are required in the organization of the fashion industry to overcome total environmental pollution?
Topic sentences and supporting details can serve as a reinforcement, supporting the central idea expressed in the essay’s thesis statement. This keeps the story flowing, showing that you're not jumping between ideas inconstantly.
Thesis statement: AI development will provide the labor market with dozens of new positions.
Topic sentence: A lot of new job opportunities will be discovered with the development of AI.
The topic sentences can also play the role of a link, logically and smoothly connecting several paragraphs into one whole. In this way, a clear structure of academic writing is maintained, and the author can relate one central point to another.
Last sentence of the previous paragraph: The issue of the need for school uniforms has been actively discussed for many years.
Topic sentence: School uniform is necessary for the development of discipline in children.
How to Write a Good Topic Sentence
First, remember that the focus sentence is the most important sentence in a paragraph. It should not only state the paragraph’s main idea, but it should be intriguingly interesting, concise, and include a controlling idea. Experts of our writing service have prepared for you some tips on how to make a topic sentence. It’s important to consider many different factors before writing a topic sentence for an essay. Keep reading to see the most essential ones.
Understanding the Paragraph’s Main Idea
The key to writing the topic sentence is to determine the main point of the paragraph. Think about the purpose for which you wrote this fragment. What would you like the reader to remember most? In other words, if you extract all the topic sentences from your essay and compose a text from them, you will get a complete digest of all the main ideas of the thesis.
Keeping it Concise
Sometimes, it can be difficult to fit everything you want to convey to the reader into one concluding sentence. After all, everything you wrote is valuable information worthy of attention. Still, be brief when writing your topic sentence to entice the audience to continue reading the rest of the paragraph.
Positioning the Topic Sentence
The topic sentence can be written in any part of the paragraph. Most commonly, placing it in the beginning, thus you ensure a smooth transition from the previous paragraph and give readers a hint about what the upcoming piece will be about. If it’s in the middle of the text, it can describe the main idea after having revealed some crucial background details of the main idea. When you write the topic sentence at the end of the paragraph, it concludes and highlights the essential concepts of the piece.
Make it Interesting but not Over-complicating
To start with, brainstorm to point out the most creative and interesting idea for your topic sentences. For example, if you use statistics in later paragraphs, include them in the hook sentence as well, this will intrigue readers. At the same time, do not forget that due to the topic sentence structure, the size of the topic sentence is very limited, so do not try to overcomplicate it.
Better to Use Active Voice
From a grammatical and lexical point of view, it is believed that the passive voice complicates the construction of sentences. You may consider the previous sentence as an example of a topic sentence that is difficult for a reader. Your topic sentences should be brief and comprehensive yet simple to understand. Prefer active voice to make the body paragraph easier to read.
Enhance with Evidence
First of all, any essay, likewise scientific work, requires accuracy. That is why using verified statistical data and citing reliable sources makes your topic sentence and controlling idea credible and respected. Pay attention to the plausibility of data when you write academic essay papers to avoid misleading information. Topic sentences for essays should also contain precise facts, which you subsequently describe in the new paragraph.
Bind the Paragraph Together by Repeating Words or Phrases
In poetry, there is a technique called anaphora, when each line or sentence of a verse begins the same. This is often used to influence the reader's emotions, strengthening his awareness of a certain concept of the subject. So, to reinforce your main idea and relate your paragraphs, you can also use this device in your essay writing.
Use Transition Words
Of course, without connecting words, argumentative essays will turn into a collection of words and incoherent sentences. Build a clear essay structure by combining topic sentences with the rest of the paragraph with linking words. Therefore, to make your narrative coherent and logical, you should soften the transitions. Introduce these words at the beginning: first of all, to start with, therefore, based on this, moreover, and many others to enrich your writing.
Examples of Topic Sentences
Modern technologies have helped to significantly simplify working conditions for people. For centuries, people have had to work hard to provide basic means of living. In the absence of mechanization, unfathomable amounts of effort were required to complete basic tasks. For this reason, people worked day and night for six days a week and, in some cases, without days off at all. However, our generation was much luckier. The development of artificial intelligence and the automation of most production processes at this point allow people to work more efficiently while spending less time and effort.
What we know about recycling is a drop, what we don’t know is the ocean. In recent years, there have been many environmental campaigns to explain the importance of recycling. Most developed countries invest a large share of their budget in developing environmental solutions for the most optimal recycling of waste. However, at the same time, ordinary users still know very little about the rules for sorting waste. In reality, only a very small percentage of plastic can be recycled. Few people know that only the cap of a plastic bottle is recycled.
Society is moving online, and the changes it brings to the future are difficult to ignore. Of course, we don’t know exactly what the future of our society will be, but now we can trace some trends that will lead to steady changes. The children from the youngest age know how to use gadgets and independently find information on the Internet. Friendship, relationships, study, work, and all this already exist in the electronic dimension. Sociologists are interested in the question of what the society of the future will look like and whether there will be a place for offline communication in it.
The eternal question of style: to follow or not to follow the fashion trends. There probably is no single correct answer to this question. Social media influencers are actively sharing the hottest trends in the fashion world. The main fashionistas immediately run to the store to buy the latest new items. However, one thing is obvious - trends are certainly not for everyone. Starting from different body types to color types. We are all different, and this is our uniqueness. Trends certainly cannot look complimentary to everyone.
Our inner confidence provides external attractiveness. I have seen more than once that confident people often receive more positive attention. This is due to certain biological factors since a person with leadership qualities can lead a community, and therefore, people are drawn to him/her. And yet the advantage is not only respect from others. People with high self-esteem are perceived as more physically attractive.
Topic Sentences as an Integral Part of Every Paragraph
Your creative ideas that bring scientific novelty are the key element of your academic essays. At the same time, an idea without form is just a set of concepts. Using topic sentences will help you navigate and organize your ideas in a logical flow. Furthermore, it not only provides direction and focus for a paragraph, ensuring coherence and unity, but it also guides the reader's journey through a text.
How to find a topic sentence?
How long should a topic sentence be, is the topic sentence always the first sentence, can topic sentences be questions, what is the difference between a topic sentence and a thesis statement, was this article helpful, thanks for your feedback.
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Essay Writing Guide
What Is A Topic Sentence
Last updated on: Jun 13, 2023
What is a Topic Sentence - An Easy Guide with Writing Steps & Examples
By: Nova A.
11 min read
Reviewed By: Melisa C.
Published on: Mar 12, 2019
A topic sentence is the opening sentence at the beginning of each paragraph. These sentences tell the readers about the main idea that will be discussed in that paragraph.
It is most important part of a body paragraph, and knowing how to write a good topic sentence is essential for writing an essay . However, writing an effective topic sentence could be tough.
If you find it difficult to write clear and engaging topic sentences, you are not alone. But don’t worry!
This blog will help you understand topic sentences better with examples. Also, you’ll get step-by-step guide and tips for writing more effective topic sentences.
So let’s dive in!
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What is a Topic Sentence in a Paragraph?
A topic sentence is the opening sentence of the body paragraphs of your essay. It introduces the main idea of that paragraph.
So what is the purpose of a topic sentence?
It serves as a guidepost, indicating the main purpose and point of the paragraph. Essentially, it is a concise and direct statement that captures the essence of what you want to convey.
A topic sentence is defined by the following characteristics:
- It is the first sentence of a paragraph
- It indicates the main idea of the paragraph
- Acts as a signpost and transition sentence, ensuring clarity and cohesiveness of an essay.
Why are Topic Sentences Important?
Topic sentences are an essential component of body paragraphs , especially in academic writing which is more formal. Here’s why good these sentences are necessary for an essay:
- They help maintain the organization and coherence of the essay.
Topic sentences act as a roadmap for your essay, providing a clear path for your readers to follow. They establish the main ideas or arguments of each paragraph, allowing your essay to flow logically and coherently.
By presenting a central focus in each paragraph, they help you maintain a strong sense of organization. Also, they prevent your essay from becoming a jumbled collection of random thoughts.
- They enhance clarity and readability.
Well-crafted topic sentences promote clarity and conciseness in your writing by summarizing the main idea in a concise manner.
Moreover, they serve as signposts that signal the beginning of a particular discussion. This creates a smooth reading experience and reduces the chances of confusion.
- They help the reader skim through the essay.
These sentences provide readers with a preview of what each paragraph will discuss. This helps them grasp the main point before delving into the rest of the paragraph.
They also enable the readers to quickly grasp the content of a paragraph. This makes it easier for them to skim through the main ideas of the essay without reading it word-by-word.
Topic Sentence vs Thesis Statement: Main Differences
Topic sentences are similar to thesis statements as they fulfill a similar purpose: they show the reader what the paragraph or essay is about.
However, a thesis statement is written at the end of the essay introduction, and it presents the main idea of the entire paper or essay. Whereas, a topic sentence presents the main idea of a specific paragraph, and is the first sentence of that paragraph.
Here are the major differences between topic sentences and thesis statements:
How to Write a Topic Sentence? Here are 4 Simple Steps
If you think about it, writing such a sentence seems like a simple task. All you have to do is write one line about the idea you’ll discuss, and you’re done.
Well, it’s not as easy as it sounds. You need to follow some conditions to write good opening lines for your body paragraphs.
Here are the steps to write engaging topic sentences:
1. Develop your Thesis Statement
Writing a specific and self-defining thesis statement is the first step in writing an essay. A thesis statement is necessary as it lays out the main points or structure of your entire essay.
Having a thesis statement helps you figure out what your body paragraphs will be about. This, in turn, helps you identify each paragraphs controlling idea and craft a topic sentence.
2. Identify the Controlling Ideas of Your Body Paragraphs
Once you have a thesis statement for your essay, identify the main idea or central theme of the paragraphs.
Ask yourself, "What is the key point I want to convey in this paragraph?" This will serve as the focus and topic of your paragraph. Moreover, identifying your main points will also help you make an essay outline.
Here’s an example of how you can identify the main ideas of your body paragraphs:
3. Write your Topic Sentence
Now that you know the main idea of each paragraph, you should attempt to write your topic sentences. It is not necessary that you get the sentences right the first time. Try different variations and see which of the sentences explains the paragraph idea in a better way.
Ensure that your topic sentence relates directly to your thesis statement or the main argument of your essay. The topic sentence should support and reinforce the overall message you want to convey in your writing.
The example below shows topic sentences based on the main ideas identified in step 2:
4. Revise and Make your Topic Sentences Better
A strong topic sentence should be clear, concise, and directly related to your thesis statement. They should also be logically connected to the previous paragraph. It is important that you revise, make them better, and rewrite the sentences as you progress with the paper.
Make sure that they reflect the main theme of the paragraph and are according to the paragraph’s content. Use appropriate transition words for essays when transitioning from one paragraph to another.
Read on to learn about different types of topic sentences. They will help you to write, rewrite, and revise your opening sentences in the best ways.
What are the Different Types of Topic Sentences?
Here are some common types of topic sentences you can incorporate in your essay.
- Statement of Fact or Information
This type of topic sentence presents a straightforward statement of fact or information that sets the stage for the paragraph. It provides essential background knowledge or introduces a key concept.
- Hook or Shocker
This kind of sentence presents a shocking statement of fact about the paragraph’s key idea. This type of topic sentence aims to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read more.
- Illustration or Example
An illustration or example topic sentence provides a specific instance or anecdote to support the main idea of the paragraph. It helps to clarify and reinforce your argument by providing concrete evidence or a real-life scenario.
- Question or Thought-Provoking Statement
A topic sentence in the form of a question or thought-provoking statement engages readers by encouraging them to seek an answer. It stimulates curiosity and anticipation for what follows in the paragraph.
You can also watch this video that explains topic sentences in a simple way:
Topic Sentence Examples
‘What is a topic sentence example?’
Check out some helpful and effective topic sentence examples to help you get started.
- Professional baking is a lot more than mixing some flour, eggs, and sugar into a bowl and putting it into the oven; it requires precision, attention to detail, and dedication to the craft.
- Writing is a thorough and time-consuming process, but with some dedicated practice, you can become a better writer.
- Learning a foreign language opens doors to several new opportunities that are not only available when a person is familiar with his mother tongue.
- Home remodeling is an exciting project, but without proper designer skills and taste, it could turn into a disaster.
- Several human activities are the main reasons behind global environmental pollution, and excess usage of plastic is one such cause.
Helpful Tips for Writing Better Topic Sentences
You’ve read some great examples, but how can you write similarly effective topic sentences yourself? Here are some amazing tips to help you out.
- Be Clear and Concise: Focus on expressing the main idea of the paragraph in a concise and direct manner. Avoid unnecessary details or convoluted language that may confuse your readers.
- Consider the Paragraph's Focus: Avoid including multiple ideas or concepts within a single topic sentence. Instead, focus on one central point for each paragraph.
- Vary Your Sentence Structure: To maintain reader interest and engagement, vary the structure of your topic sentences. Experiment with different types, such as simple sentences, rhetorical questions, or even shocking facts.
- Use Strong and Descriptive Language: Choose powerful and descriptive words that accurately capture the essence of your main idea. Avoid vague or generic language that lacks impact. Instead, opt for words that evoke emotions or create vivid imagery.
- Seek Feedback: Consider sharing your writing with others and seeking feedback on your paragraphs. Ask for input on clarity, coherence, transitions, and overall effectiveness.
A great topic sentence directs the reader about the main content of the paragraph. It is brief and engages the reader.
Remember, mastering the art of writing effective topic sentences takes practice and refinement. As you develop your writing skills, focus on crafting clear and engaging topic sentences that align with your thesis statement.
However, we understand that writing essays can still be challenging, especially when faced with tight deadlines or complex assignments.
That's where 5staressays.com comes in!
If you’re short on time or lack good writing skills, you can team up with a professional essay writer. Our ‘ write my essay ’ service works with professional and subject-expert writers that help you write engaging and A-worthy essays.
So contact us and get quality papers at the most pocket-friendly rates!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the topic sentence located in your essay.
Topic sentences come at the beginning of body paragraphs. They are the first sentence of a paragraph and introduces the main idea of that paragraph.
Can a topic sentence be a question?
Yes, a topic sentence could be a question. You can use a rhetorical question or an interrogative sentence to engage your reader and encourage them to read on.
How long is a topic sentence?
It depends on the depth of the idea. Usually, it is just one sentence, but in some cases, it could be composed of two sentences. However, the first few lines of the paragraph should be able to present its main idea effectively.
As a Digital Content Strategist, Nova Allison has eight years of experience in writing both technical and scientific content. With a focus on developing online content plans that engage audiences, Nova strives to write pieces that are not only informative but captivating as well.
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The Beginner's Guide to Writing an Essay | Steps & Examples
An academic essay is a focused piece of writing that develops an idea or argument using evidence, analysis, and interpretation.
There are many types of essays you might write as a student. The content and length of an essay depends on your level, subject of study, and course requirements. However, most essays at university level are argumentative — they aim to persuade the reader of a particular position or perspective on a topic.
The essay writing process consists of three main stages:
- Preparation: Decide on your topic, do your research, and create an essay outline.
- Writing : Set out your argument in the introduction, develop it with evidence in the main body, and wrap it up with a conclusion.
- Revision: Check the content, organization, grammar, spelling, and formatting of your essay.
Table of contents
Essay writing process, preparation for writing an essay, writing the introduction, writing the main body, writing the conclusion, essay checklist, lecture slides, frequently asked questions about writing an essay.
The writing process of preparation, writing, and revisions applies to every essay or paper, but the time and effort spent on each stage depends on the type of essay .
For example, if you’ve been assigned a five-paragraph expository essay for a high school class, you’ll probably spend the most time on the writing stage; for a college-level argumentative essay , on the other hand, you’ll need to spend more time researching your topic and developing an original argument before you start writing.
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Before you start writing, you should make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to say and how you’re going to say it. There are a few key steps you can follow to make sure you’re prepared:
- Understand your assignment: What is the goal of this essay? What is the length and deadline of the assignment? Is there anything you need to clarify with your teacher or professor?
- Define a topic: If you’re allowed to choose your own topic , try to pick something that you already know a bit about and that will hold your interest.
- Do your research: Read primary and secondary sources and take notes to help you work out your position and angle on the topic. You’ll use these as evidence for your points.
- Come up with a thesis: The thesis is the central point or argument that you want to make. A clear thesis is essential for a focused essay—you should keep referring back to it as you write.
- Create an outline: Map out the rough structure of your essay in an outline . This makes it easier to start writing and keeps you on track as you go.
Once you’ve got a clear idea of what you want to discuss, in what order, and what evidence you’ll use, you’re ready to start writing.
The introduction sets the tone for your essay. It should grab the reader’s interest and inform them of what to expect. The introduction generally comprises 10–20% of the text.
1. Hook your reader
The first sentence of the introduction should pique your reader’s interest and curiosity. This sentence is sometimes called the hook. It might be an intriguing question, a surprising fact, or a bold statement emphasizing the relevance of the topic.
Let’s say we’re writing an essay about the development of Braille (the raised-dot reading and writing system used by visually impaired people). Our hook can make a strong statement about the topic:
The invention of Braille was a major turning point in the history of disability.
2. Provide background on your topic
Next, it’s important to give context that will help your reader understand your argument. This might involve providing background information, giving an overview of important academic work or debates on the topic, and explaining difficult terms. Don’t provide too much detail in the introduction—you can elaborate in the body of your essay.
3. Present the thesis statement
Next, you should formulate your thesis statement— the central argument you’re going to make. The thesis statement provides focus and signals your position on the topic. It is usually one or two sentences long. The thesis statement for our essay on Braille could look like this:
As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness.
4. Map the structure
In longer essays, you can end the introduction by briefly describing what will be covered in each part of the essay. This guides the reader through your structure and gives a preview of how your argument will develop.
The invention of Braille marked a major turning point in the history of disability. The writing system of raised dots used by blind and visually impaired people was developed by Louis Braille in nineteenth-century France. In a society that did not value disabled people in general, blindness was particularly stigmatized, and lack of access to reading and writing was a significant barrier to social participation. The idea of tactile reading was not entirely new, but existing methods based on sighted systems were difficult to learn and use. As the first writing system designed for blind people’s needs, Braille was a groundbreaking new accessibility tool. It not only provided practical benefits, but also helped change the cultural status of blindness. This essay begins by discussing the situation of blind people in nineteenth-century Europe. It then describes the invention of Braille and the gradual process of its acceptance within blind education. Subsequently, it explores the wide-ranging effects of this invention on blind people’s social and cultural lives.
Write your essay introduction
The body of your essay is where you make arguments supporting your thesis, provide evidence, and develop your ideas. Its purpose is to present, interpret, and analyze the information and sources you have gathered to support your argument.
Length of the body text
The length of the body depends on the type of essay. On average, the body comprises 60–80% of your essay. For a high school essay, this could be just three paragraphs, but for a graduate school essay of 6,000 words, the body could take up 8–10 pages.
To give your essay a clear structure , it is important to organize it into paragraphs . Each paragraph should be centered around one main point or idea.
That idea is introduced in a topic sentence . The topic sentence should generally lead on from the previous paragraph and introduce the point to be made in this paragraph. Transition words can be used to create clear connections between sentences.
After the topic sentence, present evidence such as data, examples, or quotes from relevant sources. Be sure to interpret and explain the evidence, and show how it helps develop your overall argument.
Lack of access to reading and writing put blind people at a serious disadvantage in nineteenth-century society. Text was one of the primary methods through which people engaged with culture, communicated with others, and accessed information; without a well-developed reading system that did not rely on sight, blind people were excluded from social participation (Weygand, 2009). While disabled people in general suffered from discrimination, blindness was widely viewed as the worst disability, and it was commonly believed that blind people were incapable of pursuing a profession or improving themselves through culture (Weygand, 2009). This demonstrates the importance of reading and writing to social status at the time: without access to text, it was considered impossible to fully participate in society. Blind people were excluded from the sighted world, but also entirely dependent on sighted people for information and education.
See the full essay example
The conclusion is the final paragraph of an essay. It should generally take up no more than 10–15% of the text . A strong essay conclusion :
- Returns to your thesis
- Ties together your main points
- Shows why your argument matters
A great conclusion should finish with a memorable or impactful sentence that leaves the reader with a strong final impression.
What not to include in a conclusion
To make your essay’s conclusion as strong as possible, there are a few things you should avoid. The most common mistakes are:
- Including new arguments or evidence
- Undermining your arguments (e.g. “This is just one approach of many”)
- Using concluding phrases like “To sum up…” or “In conclusion…”
Braille paved the way for dramatic cultural changes in the way blind people were treated and the opportunities available to them. Louis Braille’s innovation was to reimagine existing reading systems from a blind perspective, and the success of this invention required sighted teachers to adapt to their students’ reality instead of the other way around. In this sense, Braille helped drive broader social changes in the status of blindness. New accessibility tools provide practical advantages to those who need them, but they can also change the perspectives and attitudes of those who do not.
Write your essay conclusion
My essay follows the requirements of the assignment (topic and length ).
My introduction sparks the reader’s interest and provides any necessary background information on the topic.
My introduction contains a thesis statement that states the focus and position of the essay.
I use paragraphs to structure the essay.
I use topic sentences to introduce each paragraph.
Each paragraph has a single focus and a clear connection to the thesis statement.
I make clear transitions between paragraphs and ideas.
My conclusion doesn’t just repeat my points, but draws connections between arguments.
I don’t introduce new arguments or evidence in the conclusion.
I have given an in-text citation for every quote or piece of information I got from another source.
I have included a reference page at the end of my essay, listing full details of all my sources.
My citations and references are correctly formatted according to the required citation style .
My essay has an interesting and informative title.
I have followed all formatting guidelines (e.g. font, page numbers, line spacing).
Your essay meets all the most important requirements. Our editors can give it a final check to help you submit with confidence.
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An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.
In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.
Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation.
The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.
The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.
Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:
- An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
- Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
- A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.
The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .
A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.
The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:
- It gives your writing direction and focus.
- It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.
Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.
A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.
At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).
Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.
The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .
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Learn How to Write an Outstanding 900-Word Essay
Table of Contents
Have your instructor asked you to write a 900-word essay? Are you unsure how to write an outstanding 900-word essay? If yes, then continue reading this blog post. Basically, it is not so easy to craft an essay within the word limit. Most importantly, you need to play smart to organize your thoughts in a well-structured manner and present your ideas within the defined word count. Since, a lot of people are unaware of how to write and format an essay within a specific word limit, in this blog we have specifically shared some effective ways and tips to write an excellent 900-word essay in a shorter span.
Follow the steps for writing a 900-word essay as suggested in this blog and come up with a brilliant essay deserving of top grades.
Know How to Write an Outstanding 900-word Essay
In general, there are several students who have been experiencing difficulties with writing a good 900-word essay. If you are also one among them, then you must give more importance to your idea presentation method, diction, paragraph formatting, and so on. Furthermore, you should put some effort into your writing process to earn the best outcome. Even some experts say that three sources, five-paragraph formatting, and correct punctuation are enough to craft a thought-provoking and well-structured 900-word essay.
Especially, for those who are struggling to compose a 900-word essay, below, we have shared some simple and effective steps. Follow them all to craft a better essay within 900 words.
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Identify the purpose of writing
Before you start writing your essay, determine the purpose of your writing. This is the only way through which you can identify what content you wish to write in your 900-word essay. Most importantly, knowing the purpose will make your research process easier. Additionally, to understand what your instructor expects from your essay, it is essential to read the essay instructions or guidelines shared with you. We recommend you to keep your goal in mind so that in your essay, you can effectively convey your message or ideas to your readers.
Select an interesting topic
Once you are clear with your purpose, go ahead and choose an excellent topic for your essay. Usually, your instructors will suggest some interesting essay ideas for you to work on. But sometimes, they will give you an opportunity to choose the topic of your preference from certain themes. In such a scenario, pick an outstanding essay topic that you think is comfortable for you to write about within 900 words. Note that the essay topic that you choose should be original and it should align well with your essay writing guidelines. Moreover, the topic you select should be neither broad nor narrow and it should contain several credible sources to gather information.
Write everything related to your topic
Ideas are essential to craft a 900-word essay. So, before you sketch an outline, gather some important ideas regarding the essay topic. Especially, while gathering information, think of all the key points and messages that you want to deliver to your readers through your essay. For instance, to make your essay more informative, you can include certain facts, quotes, statistics, etc relevant to your essay topic. In this step, simply brainstorm and collect as much information as you can. For your understanding, write everything that you have gathered about your topic in the form of hints.
Organize the gathered thoughts
After you have gathered all the information related to your essay topic, organize them all and craft a well-structured outline for your 900-word essay. In your outline, you need not include all the points in detail, for your reference, it is enough to brief only the main points. Never begin writing your essay without an outline. A good essay outline will help you to logically frame your essay without omitting the key points. Remember, the 900-word essay outline that you create should include the following components.
- Introduction: It should include background information on the essay topic and a strong thesis statement. The introduction length can be around 150 words.
- Body: It should contain all the information and necessary evidence to support the thesis statement. The length of the body paragraphs can be around 600 words.
- Conclusion: It should summarize all the points discussed in the essay. The conclusion length can be around 150 words.
Begin writing the essay
In the next step, with the help of the outline you have created, begin writing your essay. While you write your 900-word essay make sure to strictly adhere to the essay writing guidelines shared by your instructor. In your essay, never deviate from the main points. Include all the information relevant to your essay topic with valid supporting pieces of evidence. Note that, the essay that you compose should be plagiarism-free, error-free, and should be within the word limit.
Proofread and Edit
After you complete writing your essay, proofread your content multiple times. Especially, while you proofread, be certain to look for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, and correct them all, if there are any. Proofreading and Editing will definitely help you to enhance the quality of your essay. Moreover, before essay submission, even you can get feedback from your friends or professionals and work on it accordingly. This will not only boost the quality of your essay content but will also help you achieve the grades you desire to score.
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Tips for Writing an Excellent 900-word Essay
Simply by following all the above-mentioned steps you can create an outstanding 900-word essay on time. In addition to that, while writing an essay, keep in mind the following tips as well.
- Always choose the right topic that allows you to present your content within 900 words.
- Read the essay prompt carefully and never miss a single detail present in it.
- Define the common parameters of your essay so that you can easily develop the content.
- Compose the essay using the right tone and style as it is mentioned in the essay writing guidelines.
- Craft the essay in a way that is understandable to your target readers.
- As a 900-word essay is not very long, make sure that all the sentences in your essay hold more weight in order to effectively express the intended point.
- Never include information that is irrelevant to your essay topic.
- Add all the key points necessary to develop the argument of your thesis statement.
- To make your essay look well-researched and authentic, cite down your references in a bibliography.
- Never submit your essay without proofreading and editing.
Learn How to Impress Your Professor with a Customized 900-word Essay
Getting a high score for an essay is challenging. Most importantly, to earn top grades, the essay that you write should be impressive to your professors. So, to make that possible, you need to put in some effort.
Wonder how to write an outstanding 900-word essay that is impressive to your professors? Cool! Just keep in mind the following tips while crafting your customized essay.
- Strictly follow the essay writing guidelines shared by your professor.
- Research and present your arguments in the best possible way. You can also effectively rephrase some other’s arguments and highlight your point of view in a different manner.
- Write an error-free essay without plagiarism.
- Compose the 900-word essay in a well-structured manner by including the essential components such as the introduction, body, and conclusion.
- Submit the essay without missing the deadline.
Hopefully, by now, you will have gained a better understanding of how to write an outstanding 900-word essay. In case, you are still unsure how to compose a 900-word essay, contact us immediately. According to your requirements, skilled essay helpers from our team will provide excellent essay writing and assignment help online at an affordable price. Note that, the essay that our professionals create and deliver will be non-plagiarized, flawless, and will contain proper citations. Most importantly, our finest essay writers will format the essay properly without exceeding the 900-word limit.
Without any hesitation, utilize our essay writing service and enjoy all the advantages it provides.
Also Read: Intriguing Hobby Essay Topics to Write About
Frequently Asked Questions
Find here, the valid answers to some of the frequently asked questions regarding 900-word essay preparation.
1. How long will it take to compose a 900-word essay?
Depending on your typing speed, it typically takes 18 to 36 minutes to type 900 words on a keyboard. However, if you have to write an academic essay, then you need to give extra time for research, text formatting, and creating necessary graphics. So, overall, to prepare a 900-word essay, you’ll need at least 3 to 3.5 hours.
2. How many paragraphs is a 900-word essay?
On average, a 900-word essay will contain 6 to 9 paragraphs. The typical length of an essay paragraph is around 100 words. In every paragraph, you should include at least 4 sentences.
3. How many pages is a 900-word essay that is written double-spaced?
Approximately, an essay of 900 words will be 3.6 pages double-spaced or 1.8 pages single-spaced when written using Arial Roman font style of size 12 pt with normal margins in an A4 paper.
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Snow was quickly piling up on the ground. Wind howled through the trees. Karen wrapped a planket around her and sighed as she watched the snow through her bedroom window. In this passage, you can best infer that A Karen is upset because she can't get out. B. Karen is at home during a snowstorm. C. Karen thinks the snow is beautiful. D. Karen doesn't like the snow.
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In this passage, you can best infer that Karen is at home during a snowstorm . Thus, option B is correct .
What is a passage?
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After seeing the view from the window , she is sighing , which means that she might not be happy with the weather and that she won't be able to go out or have any sort of fun. Therefore, option B is the correct option.
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A. "Whom" is an object pronoun.
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Turnitin's AI writing detection available now
Turnitin launches AI detection to help educators identify when AI writing tools such as ChatGPT have been used in students’ submissions.
Academic integrity in the age of AI writing
Over the years, academic integrity has been both supported and tested by technology. Today, educators are facing a new frontier with AI writing and ChatGPT.
Here at Turnitin, we believe that AI can be a positive force that, when used responsibly, has the potential to support and enhance the learning process. We also believe that equitable access to AI tools is vital, which is why we’re working with students and educators to develop technology that can support and enhance the learning process. However, it is important to acknowledge new challenges alongside the opportunities.
We recognize that for educators, there is a pressing and immediate need to know when and where AI and AI writing tools have been used by students. This is why we are now offering AI detection capabilities for educators in our products.
Gain insights on how much of a student’s submission is authentic, human writing versus AI-generated from ChatGPT or other tools.
Robust reporting identifies AI-written text and provides information educators need to determine their next course of action. We’ve designed our solution with educators, for educators.
AI writing detection complements Turnitin’s similarity checking workflow and is integrated with your LMS, providing a seamless, familiar experience.
Turnitin’s AI writing detection capability available with Originality, helps educators identify AI-generated content in student work while safeguarding the interests of students.
Turnitin AI Innovation Lab
Welcome to the Turnitin AI Innovation Lab, a hub for new and upcoming product developments in the area of AI writing. You can follow our progress on detection initiatives for AI writing, ChatGPT, and AI-paraphrasing.
Understanding the false positive rate for sentences of our AI writing detection capability
We’d like to share more insight on our sentence level false positive rate and tips on how to use our AI writing detection metrics.
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We’d like to share some insight on how our AI detection model deals with false positives and what constitutes a false positive.
Have questions? Read these FAQs on Turnitin’s AI writing detection capabilities
Helping solve the AI writing puzzle one piece at a time
AI-generated writing has transformed every aspect of our lives, including the classroom. However, identifying AI writing in students’ submissions is just one piece in the broader, complex, ever-evolving AI writing puzzle.
Teaching in the age of AI writing
As AI text generators like ChatGPT quickly evolve, our educator resources will, too. Curated and created by our team of veteran educators, our resources help educators meet these new challenges. They are built for professional learning and outline steps educators can take immediately to guide students in maintaining academic integrity when faced with AI writing tools.
A guide to help educators determine which resource is more applicable to their instructional situation: the AI misuse checklist or the AI misuse rubric.
A guide sharing strategies educators can consider to help when confronted with a false positive.
A guide sharing strategies students can consider to help when confronted with a false positive.
The Turnitin Educator Network is a space to meet, discuss and share best practices on academic integrity in the age of AI.
Learn more about AI writing in our blog
Written by experts in the field, educators, and Turnitin professionals, our blog offers resources and thought leadership in support of students, instructors, and administrators. Dive into articles on a variety of important topics, including academic integrity, assessment, and instruction in a world with artificial intelligence.
Discover the secrets of mastering AI for simple tasks with the best writing AI practices. Unlock new levels of efficiency and creativity.
Students come to our classrooms with an awareness of AI writing tools. While many students comprehend that AI writing can be misused, it’s important to define the difference between proper and improper use of tools like ChatGPT. Having a discussion about learning and the ways in which ChatGPT can help or inhibit the ways in which students absorb information can highlight the intersection of AI writing tools and academic integrity.
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Turnitin ai tools in the news.
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Cheat GPT? Turnitin CEO Chris Caren weighs in on combating A.I. plagiarism | CNBC Squawk Box
Since the inception of AI-generated writing, educators and institutions are learning how to navigate it in the classroom. Turnitin’s CEO Chris Caren joins ‘Squawk Box’ to discuss how it is being used in the classroom and how educators can identify AI writing in student submissions.
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Schools Ban ChatGPT amid Fears of Artificial-Intelligence-Assisted Cheating
U.S. educators are debating the merits and risks of a new, free artificial intelligence tool called ChatGPT, which students are using to write passable high school essays. So far, there isn’t a reliable way to catch cheating. Matt Dibble has the story.
Some U.S. schools banning AI technology while others embrace it | NBC Nightly News
ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence program, can write college-level essays in seconds. While some school districts are banning it due to cheating concerns, NBC News’ Jacob Ward has details on why some teachers are embracing the technology.
Artificial intelligence, it seems, is taking over the world. At least that's what alarmists would have you believe . The line between fact and fiction continues to blur, and recognizing what is real versus what some bot concocted grows increasingly difficult with each passing week.
In this episode of THE Journal Insider podcast, host and THEJournal.com editor Kristal Kuykendall welcomes two former teachers who have been working on AI writing tools at Turnitin, a plagiarism-detection software used by thousands of K–12 schools and institutions of higher education.
ChatGPT, an AI-powered “large language” model, is poised to change the way high school English teachers do their jobs. With the ability to understand and respond to natural language, ChatGPT is a valuable tool for educators looking to provide personalized instruction and feedback to their students.
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Meet us in person to discuss ai writing detection.
We are attending larger and smaller events to ensure we’ll have the opportunity to discuss academic integrity in the age of AI writing with you in person. Here’s a list of events that Turnitin has already participated in, or will be participating in this year. Looking forward to seeing you there!
MBO Digitaal Conferentie, September 21-22, Ulft, Netherlands World Academic Summit, 26-28 September 2023, Sydney, Australia Campus Innovation, September 27-29, Hamburg, Germany tawiab 2023: Tagung wissenschaftliche Abschlussarbeiten und Hochschulschriften-Repositorien, September 28, Vienna, Austria ACO-TEC 2023, September 28-29, Vienna, Austria Digital Universities: MENA, 9-11 October, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, 9-12 October 2023, Chicago, USA
EDUtech Europe, October 10-12, Amsterdam, Netherlands Digital Universities: Europe, 23-25 October 2023, Barcelona, Spain THE Campus Live US, 8-9 November 2023, Los Angeles, USA SURF Onderwijsdagen, November 14-15, Den Bosch, Netherlands NCTE, 16-19 November 2023, Columbus, OH, USA THE Campus Live UK, 22-23 November 2023, UK Online Educa Berlin 2023 (OEB), November 22-24, Berlin, Germany