What are examples of the 7 types of topic sentence?
This is the third and final lesson about Topic Sentences. To complete this course, read each lesson carefully and then unlock and complete our materials to check your understanding.
– Review the key aspects of effective topic sentences
– Introduce seven types of academic topic sentence
– Provide authentic examples with annotations to help guide the reader when writing academic body paragraphs
Now that we know what a topic sentence is (Lesson 1) and have discussed the top twelve tips for writing effective topic sentences (Lesson 2), this final lesson in our short course provides students and tutors with numerous academic examples of successful topic sentences. We’ve divided these examples into seven types and have bolded the key structural language that you may wish to use when constructing your own topic sentences.
Please note that in the following examples, we use brackets to identify the [thesis] and the (main ideas) and bold to indicate the structural language.
Remember also, topic sentences:
– set the tone of the paragraph
– may be one or multiple sentences
– remind the reader of the essay thesis
– introduce the paragraph’s main idea(s)
– are found at the start of a body paragraph
– transition between ideas and body paragraphs
Type 1: Single-Sentence Topic Sentences
- One reason for the increase in [air pollution in China] in recent years is likely due to the (increase in coal consumption).
- There is significant evidence to suggest that a [plant-based diet] is (healthier during childhood) than a meat-based diet.
- Research indicates that the only way to [reduce global warming] on a global scale is to significantly (reduce the consumption of fossil fuels).
Type 2: Multiple-Sentence Topic Sentences
Some topic sentences may require more than one sentence to provide their [thesis] and (main ideas):
- There are many reasons for the [increase in cancer rates in the developed world]. One of the most significant causes may be the (increased levels of river pollution) found in poorer countries.
- Many researchers believe that the [polar ice caps are in fact melting] at unprecedented rates. Some evidence indicates that this may be (directly due to carbon dioxide emissions) more than any other greenhouse gas.
- The literature indicates that [obesity levels] are indeed at an all time high [in developed countries]. What causes this is a matter of contention, but many believe that (the over consumption of sugar) is one of the main culprits.
Type 3: Transitional Topic Sentences
Many topic sentences also function as transitional devices, allowing the reader to move smoothly from one paragraph’s main idea to another. Words such as ‘in addition’ for example can remind the reader of the previous main idea, and words such as ‘although’ and ‘while’ can demonstrate an opposing argument or a concession:
- In addition to (human health), [the meat industry] is also having a negative effect on (the health of the farmed animals).
- While it may be true that overall [human health is (hardly affected) by air pollution], the seriousness of the effect this pollution has on (the pulmonary system) is often understated.
- In contrast to the argument that (public transportation) does not significantly affect [air quality], there is much research to suggest that (leaded petrol) is incredibly polluting.
Though less academic in style, some writers may even choose to write interrogative topic sentences– meaning that they include or imply a direct or indirect question within their structure:
- While there has been much investigation into [the spread of English as a global language], what many linguists wish to know is whether (English will become the sole global language) in the not-too-distant future.
- One question is whether [the shift in teaching to online platforms] will (change the relationship between the student and the tutor).
- Is it likely that [the increase in popularity of urban living] will continue to rise well into the 21st century as the types of (job shift from industry-based to being predominantly online)?
Type 5: Topic-Changing Topic Sentences
Also known as ‘pivots’ are topic sentences which move the reader from one main ideas to another within the same paragraph or which reverse the argument’s direction (i.e., from counter argument to argument). Argument reversals are usually introduced with words like ‘however’ or ‘even though’, while words such as ‘additionally’ or ‘secondly’ transition to the next main idea of that paragraph:
- However, there is in fact contrary evidence to suggest that [the rising national debt levels] may not have a direct impact on (per-capita GDP).
- Additionally, (China) may be a rising contender for world hegemony in competition with the [USA’s hegemonic status].
- Even though the above studies provide convincing evidence, there are still more examples that demonstrate how [job security] and (socioeconomic status) are clearly linked.
Type 6: Multiple-Main-Idea Topic Sentences
Some topic sentences may even contain multiple main ideas, although as we mentioned in Lesson 2, it’s never a good idea to include more than one main idea in a body paragraph as your investigation will become too shallow:
- Two reasons for [the increase in the consumption of high-sugar food products] are (TV advertising) and (product placement in TV series).
- There is much evidence to demonstrate how (exercise) and (restful sleep) are two of the most important factors in [life extension].
- It is also clear that without significant (guidance from tutors) and (parents), most students do not make well-informed decisions about [which degree to choose].
Type 7: Multiple-Paragraph Topic Sentences
Finally, there are topic sentences that are able to introduce more than one paragraph. Such sentences might come at the beginning of the body section and prepare the reader for a comprehensive investigation of one or two main ideas, or they may be included every couple of paragraphs if the main idea cannot be argued comprehensively within one paragraph alone:
- When it comes to the question of whether [heart disease and smoking] are linked, there is convincing information on (both sides of the argument).
- As the following paragraphs demonstrate, there is significant empirical data proving that a predominantly [plant-based diet] is (healthier) for humans than a predominantly meat-based one.
- There are (multiple examples) that clearly demonstrate the [influencing effect that the media has over the general public].
Good work on completing this short course on topic sentences. You’ll probably now wish to unlock and download our worksheets for this lesson so that you can check your progress and understanding. Then consider completing another one of our short courses on body paragraphs or essay writing in general.
Lesson 2 explores the topic: How can I write effective academic topic sentences? Our Lesson 2 Worksheet (containing guidance, activities and answer keys) can be accessed here at the click of a button.
Lesson 3 explores the topic: What are examples of the 7 types of topic sentence? Our Lesson 3 Worksheet (containing guidance, activities and answer keys) can be accessed here at the click of a button.
There are currently no PowerPoint activities, additional teacher resources or audio and video recordings created for this topic. Please come back again next semester.
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