Topic Sentence Examples
A topic sentence is the sentence that tells the main idea of a paragraph. This sentence tells the reader what the paragraph will be about, and then the rest of the paragraph is built around this topic.
1. In a paragraph about a summer vacation:
My summer vacation at my grandparents' farm was filled with hard work and fun.
2. In a paragraph about school uniforms:
School uniforms would help us to feel more unity as a student body.
3. In a paragraph about how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich:
Making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is easy if you know the steps.
Examples of Topic Sentences from Literature:
1. From Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings:
"Momma bought two bolts of cloth each year for winter and summer clothes. She made my school dresses, underslips, bloomers, handkerchiefs, Bailey's shirts, shorts, her aprons, house dresses and waists from the rolls shipped to Stamps by Sears and Roebuck.... "
2. From John F. Kennedy's inaugural speech, 1961:
The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe-the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state but from the hand of God.
3. From Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech:
In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."
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