Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
LLR Home Library Services Student IT Support Our Libraries Digital Skills Centre
MyAccount Email Moodle VLE MyLSBU

Mini-Module: How to Write Good Paragraphs

Topic Sentences

Skills for Learning LogoTopic Sentences Page 4 of 6

It is a good idea to only have one point per paragraph.

You state this point at the beginning of the paragraph - it's called the "Topic Sentence".

After you have stated your point you then need to support it. 

But... What makes a good topic sentence?

Video Activity

In the video below, two students are discussing their plans for a 2000-word assignment essay about the Olympic games in the 21st Century. We see them as they are trying to decide on a good topic sentence for a paragraph.

At any time you can pause, go back or jump ahead.

The transcript for this video is below.


Video Transcript

Student A: …OK, moving on. what’s your point going to be in your next paragraph?

Student B: The modern Olympics started in 1896.

Student A: Yes, but what’s your point?

Student B: The modern Olympics is about 120 years old – know what I mean?

Student A: OK, but that’s still just a fact - what’s your actual point?

Student B: The world has changed a lot since 1896.

Student A: That’s true, but what are you trying to say?

Student B: We shouldn’t expect the Olympics to carry on exactly the same every year.

Student A: That’s more interesting - so what’s your point?

Student B: The Olympics has to be open to change.

Student A: OK, that’s more like a point, but change In what way? What’s your point?

Student B: In a changing world, the Olympics have to develop constantly to keep up with the times.

Student A: OK, but that’s still quite general - It sounds more like a thesis statement for the whole essay. What’s your specific point for this paragraph?

Student B: in order to keep up with changing attitudes to social justice, the Olympics should have affirmative action for athletes from oppressed minorities.

Student A: Now that’s a real point. Make it your topic sentence and back it up with some examples and you’ll have a great paragraph!

End of video