Identifying Good Topic Sentences

In a previous post, I talked about how to write a topic sentence for an academic paragraph.

So now, let's do some practice to identify good topic sentences.

For this activity, read each sentence carefully, and decide whether it's a good or bad topic sentence.
  1. I had tacos for lunch today.
  2. There are many benefits to learning English.
  3. I have never been to Europe.
  4. Steve has a cat and a dog.
  5. I lost my keys.
  6. Exercise can improve your health in many ways.
  7. I am studying English.
  8. Florida is a wonderful place to visit.
  9. Tokyo is a city in Japan.
  10. My grandpa was a wonderful person.
  11. My grandma is 90 years old.
  12. John F. Kennedy was one of the best presidents of the U.S.
  13. I do not like chocolate.
  14. Eating honey has many benefits.
  15. Yesterday I visited my cousins in Wisconsin.

  • 2, 6, 8, 10, and 12 are good topic sentences.
  • 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15 are bad topic sentences.
How did you do on this activity? Can you see the difference between good and bad topic sentences now?

Remember, a good topic sentence expresses an opinion or an idea, and then that idea or opinion is supported by the supporting sentences in the body of the paragraph. A good topic sentence is not a statement of fact. If it's just a fact (My car is four years old.), then there's no need for any supporting sentences, no need to elaborate on that statement of fact in a paragraph.

Now it's your turn. Try to write a topic sentence on these topics. Remember to express an idea or opinion with your topic sentences.
  • Studying English
  • New York
  • Your favorite holiday

Next: Learn how to write the body (supporting sentences) of your academic paragraph.

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Matthew Huseby, M.A.
My Language Success LLC

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