What’s a paragraph?
A paragraph is a group of sentences that share one main idea. A paragraph can stand alone as a composition or may be one part of a longer piece of writing, such as an essay or report. Every paragraph has the same basic structure:
- Topic Sentence
- Supporting Sentences
- Concluding Sentence
What’s a topic sentence?
A topic sentence is
The following are weak topic sentences:
- Canada shares a border with the United States.
- Too narrow. A fact cannot be a topic sentence because it does not contain an idea that can be developed.
- Studying is difficult.
- Too broad. This sentence needs to be more specific. Studying what? Difficult for whom?
- Why traditional values are disappearing
- Incomplete sentence. While this may be a good topic, it is not a topic sentence because it is grammatically incomplete.
- I would like to discuss in this paragraph the growing concern about air pollution in my city.
- Do not announce your topic or intentions.
A good topic sentence clearly introduces the topic of the paragraph and makes a point about that topic (
Here are some revised versions of the above topic sentences:
- Canadian cultural identity has been heavily influenced by its relationship with and proximity to the United States.
- Studying two languages at once can be very challenging.
- There are several reasons why traditional values are disappearing.
- Air pollution is a growing concern in my country.