Topic Sentence In A Paragraph: Definiton, Formula, & Examples

Topic Sentence In A Paragraph: Definiton, Formula, & Examples

Topic Sentence In A Paragraph – In a nutshell, a paragraph consists of several sentences. Some of the sentences have their own respective functions, such as giving an explanation of the main points of the paragraph. And that is the main function of topic sentences.

What is a Topic Sentence in a Paragraph?

The most important sentence in a paragraph is the topic sentence. Why is it called “topic sentence“? Because it tells the reader about what topics are discussed in a paragraph.

In other words, the topic sentence tells the reader about the main idea of the paragraph itself and it is usually the first or last sentence in a paragraph.

The Two Parts of Topic Sentences

A topic sentence has two parts: Topic and Controlling Idea. The Topic section would be telling the reader that the paragraph will discuss some things related to that topic.

For example, there’s a paragraph which has a topic about Flight Attendants. So, the Topic section tells readers that they will read a paragraph about things related to flight attendants. But Controlling Idea will limit them.

If in the example above is a paragraph that discusses Flight Attendants, then the Controlling Idea could be: “…, they have three characteristics.

With the Controlling Idea, that paragraph will only discuss the characteristics of flight attendants, not other things. Get it?

Okay, now please pay attention to some examples of the Topic and Controlling Idea about English below:

  • English is constantly adding new words.
  • English borrows words from other language.
  • English is necessary for many different jobs.
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Finding Topic and Controlling Idea in the Main Sentence

In the main sentence, the Topic section is usually at the beginning of the sentence, then followed by the Controlling Idea section. However, it doesn’t rule out the possibility to put the Controlling Idea in the beginning of a sentence.

Take a look at a few examples below.

The Topic section is at the beginning of the sentence, then followed by the Controlling Idea

  • English borrows words from other languages.
  • English is necessary for many different jobs.
  • Other languages give words to English.
  • Many different jobs require English.

Examples of Topic Sentences

The paragraphs below show the function of the Controlling Idea of a topic sentence in a paragraph. The topic of these paragraphs is the same, which is about beaches. However, the contents of each paragraph are different because the Controlling Idea in each paragraph are also different.

Paragraph 1


Beaches always give different pleasures to different kinds of people. Solitary people can enjoy sunbathing or reading. For social people, they can usually find someone to talk to or take a walk with at the beaches. Individuals who are very curious can collect seashells or study the habits of seashore creatures, such as sand crabs or seagulls. Active people or athletes can jog, surf, swim or play football or volleyball. In conclusion, every type of person can find enjoyment at a beach.

Paragraph 2


Beaches are fun in summer and in winter. You can swim and do many other water sports in summer. You can play beach games or relax on the warm sand if you don’t like water sports. Beaches are less crowded in winter, so they are good places for solitary walks. In addition, nothing is more fun than sitting with a group of friends around a big bonfire, talking, laughing, and singing on a clear winter night. A beach, indeed, is a place to have fun all year.

Paragraph 3

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Beaches differ in various parts of the world. Thailand has miles of empty beaches. The beaches there are beautiful, clean, and uncrowded, even in summer. People can spend the whole afternoon on a beach and not see many people there. However, in Japan, the beaches are very crowded. When you visit some popular Japanese beaches you can hardly find a place to sit down. The beaches in Northern Europe are different in another way. Most people go to the beach only to sunbathe because the water is cold. The beaches are rocky along the French Riviera, not sandy as they are on tropical islands. Each type of beaches – empty or crowded, sandy or rocky – has its own special characteristics to enjoy.

We hope you guys do understand about topic sentences in a paragraph. If you find any incorrect statement we made, please tell us by writing down a comment below! Feel free to share this and as always, thanks!

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