The paragraph is the key element in organizing and writing any type of letter (e.g., cover letter, sales letter, business letter, marketing letter). Each paragraph should focus on one theme or issue, with each sentence supporting that issue. The topic sentence explains and emphasizes the main point of the paragraph to the reader. It serves as the controlling idea and the foundation for your paragraph. Much like headings, topic sentences are key for emphasizing what is important to the reader.
There are three key ways to create a topic sentence:
- Write the topic sentence as a question. For example: Is email an effective method of marketing to potential and existing clients? The supporting sentences should then answer the question.
- Write the topic sentence as a problem. For example: Email is not as effective as it once was for marketing purposes because of recent privacy legislation. The supporting sentences should then offer a solution.
- Write the topic sentence as a general statement, and restate it in a specific way in a second sentence, or as an introductory and main clause. For example: While email has multiple uses, it is still an effective method of marketing to potential clients. The rest of the sentences then illustrate and support the specific statement.
The topic sentence is often the first or second sentence in the paragraph. This enables you to state your key idea to the reader right away. You can also conclude your paragraph with topic sentence, so that you end with your main point. Keep your topic sentences short, and use one topic sentence per paragraph.
What types of topic sentences do you prefer? How do you like to organize your paragraphs? Let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org.