Topical sentences, as sometimes also referred as topic sentences, usually occur at the beginning of a paragraph, giving you, in short, what to expect in the paragraph.Topical sentence gives out the moot point of the paragraph. It not only gives is a tool to structure your essay, it also gives the reader a bird’s eye view of the topic of discussion that is going to follow. It improves the readability of the essay. It unifies the content of a paragraph and dictates the order of the sentences; it informs the reader of the subject to be discussed and how the paragraph will discuss it.
Topical sentences alert the reader to the high points in the paragraph. It gives the reader, in short, the synopsis. It shows the reader the direction the essay is going to take and prepares him for what comes next.
It also lends coherence to the essay and an is an essential feature in the overall structure. Not only does it link to the thesis statement, but also to the previous paragraph, thus suturing the essay into a whole, seamless unit. It can be considered a structural block. It is these little elements that make a difference between a good essay and a run of the mill.
The topic sentences cap the paragraphs and are linked to the thesis statement and corroborates supports an essay’s thesis statement; only incorporate a keyword from the thesis sentence of the introduction in your topic sentences of body paragraphs. Use only a keyword so that the connection is made, yet, introduce variety in formulating the sentences. If you keep repeating the same sentences given in the introductory paragraphs your essay will sound repetitive and monotonous.
It goes without saying that it should be interesting enough to prompt to read on. Do not try the cliched method of using a quotation as a topic sentence. This is for the simple reason quoting someone else will deprive you of the scope to include the specific information relating to that topic in your own words. Thus, it will reflect the author’s opinion rather than yours. In an essay the graders are looking for your ideas on the subject and not a author’s, no matter how famous he is.
Aiming at incorporating topic sentences in your essay will lend coherence and unity and also enhance readability. Readers generally look to the first few sentences in a paragraph to get a gist of the subject and perspective of the paragraph.
It’s more effective to place a sentence at the end of the previous paragraph—for example, a sentence linking the current paragraph to the previous one, to improve the connection.
There will be many a PCAT prep book advising on how to prepare for the exam. Not all of them would throw light on how to handle such nitty gritties of the essay. Nonetheless, it is an important factor of your essay.