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Paragraph structure

A paragraph has a topic sentence and supporting sentences.

Topic sentence

This is the main idea in the paragraph. It tells the reader what the paragraph is going to be about. It is usually the first sentence.

Supporting sentences

The supporting sentences are the other sentences in the paragraph. These sentences either:

  • expand on the main point
  • define key terms
  • offer explanations
  • give examples
  • give additional detail.

Look at the following example and see if you can pick the topic sentence and the function of the other sentences. When you have decided, click on the 'Check' to compare.


Topic sentences



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