A student recently asked what is the difference between the topic sentence of a body paragraph and the main claim of the paragraph.
Many students have read about ‘topic sentences’ and believe that it’s essential to make a separate sentence to introduce the topic before making any kind of argumentative claim:
- sentence 1: topic only (saving police time), no opinion
- sentence 2: topic (saving police time) plus opinion (valuable police time will be saved)
This is unnecessary repetition. The second sentence already contains the topic AND the main claim of the paragraph, and so it already behaves like a topic sentence:
In academic writing it is generally a good idea to get to the point as quickly and concisely as possible. This kind of writing is much easier to read and is more likely to result in a good score in IELTS Task 2 for task response and coherence and cohesion.