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Topic sentences

It is often useful to open your paragraphs with a so-called topic sentence – a sentence early in the paragraph that announces the topic, scope, or structure of the paragraph.

The first sentence in example (1) is a good example of a topic sentence that announces the topic. It introduces the “main challenge”, and the following sentences develop this topic:


The main challenge for inventory management is creating a system with high availability and low inventory (Hu et al., 2018). Because shortage costs for spare parts are usually high, demand forecasts are essential to set an optimal level of spare part safety stock (Zhu et al., 2020). However, achieving perfect stock control is not possible in practice as long as inventory models rely on completely accurate demand forecasts. Demand forecasts are only probability distributions and will therefore always hold some level of uncertainty (Prak & Teunter, 2019; Cohen et al., 2006).

The topic sentence in example (2) announces the scope of the following text, i.e. the three stages:


The flow of AutoGraphQL can be divided into three stages: the logging of queries, the test generation, and the execution of the tests. Figure 4.1 shows an overview of the tool and its parts. In the first stage, where the end user is browsing the webpage, each GraphQL-query sent is logged with its arguments. These queries are then used to generate tests in AutoGraphQL, before the tests are executed in the final stage …

Example (2) also demonstrates how the use of a colon can focus the reader on what is being announced. A colon is particularly useful when introducing a list of items. Read more about colons (and semicolons) here .

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Innehållsansvarig:Susanna Zeitler Lyne
Tillhör: Institutionen för lärande
Senast ändrad: 2023-06-15