The topic sentence is a primarily prescriptive grammatical term to describe what is usually, but not always, the first sentence in a paragraph. The topic sentence acts as a kind of summary and offers the reader an insightful view of the writer’s main ideas for the following paragraph. More than just being a mere summary, however, a topic sentence often provides a claim or an insight directly or indirectly related to the thesis. It adds cohesion to a paper and helps organize ideas both within the paragraph and the whole body of work at large.
Its use is considered standard in the American educational system and most venues of writing mainly because it increases reading accessibility.