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Topic Sentence to Choose


The Rule of Thumb:

Each paragraph should have a central idea. If there is more than one main idea, the paragraph may need to be split into multiple paragraphs.

Each paragraph should have a topic sentence (or sometimes two sentences that express the topic or main point).

Most of the rest of the paragraph should serve to contextualize or support the main idea.

With the exception of the very first one in an essay, each paragraph should have a transition in from the previous idea. This transition may be accomplished with a word or phrase, and at most it should occupy a whole sentence.

With the exception of the very last one, each paragraph should set up a transition into the following paragraph.


The topic is usually stated in the topic sentence. The topic sentence introduces the topic and one aspect to discuss in a paragraph. It is a general sentence which covers the content of the entire paragraph. All the supporting examples and details of the paragraph must fit under the topic sentence. Quite often the topic sentence states themain idea– the idea that the author wishes to express about the topic. The main idea may be presented as a general statement at the beginning of a paragraph. This kind of deductive organization moves from the general to the particular. Or the main idea may be presented as a general conclusion at the end of a paragraph. This kind of inductive organization moves from the particular to the general.

Example tasks

Underline topic sentences in the following paragraphs. Say whether the paragraphs follow the deductive or inductive kind of organization. Explain your choice.

1. From Italian the English language got such words as balcony, cavalry, miniature, opera, and umbrella. Spanish gave it mosquito, ranch, cigar, and vanilla. Dutch provided brandy, golf, measles, and wagon. From Arabic it borrowed alcohol, chemistry, magazine, zenith, and zero. And Persian loaned the language chess, checkers, lemon, paradise, and spinach. It is clear that English is a language that borrows freely from many sources.

Topic Sentence to Choose

There is no topic sentence in the following paragraphs. Read the paragraphs, state the topics, and circle the letter of the best topic sentence.

1. For one thing, you should always remove your shoes when you enter a Japanese home, and you should leave them pointing toward the door. Another suggestion is to make sure that you bring a gift for your Japanese hosts and to be sure to wrap it. A third recommendation is to be appreciative of things in a Japanese house, but not too appreciative. Finally, remember that when you sit down to eat, you do not have to accept every kind of food that you are offered; you are expected to finish whatever you do put on your plate.

a. Visiting a Japanese home is very enjoyable.

b. Taking a gift is very important when you visit a Japanese home.

c. There’s a number of things to keep in mind when you visit a Japanese home.

d. When you visit a Japanese home, be sure not to eat too much.

Date: 2015-12-24; view: 895

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