Central Idea

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Chapter I – The Central Idea

Part I.Examples of subjects and central ideas

Subject| Central Ideas|
My fall walk in the forest| My fall walk in the forest was inspiring.| Electric cars| Electric cars can replace gasoline models.| The Battle of Gettysburg| The Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point of the Civil War.| Homeless children| The government should guarantee homeless children proper nutrition, education, and health care.| The Brooklyn Bridge| The Brooklyn Bridge in an engineering marvel.| The Spanish influenza epidemic of 1917| The Spanish influenza epidemic of 1917 killed more people than did World War I.|

Part II. Tips on Writing Topic Sentences and Thesis Statements 1.Make sure your topic sentence or thesis is a complete sentence. A complete sentence contains a subject and a verb, and it expresses a complete thought.

Not:Computers and being a successful college student.
Or:Using computers to succeed in college,
Or:How computers can help students succeed in college.
But:Computers can help students succeed in college.
2.State your main point directly; don’t announce it.
Not:I am going to write about how computers can help students succeed in college.
Or:This paper will discuss the fact that computers can help students succeed in college.
But:Computers can help students succeed in college.
3.In most cases, readers will naturally assume that what you are writing about is your own opinion or is what you believe. There is no need to explain that.
Not:I believe that computers can help students succeed in college.
Or:It is my opinion that computers can help students succeed in college.
But:Computers can help students succeed in college.
4.Make sure your topic sentence or thesis clearly states the point you want to make about your subject.
Not:Computers and being a successful college student.
Or:Computers affect...
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