THE THREE PARTS OF A PARAGRAPH
1. TOPIC SENTENCE: States the main idea of the paragraph. It limits the topic to one specific area that can be discussed completely in the space of a single paragraph. It has two parts: a) Topic
b) Controlling idea.
e.g. Driving on freeways requires skills and alertness.
Topic controlling idea
Registering for college classes can be a frustrating experience for new students. Topic controlling idea
Gold, a precious metal, is prized for two important characteristics. Topic controlling idea
2. SUPPORTING SENTENCES: develop the topic sentence. They explain or prove the topic sentence by giving more information about it. e.g. First of all, gold has a lustrous beauty that is resistant to corrosion. For example, a Macedonian coin remains as untarnished today as the day it was made 25 centuries ago.
3. CONCLUDING SENTENCE: signals the end of the paragraph and leaves the reader with important points to remember. e.g. In conclusion, gold is treasured not only for its beauty but also its utility.
HOW TO WRITE GOOD TOPIC SENTENCES
1. It must be a complete sentence.
2. It must contain both the topic and the controlling idea. 3. A topic sentence is the most general sentence in the paragraph because it gives only the main idea. It doesn’t give specific details. A reader wants to know generally what to expect in a paragraph, but they don’t want to learn all the details in the first sentence. a) A lunar eclipse is an omen of a coming disaster.
______too specific._____ b) Superstitions have been around forever.
______ too general_______ c) People hold many superstitious beliefs about the moon. ____ best TS______ d) Is made of green cheese.
Now, it’s your turn:
a) The history of astronomy is interesting.
___________ b) Ice age people recorded the appearance of new moons by making scratches
___________ in animal bones.
c) For example, Stonehenge in Britain, built 3500 years ago to track the
___________ movements of the sun.
d) Ancient people observed and recorded lunar and solar events in different
a) It is hard to know which foods are safe to eat nowadays.
___________ b) In some large ocean fish, there are high levels of mercury.
___________ c) Undercooked chickens and hamburger may carry E.coli bacteria. ___________ d) Not to mention mad cow disease.
e) Food safety is an important issue.
Writing topic sentences:
Read the paragraphs below. The topic sentence of each paragraph has been omitted. Try to write a suitable topic sentence for each paragraph. ______________________________________. In Beijing, China, people own over 7 million bicycles. In cities in Denmark, between 20 and 30 percent of daily trips are made on bicycles. In many Asian cities, bicycle-like vehicles called rickshaws carry between 10 and 20 percent of the goods moved daily. In Africa, the bicycle is the most common means of traveling intermediate distances. In Iran, too, bicycles are the primary means of transportation in such cities as Yazd and Kerman.
____________________________________. The earliest known examples of wheels are from Mesopotamia. It dates from about 3500 to 3000 BC. Wheels were first used in the cart or wagon, pulled by humans or animals. After the invention of the steam engine, wheels were driven by steam. Today, animal-drawn carts are still used in many countries. The horse-drawn chariot appeared in Mesopotamia around 2000 BC. It was later used in Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome, and other ancient civilizations....
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