The Topic Sentence
What is a topic sentence?
The topic sentence is an important part of the paragraph. The topic sentence is the sentence that states the main idea of the paragraph. Often the topic sentence is the first sentence of the paragraph. As mentioned in the last chapter, the topic of a paragraph is usually indicated in the introduction. Therefore, the topic sentence is often the same as the introduction. There are a variety of types of topic sentences. For example, a topic sentence might be a proverb or a quotation, a statement of an opinion, a statement of fact, or a question. Examples of topic sentences The following are some sample topic sentences, along with a description of the type of information that would be in a paragraph with that topic sentence. 1. It is said that "Good fences make good neighbours." (In this paragraph, the writer would probably go on to relate an experience that illustrated the truth of this proverb.) 2. The Japanese government should offer more opportunities to foreign students. (This is a paragraph expressing a personal opinion. The writer would go on to give reasons for this opinion.) 3. There are two types of people--those who plan for the future and those who don't. (This is a classification paragraph. The writer would discuss the characteristics of people who fit in each group.) Exercise 1
Identify the topic sentence in the following paragraphs. Remember that the topic sentence is not always the first sentence. Paragraph A
1 Cinnamon bars are easy to make. 2 First, you stir together a cup of butter and a cup of sugar. 3 Then you stir in an egg, and two cups of flour, 1 ½ tablespoons of cinnamon, and a teaspoon of salt. 4 You press the dough into a square pan and press nuts into the top. 5 Then you bake it at 163 C for 30 minutes.6 After the cookies cool, you cut them into squares. 7 By following these simple instructions, you can make delicious cookies. The topic...
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