Key Features Every paragraphs should have the following features… • A Topic Sentence • Supporting Sentences • A Concluding Sentence • Unity
Topic Sentences • A topic sentence is the sentence that tells the reader the main idea of the paragraph. • The topic sentence should be limited to only one main idea. That is, it develops the topic in one specific direction. • The topic sentence is often found at the beginning of the paragraph.
Example 1 Topic Sentence: it states the main idea of the paragraph. The most important problem in our city is its poor public transportation system. Thousands of residents rely on the city’s buses and taxis to travel throughout this large city, while the Metro Transportation System’s daily schedules are totally unreliable. A bus or taxi that should arrive at 7:45 may not arrive until 8:00 or later. Moreover, it is not unusual for a bus driver to pass up groups of people waiting for the bus because he wants to make up for lost time. Unfortunately, people often end up going to work late or missing important appointments. In order for people to get to their destinations on time, people must allow for waiting time at the bus and taxis stops. Supporting Sentences Concluding Sentence
Example 2 Topic Sentence: it states the main idea of the paragraph. There are several possible reasons why my father is in excellent health. First, he is in excellent condition because he has stopped smoking cigarettes.He quit smoking cigarettes since whenever he climbed stairs, he would quickly stop several times and cough loudly. He also has good health as a result of stopping eating the wrong kinds of foods. Third, he is in good physical shape, for he exercises a lot. He swims three times a week at the local gym. In short, my father is in better shape than some of his children are. Concluding Sentence Supporting Sentences
He collects books that were written over a hundred years ago. He is also interested in the famous books of today. If I ever need to get him a present, I know I can always please him by buying him a book. • Which of the following topic sentences is the best one for the above paragraph? • Reading is fun. • Books are my father’s hobby. • My father was a main influence in my life.
The most beautiful flower is the rose because it comes in so many different colors. Another beautiful flower is the daisy which sometimes grows wild. Spring flowers like tulips, daffodils, and jasmine are also very pretty. • Which of the following topic sentences is the best one for the above paragraph? • Don’t you just love spring? • The rose is the most loved flower the world over. • There are many lovely flowers to consider for your garden.
Topic Sentence Essentials Two Parts A topic sentence must contain the topic of the paragraph and the controlling idea.
1. The topic: The subject of your paragraph. It is what you are writing about. 1. Bread is an important part of our everyday food. 2. Potatoes are good for you. 3. The hamburger is a popular food in the United States. 4. Rice is a nutritious part of our diet.
2. The controlling idealimits or controls your topic to one aspect or thing you want to specifically write about. Topic = Rice (what you want to write about rice is your controlling idea?) • Rice plays an important part in some cultural occasions. • Rice isa nutritious part of our diet. • White rice is not healthy for you.
What is the controlling idea in the following: 1. Bread is an important part of our diet. 2. Bread plays an important role in our region. 3. Potatoes are easy to grow. 4. Potatoes are a main food in Ireland. 5. French fries are popular all over the world.
Topic and Controlling Idea Topic Sentence One of the most serious problems in today’s public schools is overcrowded classrooms.
Topic and Controlling Idea Topic Sentence One of the most serious problems in today’s public schools is the low percentage of trained teachers.
Egyptian filmsare getting more expensive to produce. • The Quality of Egyptian films has decreased over the last 20 years. • Egyptian films can be classified into comedies, action films and romances.
Activity 2: Circle the topic and underline the controlling idea. • 1. Hiking is the best way to explore nature closely. • 2. My uncle had a frightening experience as a young man. • 3. Text messaging has become popular among teenagers. • 4. Effective time management requires four easy steps. • 5. Successful language learners should have more ability to use various learning styles. PP 15-13a
Activity 2: Circle the topic and underline the controlling idea. 6. One of the reasons why I want to become a firefighter is because I am interested in the science and techniques of putting out fires. 7. An area of the English language that is especially difficult for foreign language students is pronunciation. 8. One important way to save energy is to install solar panels on top of one’s house. 9. A good course in English writing should include a unit on how to edit. PP 15-13a
Good topic sentences often express opinions • My Arabic teacher is the best teacher in the world. • When I was a child, I lived in a house that had a strange atmosphere. • There is a restaurant in our neighbourhood that has the best pizza in town. • Potatoes are good for you.
Bad topic Sentences often express too specific or too general facts • I went to Australia in the spring of 2005. • My friend is nice. • I have a bedroom. • The potatoe is a vegetable.
Activity 3: Write a good topic sentences for the following paragraphs: _______________________________________________________________________________________________. Green curry is the hottest Thai curry. People who like very spicy food will enjoy green curry. Red curry is medium hot. It is flavorful, but it doesn't burn your mouth. Yellow curry is the mildest of all. It is usually the choice of people who eat Thai food for the first time. In short, you have three delicious choices when you order Thai curry. PP 15-13a
Activity 3: Write a good topic sentences for the following paragraphs: _______________________________________________________________________________________________. First, good teachers know their subject very well. That is, a math teacher has advanced education in mathematics, and an English teacher is an expert in English grammar. Second, good teachers must be good communicators. Being a good communicator means presenting information in ways that students can understand. Third, good teachers are enthusiastic. That is, they are so interested in their subject that they make it fun to learn. To summarize, good teachers have expert knowledge, good communication skills, and contagious' enthusiasm. PP 15-13a
Activity 3: Write a good topic sentences for the following paragraphs: ______________________________________________________________________________________. The first type of shopper doesn't like to waste time. She knows what she wants to buy and how much she wants to pay. If the store has what she wants, she buys it and leaves. She is a good kind of customer because she doesn't take too much of a salesperson's time. A second type of shopper comes into a store with a general idea of what she wants, listens to the salesperson's suggestions, tries on a few items, and makes a decision. She is also a good kind of customer. A third kind of shopper has no idea what she wants. She spends two hours trying on one outfit after another. She takes up a lot of a salesperson's time and sometimes doesn't buy anything. In conclusion, the first two types of shoppers are a salesperson's dream, but the third type is a salesperson's nightmare. PP 15-13a
Activity 3: Write a good topic sentences for the following paragraphs: ________________________________________________________________. First, Canada has an excellent health care system. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Second, Canada has a high standard of education. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and are encouraged to continue studying at university. Finally, Canada's cities are clean and efficiently managed. Canadian cities have many parks and lots of space for people to live. As a result, Canada is a desirable place to live. PP 15-13a
Activity 4: Write a topic sentence for each of the following: • Reading in a foreign language • Facebook • University tests • A job interview • Divorce PP 15-13a
Topic Sentence Essentials Complete Sentence There are several things you need to remember when writing topic sentences. The first is that a topic sentence is always complete sentences.
Main Idea in a Complete Sentence Example 1 It is not a complete sentence; it is a title Strategies of learning English. You can learn a new language by using three main strategies.
This is not a complete sentence. Why do I want to be a teacher? This is a question, not a statement. Main Idea in a Complete Sentence Example 2 The sport of cycling. The sport of cycling has allowed me to get in better shape and meet some interesting people. Topic sentence Being a teacher is a great profession because it allows me to work with students and be creative. Topic sentence
This is an announcement I want to talk about the benefits of learning a foreign language. Main Idea in a Complete Sentence Example 3 Topic sentence Learning a foreign language has several benefits.
It only expresses a very specific fact I learned to play many musical instruments when I was young. Main Idea in a Complete Sentence Example 4 Topic sentence Playing many musical instruments has helped me grow both personally and professionally.
Activity 3: Write a good topic sentences for the following paragraphs: ________________________________________________________________.The first most obvious effect is the deterioration of a smoker's health. Smoking increases the risk of lung disease, increases blood pressure, increases the risk of heart attacks, and reduces the flow of oxygen to the brain. Smoking creates respiratory problems. Second, smoking frequently results in social isolation because fewer people smoke or want to be in the presence of second-hand smoke. The final effect of smoking is that it is now an expensive habit, and the price of cigarettes continues to rise. The effects of smoking are many, which leaves one wondering why intelligent people do not find a way to break their harmful addiction. PP 15-13a