Posted by: jockmackenzie | November 20, 2009

Writing – Topic Sentences (Part 2)

Special thanks to Randy Fiedler for the photo and other photographic favors he’s done for students and schools over the years. (to see his site click here.)

Like a burst of fireworks, a topic sentence should get your attention!

Teacher Notes and Student Cloze Notes are offered below. The latter is identical to the Teacher Notes but with blank spaces in what I felt were the appropriate places. If you disagree, please give me a blank look and re-arrange them to your preferred pattern.

The whole idea is to be reasonable when giving notes. With cloze notes, discussion time becomes available because drudgery time has been limited. Once again, I offer you the choice of e-mailing me to get the original Word documentation as the blog version needs to be massaged into a form that fits. For me, it’s no fun filling in a form that hasn’t left enough blank space.

Topic Sentences (Teacher Notes)

The topic sentence is often used to tell the reader what to expect in a paragraph. It should also interest or tempt the reader to keep going.

T. S.    = T    +    M.I.    !

Topic Sentence                topic               main idea                oomph

The “topic” is what the paragraph is about. It is about a person, a place, an event, etc.

The “main idea” specifies or narrows the topic and tells the reader “what about” the topic.

If the topic is your school, one main idea could be what a great place it is. With the same topic you could have many other main ideas and many other paragraphs. E.g. how the school has/could be improved, well-known people who have attended, how it’s different from your last school.

Topic sentences are generally placed first in the paragraph. When put first, they explain and tempt.

Sometimes the topic sentence is the second sentence in a paragraph. This is most often the case in a longer work like an essay or an article. The first sentence acts as a joining sentence to the paragraph that came before.

On rare occasions, the topic sentence is the last sentence. In these situations, the writer uses the topic sentence as the climax of the paragraph. The ideas coming before it lead up to the ending which often sums up or presents the answer to what the paragraph is about.

Topic sentence first

A hedgehog’s quills are its most obvious, most interesting feature. The quills, actually stiff, hollow hairs, have no points, are not barbed, and unlike porcupine quills, are not easily removed from a hedgehog’s body. The quills can be both a defensive and an offensive mechanism. When attacked, a hedgehog will roll into a protective ball. On some occasions, a hedgehog will attack a predator and throw itself against the attacker. In both cases, the point is made.

Topic sentence second

Everybody has one; why shouldn’t I? Yes, having a credit card opens a new, exciting life. My little piece of plastic is the key to instant happiness; I never have to wait to get that new top, the latest CD, a snack when I’m hungry, or a treat for my friends. It’s way safer than carrying cash and handy to slip into my jeans. Am I awed by its power? Do you think I don’t know there’s a monthly statement? Hey man, give me a little credit!

Topic sentence last

She lives in a $1.3 million home on Marrowstone Island, Washington. That’s not too expensive if your earnings have topped $50 million. And earnings like that make sense if your books have sold over 70 million copies and have been translated into 37 languages. Add blockbuster movies to the list, add being named Author of the Year for 2008, and then throw in being listed #49 on Time Magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People. Yes, Stephanie Meyers is a success story.


Topic Sentences (Student Cloze Notes)

The topic sentence is often used to tell the reader _____________________________

in a paragraph. It should also ____________________________ the reader to keep

going.

T. S.    = T    +    M.I.    !

The “topic” is ________________________________________________________.

It is about a person, a place, an event, etc.

The “main idea” ______________________________________ the topic and tells

the reader “_____________________________________” the topic.

If the topic is your school, one main idea could be what a great place it is. With the same

topic you could have _________________________________________________

and many other paragraphs. E.g. how the school has/could be improved, well-known

people who have attended, how it’s different from your last school.

Topic sentences are generally ________________________________ in the paragraph.

When put first, they ________________________________________________.

___________________________ the topic sentence is the ___________________

sentence in a paragraph. This is most often the case in a longer work like _____________

____________________________________________.  The first sentence acts as a

_________________________________ sentence to the paragraph that came before.

On rare occasions, the topic sentence is the ________________ sentence. In these

situations, the writer uses the topic sentence as the ______________________ of the

paragraph. The ideas coming before it lead up to the ending that often ______________

______________________________________________________________

to what the paragraph is about.

Topic sentence first

___________________________________ The quills, actually stiff, hollow hairs, have no points, are not barbed, and unlike porcupine quills, are not easily removed from a hedgehog’s body. The quills can be both a defensive and an offensive mechanism. When attacked, a hedgehog will roll into a protective ball. On some occasions, a hedgehog will attack a predator and throw itself against the attacker. In both cases, the point is made.

Topic sentence second

Everybody has one; why shouldn’t I? _________________________________ My little piece of plastic is the key to instant happiness; I never have to wait to get that new top, the latest CD, a snack when I’m hungry, or a treat for my friends. It’s way safer than carrying cash and handy to slip into my jeans. Am I awed by its power? Do you think I don’t know there’s a monthly statement? Hey man, give me a little credit!

Topic sentence last

She lives in a $1.3 million home on Marrowstone Island, Washington. That’s not too expensive if your earnings have topped $50 million. And earnings like that make sense if your books have sold over 70 million copies and have been translated into 37 languages. Add blockbuster movies to the list, add being named Author of the Year for 2008, and then throw in being listed #49 on Time Magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People. ____________________________________


Responses

  1. We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme
    in our community. Your web site provided us with valuable info to work
    on. You’ve done a formidable job and our entire community will be grateful to you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: