Posted by: jockmackenzie | December 10, 2009

Writing – Topic Sentences (with OOMPH!)

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Topic Sentences – adding “Oomph!”

If the formula for a topic sentence is T.S. = T. + M. I. ! and this translates to

Topic Sentence = Topic plus Main Idea with Oomph, then some explanation of what “Oomph” means is in order.

Oomph is anything that adds interest or pizzazz to the topic sentence, anything that takes the sentence from the realm of the ordinary into the sphere of unordinary, the unexpected.

Possible methods:

1. Choose interesting, specific, colorful, and unique words.

Topic: doves

Main idea: becoming more common in our area

Ordinary topic sentence: Doves are becoming more common in our area.

Topic sentence with oomph!: Local sightings of beautiful doves have increased dramatically.

2. Be brief.

Topic: the Canadian Rockies

Main idea: are a great place to visit

Ordinary topic sentence: The Canadian Rockies are a great place to visit.

Topic sentence with oomph!: The Canadian Rockies rock!

3. Use figurative language – internal rhyme, alliteration, onomatopoeia

Topic: Disneyland

Main idea: problems we had on our trip

Ordinary topic sentence: We had a lot of problems on our trip to Disneyland.

Topic sentence with oomph!:

Things weren’t as planned in Disneyland.

It was problems and pain for the passengers on the plane to Disneyland.

Instead of “Yippee” and “Wow” our trip to Disneyland was simply “Uh oh” again and again.

4. Ask a question.

Topic: school uniforms

Main idea: are a good idea

Ordinary topic sentence: School uniforms are a good idea.

Topic sentence with oomph!: Are school uniforms a good idea?

5. Use a quote.

Topic: you

Main idea: trying to be a good person

Ordinary topic sentence: You should always try to be a good person.

Topic sentence with oomph!: I believe in the saying, “Try to be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.”

6. Write an exclamatory sentence.

Topic: your locker

Main idea: ways to organize it

Ordinary topic sentence: There are a number of different ways to organize your locker.

Topic sentence with oomph!:  Organize your locker or die!

7. Use a combination of methods

Topic: our school

Main idea: lacks school spirit

Ordinary topic sentence: Our school lacks school spirit.

Topic sentence with oomph!:

It’s sad to say but our school is at the bottom of the charts when it comes to school spirit.

Would you agree that the combination of great people and a super building aren’t adding up to a very spirited place?

Lots of kids in our school say, “It’s nice to be important but more important to be nice.” but I wish they’d walk the talk.


  1. COOOL

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