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Introduction to Paragraphs
Transcript of Introduction to Paragraphs
Topic sentences in a paragraph
Recognizing Effective Topic Sentences and Controlling Ideas
The four features of a well written paragraph
Five Features of a Good Topic Sentence P. 8
A paragraph is composed of a
, and a
A paragraph is a collection of sentences that describe, discuss, or explain one central idea.
Every part of your paragraph has a specific function and every part is equally important.
A paragraph can be compared to a cake. It is made up of different parts, but we consider it one thing. The cake is only good if it has the right amount of everything
A good topic sentence tells the reader the main idea of the paragraph.
Discuss the following questions with your partner. You will then read the following paragraph
Activity 2: Studying topic sentences in a paragraph
Introduction to Paragraphs
The concluding sentence should
restate the main idea of the topic sentence
Elements of a topic sentence
The two main elements of a topic sentence are:
used in many different situations
In this sentence, we know that the paragraph is going to discuss computers (
in the past 20 years
appeal to different people
were invented in the twentieth century
Activity 1: Selecting a Good Topic Sentences
1) Have you ever had a flat tire on your car or bicycle?
2) What did you do?
Changing a Tire on Your Own
There are many steps
changing a tire
on your car. Before you get started, make sure you have the following items: a jack, a lug nut wrench, and a spare tire. First, use the jack to elevate the car off the ground. This may require some strength because cars can be very heavy. Using the lug nut wrench, remove all of the lug nuts from the tire. This will probably be the most difficult step because some of the lug nuts may be stuck. After you have taken off the lug nuts, remove the flat tire and replace it with your spare tire. Screw the lug nuts back onto the new tire and verify that they are tightly fastened. Finally, lower the car back down to the ground. Check one last time to make sure that the lug nuts are as tight as possible. Following these steps will have you back on the road in no time.
What is the purpose of the paragraph?
2) What is the topic sentence?
3) How many steps are there in changing a tire, according to this paragraph?
It should guide the whole paragraph
be a well-known fact
It needs to be specific
It cannot be too specific
It must contain a
A well-written topic sentence controls or guides the whole paragraph.
It lets the reader know what the rest of the paragraph will be about.
A good topic sentence is not a general fact that everyone accepts as true.
Cars use gasoline
is not a good topic sentence because there is not much more to say about the topic.
A good topic sentence is specific.
Credit cards are useful
a good topic sentence because it is too general.
The reader needs to be able to know what to expect from the paragraph.
That is a good topic sentence because it is specific. The paragraph will explain how credit cards are useful in a particular situation - a vacation
A Credit card can have a high credit limit.
This limits the topic because the supporting details have already been stated
A credit card is one of
the most important things that a traveler needs while on vacation
1) General topic:
___ a. Smartphones have more features than film cameras.
___ b. Smartphones are expensive.
___ c. You can download apps on a smartphone
2) General topic:
___ a. Pepperoni and mushrooms are my two favorite toppings on a pizza from Nino's Pizzeria.
___ b. Nino's has a wide selection of delicious food.
___ c. Nino's makes good chicken sandwiches.
The reader expects to learn why eco-vacations are becoming popular
1) Eco-vacations are becoming very popular these days.
2) Electric staplers are easier to use than other types of staplers.
The reader expects to learn what makes electric staplers easier to use.
Choose one of the topics on page 14 and come up with at least four things you can write about.
These four ideas will be your supporting sentences
Be sure to include a controlling idea
A man is driving down the road and suddenly sees a fire. What should he do?
Make a list of at least three ideas for what the man needs to do.
describe, explain, clarify,
of the main idea in the topic sentence.
They support and explain the topic by answering questions such as
Who? What? When? Where? Why?
Each paragraph you write must have enough supporting details to make the main idea clear to the reader.
The supporting sentences must be related to the topic sentence
1) Topic sentence: Many elderly people enjoy playing golf.
Supporting sentence: Golf gives them an opportunity to exercise and socialize at the same time.
2) Topic sentence: Emergency towing service is great to have in case your car breaks down.
Supporting sentence: It can help you change a flat tire.
3) Topic sentence: Cell phones allow parents to stay in better contact with their children.
Supporting sentence: As long as his or her cell phone is turned on, a child can be reached any time.
Types of supporting sentences
1) Supporting sentences
: There are many support services for students at the university.
These services, such as tutoring, are generally free for students.
(explains the support services available for students at the university)
2) Supporting sentences
I will never forget my childhood home.
: The house had a large entrance with a spiral staircase at the center.
(describes what the writer's childhood home looked like)
3) Supporting sentences
: Note taking is one of the most important study skills to learn
: Reviewing good notes before a test will help students become more familiar with the information.
(give reasons why note taking is an important study skill.)
4) Supporting sentences
: Jogging is not as easy as it appears.
: Ninety-seven percent of people cannot jog three miles without stopping.
(give facts about jogging)
5) Supporting sentences
: Brazil has many natural resources
: Brazil is one of the leading producers of oil.
(gives an example of Brazil's natural resources)
Brainstorming for Topic Sentences
one of the deadliest animals
has sharp teeth
sleeps during the day
weighs 150 kg
lives in Africa
attacks at night
: There are many reasons why lions hunt at night.
1) Your favorite wild animal
has few sweat glands
Asking the Right Questions
Topic sentence: There are many reasons why lions hunt at night.
Writing Supporting Sentences
Topic sentence: There are many reasons why lions hunt at night.
1) Lions are pack animals, so they usually hunt together. The females do most of the hunting.
2) They can see better than most other animals at night.
3) Lions rest during the day.
4) Lions are primarily found in the plains of Africa.
5) Lions have very few sweat glands. So they need to relax in the shade during the day to keep cool.
6) Lions' vision at night is six times better than humans.
Writing a paragraph
There are many reasons why lions hunt at night.
Features of a Concluding Sentence
1) It is usually the last sentence of a paragraph.
Transitions with a Concluding Sentence
because of this indeed hence
as a result overall for this reason
certainly in the end surely
in conclusion therefore for these reasons
clearly thus in sum
, lions should be considered one of the most successful night hunters.
, lions have a distinct advantage of hunting at night.
A paragraph has a topic sentence that states the main idea
All of the sentences are about one topic
The first sentence of the paragraph is indented.
The last sentence, or concluding sentence, brings the paragraph to a logical conclusion
Original Student Writing
This is a paragraph that can be used in your magazine if you like. However,
to use it in your magazine you will need to be on topic with the theme you have chosen.
Write your rough draft on
of your textbook. We will do peer editing of your paragraphs during next class.
Follow the directions on page 34 activity 22
A group of words or a phrase that helps guide the flow of ideas in the paragraph.
Write a topic sentence for a paragraph about that topic.
Read the paragraphs on page 18 and 19
The Features of a Good Restauran
Visiting Washington, DC
For each numbered sentence, decide if it is a
good supporting sentence
You can work in groups or with a partner if you want to
Who do lions normally hunt with?
What makes lions good night hunters?
When do lions rest?
Where are lions found in nature?
Don't worry about how good each idea is.
Don't worry about correct spelling or grammar.
Your immediate goal is to create a list of as many ideas as possible in just a few minutes.
Why do lions hunt at night instead of during the day?
How much better can lions see at night than humans?
All you need to do is answer the questions we just made and your paragraph is done. Not so hard, right??
Lions are pack animals, so they usually hunt
together. The females do most of the hunting.
Lions also can see better than other animals at night so this gives them an advantage.
hunt at night, they often sleep during the day.
Lions are found in the plains of Africa where it is very hot
so it's more comfortable to hunt at night when it's cool.
Lions have very few sweat glands, so it's important for them to keep cool in the shade during the day
and save their energy for hunting at night.
A lions vision at night is 6x better than a human and many other animals.
This is a big advantage for them at night.
do lions hunt with?
makes them good hunters at night?
do lions rest?
do lions live?
do lions hunt at night?
2) It lets the reader know that the paragraph has ended.
3) It brings the paragraph to a logical conclusion.
a) Restating the main idea of the topic sentence.
Pg. 19 (DC)
b) Offering a
giving an opinion
making a prediction
Pg. 7 (Tire)
The topic sentence is like a short summary of the paragraph. It lets the reader know what the paragraph will be about. It contains the main subject and a controlling idea
Each sentence needs to relate to the topic sentence and controlling idea.
You do this on a word processor by pressing the "tab" key
Sometimes the concluding sentence restates the topic sentence. Other times it offers a suggestion, opinion, or prediction.
: Braden Cobb
It is a one sentence summary of the entire paragraph.
Each sentence that follows will support the idea of the topic sentence.
For this class the topic sentence will always be the first sentence of the paragraph.
The main subject
The controlling idea
We also know that it will explain how people use computers in different situations (
What can we expect the paragraph to be about?
d. To show how to change a flat tire
There are many steps in changing a tire on your car.
Credit cards are useful on vacations.
What should the reader expect?
What are the controlling ideas for each topic sentence?
There are many times when you must write quickly, such as on a test. It is important to feel comfortable during those times. Timed-writing can make you feel better about writing quickly in English
How quickly can you write in English?
1) Take out two pieces of paper
2) Brainstorm ideas for five minutes
3) Write a short paragraph (six to ten sentences)
4) You have 45 minutes
Do you have any questions?
Let's get ready
Or what would you do?
Avoid using facts in your topic sentence
3) General topic:
___ a. Some dolphins are gray.
___ b. Dolphins are quiet, friendly, unique, beautiful and smart
___ c. Dolphin's are one of nature's most incredible animals.
The Dark Side of Cycling
The illegal drug use that has plagued the world of professional cycling for decades must be stopped. Certain drugs help cyclists ride faster and farther than normal. Some of the drugs work by increasing the number of red blood cells in the body. While the drugs might help the athletes perform better, there can be terrible side effects. For example, in the year and a half before the 2004 Tour de France, nine professional cyclists died from overdoses of illegal drugs. Several professional baseball players in the United States have also been involved in similar drug controversies. Despite the danger, more and more cyclists are turning to these drugs to gain an advantage over their competition. It is unfortunate that these athletes value winning more than their lives
1) What is the topic of the paragraph?
- The illegal drug use..... must be stopped
2) What is the topic sentence?
- Drug use in the sport of cycling
3) What is the concluding sentence?
- It is unfortunate that...
4) Is the concluding sentence a restatement, a suggestion, an opinion, or a prediction?
5) Which sentence does not belong?
- Several professional baseball players in the United States...
6) Explain why the sentence you chose does not belong
- It is unrelated to our topic of drug use in cycling
7) What is the writer's main purpose for writing this paragraph?
- To make people aware of the drug use by cyclists
8) Can you suggest any ways to improve this paragraph?
- Remove unrelated information
Read the paragraphs on page 31 and 32
Underline the topic sentence of each one
Circle the sentence that is unrelated
Write a concluding sentence for each paragraph
Practice using one of the transitional words from the box on page 27
or make a
What your paragraph is about
Details and more information about your topic sentence
* This paragraph would explain the different ways that computers have changed
* The supporting sentences in this paragraph would talk about how different people like different computers
There isn't much more you can say about this
The supporting sentences would explain why credit cards are important and give examples
P.13 - 14
Reviewing topic sentences and
Read each group of sentences on page 10. Put a check next to the best topic sentence. Underline the controlling idea in the sentence you choose.
You can work with a partner or small group if you like,
You have 5 minutes
1) b. Coffee is the drink of choice from many North Americans
2) c. Yesterday I had a terrible day at work
Supporting sentences: explain why it's the drink of choice
Supporting sentences: explain why the day was terrible. Details of what happened
3) a. My best friend and I had a wonderful time at the amusement park last week.
Supporting sentences: Explain what made the day wonderful. What did you and your friend do?
4) c. The sport of track and field has increased in popularity in recent years.
5) a. My iguana's trip to the veterinarian was a catastrophe.
The following topic sentences are too general. Rewrite them and add or change the controlling ideas.
1) Lying is bad
Lying to your girlfriend can cause problems in your relationship
2) It's important to work hard.
Working hard and studying during high school is important for your future.
3) The Louvre is located in Paris, France
The Louvre is considered one of the most amazing museums in the world.
Making supporting sentences is easy!
Just remember to do some of these things:
something about your topic
your topic in some way
Asking questions about your topic sentence
You can easily come up with supporting sentences by answering questions that your reader might want to know.
On page 17, write two questions that you think the reader might want to ask about the topic sentence.
By answering these questions, you can make good supporting sentences in your paragraph
Journal Entry #1
What did you do for the Chuseok holiday?
Benefits of studying English
Studying English can improve your life in various ways.
First, if you can speak English it's much easier to
ask for directions when traveling a foreign country
It can also give you more job opportunities around the world
By learning English, you can choose to live abroad and make more friends
Lastly, studies show that being bilingual is healthy for our brains
Studying English might be the most useful thing you can do!
Lying to your _______ can cause problems in your life
Lying about your weekend plans could upset your friends.
Lying in church is not a very good idea.
Lying during __________ will get you in trouble.
a job interview
Examples: It is important to work hard.
Example: The Louvre is located in Paris, France.
2) The beaches along the Mediterranean Sea are some of the best beaches in the world.
3) Although few people realize it, country music and rock music have some similar characteristics.
The lyrics are often times about the same idea.
Most people who like country music, don't like rock music.
In the 1990s, people started to notice some of the similarities... but not very many.
We met in a cave in Cambodia. This happened last summer during our vacation. I went to Cambodia with mom because I didn't have any money. My friend and I read about this famous cave on the internet. Inside of the cave, my friend fell down a hole and she died.
Working hard in your class is important to your grade
Working hard is important to be successful at business
Working hard during the week before final exams is important.
The Louvre is one of the most famous tourist attractions.
The Louvre has many masterpieces from famous artists.
The Louvre is well located geographically for tourism.
* Run away
* Stop to help
* Drive through the fire
* Scream loudly
* Roast some hot dogs
* Take a selfie
* Blow up his own car
At some of the beaches you can see the sea turtles laying their egs at night.
Approximately 2 million people visit thes gorgeous beaches every summer.
People in Greece say that the ideal time to visit is in June or July.
Lonely Planet did a survey and the results said that the beaches in the Mediterranean are the most popular destination
These beaches are public places, so no one manages them.
Journal Entry #2
What are three things you would like to change about your country?
How would you change them?
1) A topic sentence needs a controlling idea
2) The controlling idea needs to be specific
3) Supporting sentences give examples,
reasons, facts, descriptions and explanations
4) Ask questions about your topic sentence
and answer those questions in your supporting sentences.
- Surely, restaurants should have good services, food, and atmosphere.
- Certainly, with these characteristics your restaurant will succeed.
Topic: The importance of breakfast
: For these reasons, why don't you eat breakfast every day.
Clearly, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
For these reasons, if you have breakfast, you will have an energetic day.
- In conclusion, these are the most important things a restaurant can do.
Topic sentence with controlling idea
Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
Write a paragraph
1) Topic sentence with controlling idea
2) You need 4-5 supporting sentences
(restatement, opinion, suggestion, prediction)
3) A concluding sentence
*** You can write about any topic you want***
If you choose to write about your theme, you can use this as content in your magazine
Obviously, if you want to have a good restaurant, you should/must focus on these features.
Therefore it is important for restaurants to have certain qualities to succeed.
Clearly, with these features a restaurant will be more popular.
Examples of a prediction concluding sentence.
Surely, if a tsunami hits your town, it will destroy everything.
If an earthquake of 10.0 were to happen, a massive tsunami would surely follow.
Example of an opinion concluding sentence.
Example of a suggestion concluding sentence.
Therefore, there must be a perfect guitar for everyone.
Consider this information when you're choosing your next guitar.
* Call 911 (119)
* Get some water
You can choose a topic related to your magazine also :)
Let's try this with your topic sentence you made earlier.
First of all...
Prediction - For these reasons, lions will continue to be the best night hunters.