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Writing Topic Sentences A topic sentence (also known as a focus sentence) encapsulates or organises an entire paragraph, and you

should be careful to include one in most of your major paragraphs. Although topic sentences may appear anywhere in a paragraph, in academic essays they often appear at the beginning. It might be helpful to think of a topic sentence as working in two directions simultaneously. It relates the paragraph to the essay'sthesis, and thereby acts as a signpost for the argument of the paper as a whole, but it also defines the scope of the paragraph itself. For example, consider the following topic sentence: Many fast-food chains make their profits from adding a special ingredient called "forget sauce" to their foods. If this sentence controls the paragraph that follows, then all sentences in the paragraph must relate in some way to fast food, profit, and "forget sauce": Made largely from edible oil products, this condiment is never listed on the menu. This sentence fits in with the topic sentence because it is a description of the composition of "forget sauce." In addition, this well-kept industry secret is the reason why ingredients are never listed on the packaging of victuals sold by these restaurants. The transitional phrase "In addition" relates the composition of "forget sauce" to secret fast-food industry practices. "Forget sauce" has a chemical property which causes temporary amnesia in consumers. Now the paragraph moves on to the short-term effect on consumers: After spending too much money on barely edible food bereft of any nutritional value, most consumers swear they will never repeat such a disagreeable experience. This sentence describes its longer-term effects: Within a short period, however, the chemical in "forget sauce" takes effect, and they can be depended upon to return and spend, older but no wiser. Finally, I finish the paragraph by "proving" the claim contained in the topic sentence, that many fast-food chains make their profits from adding a special ingredient called "forget sauce" to their foods. Analysing a Topic Sentence Topic sentences often act like tiny thesis statements. Like a thesis statement, a topic sentence makes a claim of some sort. As the thesis statement is the unifying force in the essay, so the topic sentence must be the unifying force in the paragraph. Further, as is the case with the thesis statement, when the topic sentence makes a claim, the paragraph which follows must expand, describe, or prove it in some way. Topic sentences make a point and give reasons or examples to support it. Consider the last paragraph about topic sentences, beginning with the topic sentence itself: Topic sentences often act like tiny thesis statements. This is my claim, or the point I will prove in the following paragraph. All the sentences that follow this topic sentence must relate to it in some way. Like a thesis statement, a topic sentence makes a claim of some sort. As the thesis statement is the unifying force in the essay, so the topic sentence must be the unifying force in the paragraph.

These two sentences show how the reader can compare thesis statements and topic sentences: they both make a claim and they both provide a focus for the writing which follows. Further, as is the case with the thesis statement, when the topic sentence makes a claim, the paragraph which follows must expand, describe, or prove it in some way. Using the transitional word "further" to relate this sentence to those preceding it, I expand on my topic sentence by suggesting ways a topic sentence is related to the sentences that follow it. Topic sentences make a point and give reasons or examples to support it. Finally, I wrap up the paragraph by stating exactly how topic sentences act rather like tiny thesis statements.

What is the topic sentence? The topic sentence is the first sentence in a paragraph. What does it do? It introduces the main idea of the paragraph. How do I write one? Summarize the main idea of your paragraph. Indicate to the reader what your paragraph will be about. Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. 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.

Supporting Details What are supporting sentences? They come after the topic sentence, making up the body of a paragraph. What do they do? They give details to develop and support the main idea of the paragraph. How do I write them? You should give supporting facts, details, and examples. Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. 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.

Closing Sentence What is the closing sentence? The closing sentence is the last sentence in a paragraph. What does it do? It restates the main idea of your paragraph.

How do I write one? Restate the main idea of the paragraph using different words. Example: There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world. 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.

Writing Sentences Sentence A sentence is a group of words that usually contains a subject and a predicate. A sentence must make sense. It expresses a complete idea or asks a question. It begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop. A sentence may be a word or short sentence used to express a strong feeling such as surprise, excitement or anger. The subject is what the sentence is about. The subject is a noun, pronoun or noun phrase It usually comes before a main verb. It represents the person or thing that performs the action of the verb (Example: She scolds him.), or about which something is stated (Example: Bees are insect.) The predicate tells us something about the subject. It consists of a verb, which may be one word or a verb phrase as indicated in the following table. Subject Noun Jack Jill Pronoun She They Noun Phrase This lady That man is crying play is lives football weak here sleeps loves Verb Noun Predicate Pronoun him Adjective Adverb

Each sentence consists of one or more clauses. A clause can be as short as one word (Example: Wait!) or a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate, and usually forms only part of a sentence. Example: He could not lift the box because it was too heavy. The first clause, He could not lift the box is clear in its meaning and is called a Main Clause or Independent Clause. A main clause has a subject and a verb, and does not depend on the other clause to make a complete statement or question. The second clause, because it was too heavy is incomplete in its meaning and is called a Subordinate clause. It too has a subject and verb but depends on the first clause preceding it to make sense. A Subordinate clause may also precede a Main clause. A clause may also be inserted in the middle of another clause. Example: Orchids, which have air roots, are tropical flowers The Main clause here is Orchids are tropical flowers.. The Subordinate clause: which have air roots. In a sentence, the subject agrees with its verb. A singular verb is used with a singular subject. A plural verb is used with a plural subject Example: A dog barks / Dogs bark. If two subjects are joined by and, the verb should be in the plural. Example: My father and brother are going to Japan next month. If two subjects are joined by or the verb agrees with the subject nearest to it.. Example: Either this book or those books are his. Example: Either they or he is responsible.

A sentence must therefore have a main clause or more than one main clause.