- Slides: 48
GRAMMAR: TOPIC SENTENCES SUPPORTING SENTENCES CONCLUDING SENTENCES
Components to cover: Topic sentences Supporting sentences Irrelevant sentences Concluding sentences
WHAT IS A TOPIC SENTENCE A topic sentence is the most important sentence in a paragraph. Sometimes referred to as a focus sentence, the topic sentence helps organize the paragraph by summarizing the information in the paragraph. In formal writing, the topic sentence is usually the first sentence in a paragraph.
PURPOSE OF THE TOPIC SENTENCE A topic sentence essentially tells what the rest of the paragraph is about. All sentences after it, have to give more information about the sentence. For example, if the topic sentence concerns the types of endangered species that live in the ocean, then every sentence after that needs to expound on that subject. Topic sentences also need to relate back to thesis of the essay. The thesis statement is like a road map that will tell the reader or listener where you are going with this information or how you are treating it.
TOPIC SENTENCES AND CONTROLLING IDEAS Every topic sentence will have a topic and a controlling idea. The controlling idea shows the direction the paragraph will take. Example Topic sentence: There are many reasons why pollution in Chinatown is the worst in the world. The topic is “pollution in Chinatown Town is the worst in the world” and the controlling idea is “many reasons. ”
TOPIC SENTENCES AND CONTROLLING IDEAS Each topic sentence will surely have a controlling idea that guides the statement or question. Example Topic Sentence: Dogs make wonderful pets because they help you to live longer. The topic is "dogs make wonderful pets" and the controlling idea is "because they help you to live longer. "
Example TOPIC SENTENCES The topic sentence should not be too general or too specific. When considering the options, look for a topic sentence that is general enough to show the paragraph’s main idea instead of just one of its details. During the 1990 s, I really enjoyed watching Friends on television every Thursday night. I really wanted Rachel’s haircut—I think every girl wanted Rachel’s haircut back then! Rachel’s haircut went really well with the Guess Jeans that were so popular in the 1990 s. I remember all the advertisements for Guess and Calvin Klein Jeans that were in each month’s Sassy magazine. I don’t think Sassy magazine exists anymore, but it was one of the most popular magazines for young women in the 1990 s.
TOPIC SENTENCES Answer The bold sentence is one possible topic sentence for the example paragraph. Note: This is just one possible topic sentence. You may have thought of others that are also appropriate. Thinking about the 1990 s brings back a lot of memories for me about fashion and popular culture.
HOW WRITE A TOPIC SENTENCE? Example Canada has an excellent health care system. All Canadians have access to medical services at a reasonable price. Moreover, Canada has a high You need to summarize the main idea of your paragraph. standard of education. Students are taught by well-trained teachers and And indicate to the reader are encouraged to continue studying what your paragraph will be at university. Finally, Canada's cities about. 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.
HOW WRITE A TOPIC SENTENCE? After reading the paragraph the student will know what is the central idea of the paragraph. Answer There are three reasons why Canada is one of the best countries in the world.
ACTIVITY 1 Americans relaxing at home, for example, may put on kimonos, which is a Japanese word. Americans who live in a warm climate may take an afternoon siesta on an outdoors patio without even realizing that these are Spanish words. In their gardens, they may enjoy the fragrance of jasmine flowers, a word that came into English from Persian. They may even relax on a chaise longue, while sipping a drink made with vodka, words of French and Russian origin, respectively.
ANSWER TO ACTIVITY 1 Although the majority of Americans may not be aware of it, many features of their culture and their language are in fact imports from other cultures.
ACTIVITY 2 In European universities, students are not required to attend classes. In fact, professors in Germany generally do not know the names of the students enrolled in their courses. In the United States, however, students are required to attend all classes and may be penalized if they do not. Furthermore, in the European system, there is usually just one comprehensive examination at the end of the students' entire four or five years of study. In the American system, on the other hand, there are usually numerous quizzes, texts, and homework assignments, and there is almost always a final examination in each course at the end of the semester.
ANSWER TO ACTIVITY 2 University systems and syllabi can vary considerably from country to country and particularly from continent to continent
SUPPORTING SENTENCES • Sequence of episodes • Develops ideas and arguments • Targets the main point • Some background information about the topic
SUPPORTING SENTENCE They come after the topic sentence, making up the body of a paragraph. They give details to develop and support the main idea of the paragraph. You should give supporting facts, details, and examples.
TYPES OF SUPPORTING SENTENCE 1. MAJOR SUPPORTING SENTENCE 2. MINOR SUPPORING SENTENCE
TYPES OF SUPPORTING SENTENCE • Major supporting sentence tells us about the topic sentence. • Minor supporting sentence tells more about the major supporting sentence. . Example: Topic sentence: Golden week in Japan is combined celebration of four holidays Major Supporting Sentence: The first takes place on April 29 th , the birthday of emperor Showa and commemorates the 64 years of his power. Minor supporting sentence: It is a time for the Japanese to remember the important period of their history.
HOW TO WRITE A SUPPORTING SENTENCE The supporting sentences need to be about the idea presented in the topic sentence. In a paragraph, every sentence should support the topic sentence. If a sentence does not support the main idea of the paragraph, it does not belong in that paragraph and it should be moved to a new paragraph. Example Martin Luther King, Jr. was a strong leader. He was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. He went to college to become a minister, like his father was. Dr. King became a leader and civil rights advocate. His nonviolent leadership and powerful speeches gained him respect from the American people. On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed. Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by celebrating his birthday as a national holiday.
ACTIVITY 1: Fill in the blank with the correct supporting sentence: Harriet Tubman was a runaway slave from Maryland who became known as the "Moses of her people. " __________. The Underground Railroad was a secret network of safe houses where runaway slaves could stay on their journey north to freedom. She later became a leader in the abolitionist movement, and during the Civil War she was a spy with for the federal forces in South Carolina as well as a nurse.
ACTIVITY 1: Fill in the blank with the correct supporting sentence. Options are: 1. Over the course of 10 years at a great personal risk she led hundred of slaves to freedom along the underground railroad. 2. There should be a national holiday to celebrate her achievements. 3. As a small child, she was a slave and frequently subjected to sever whipping.
ANSWER TO ACTIVITY 1: Option 1 is correct The first sentence is correct because it supports the topic of Harriet Tubman as a person who helped free slaves.
ACTIVITY 2: Fill in the blank with the correct supporting sentence: Born Edward Kennedy Ellington, Duke Ellington was one of the founding fathers of jazz music. _____________. A pianist, bandleader, arranger, and composer, Ellington and his band played together for 50 years. Some of Ellington's most famous songs include "Don't Get Around Much Anymore, " "Sophisticated Lady" and "In a Sentimental Mood. "
ACTIVITY 2: Fill in the blank with the correct supporting sentence: Options are: 1. While vacationing in Asbury park, Duke heard of a hot pianist named Harvey Brooks. 2. He played for the royalty and common people and by the end of his fifty-year career, he had played over 20, 000 performances worldwide. 3. He stated playing piano at the age of seven, and by the time he was fifteen he was composing.
ANSWER TO ACTIVITY 2: Option 3 is correct The third sentence is correct because it adds details to the topic sentence. The first sentence is off topic and the second sentence confuses the reader.
IRRELEVANT SENTENCES • “Looks like” a supporting sentence • Are off topic • Are random opinions or statements • Do not prove the controlling idea – they might actually disprove it • Repeat facts • Incomplete sentences (missing subject or verb or incomplete thoughts)
IRRELEVANT SENTENCES Usually irrelevant sentence will destroy the unity of the paragraph and will sound odd for the topic. Example The disappearance of Amelia Earhart remains a mystery. Earhart, who was the first woman pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, crashed into the Pacific Ocean while attempting to fly around the world. She was born in Atchison, Kansas, in 1897. Some researchers believe that she survived the crash into the Pacific, because radio distress calls were received. An intensive search for the source of the signals was made. Searchers were not able to find her, however. Finally, the distress signals ceased. In spite of continued searches by airplane and ship, no clue about what became of Amelia Earhart has yet been found.
IRRELEVANT SENTENCES Sometimes paragraphs contain sentences that have information that do not match its theme or interrupt its flow. These sentences are called irrelevant sentences. Example Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in a log cabin in Kentucky. When he was a child, he moved to Indiana and as a young man moved to Illinois. While he was living in Illinois, he became a lawyer and served in the state House of Representatives. He later served in the U. S. House of Representatives and eventually ran for president. Abraham Lincoln wore a stovepipe hat. He was elected president in 1860 and led our country through the Civil War. Sadly, he was assassinated in April of 1865. Abraham Lincoln was very tall.
Example IRRELEVANT SENTENCES A careful reading is required before straightaway coming to a conclusion. Sometimes sentences can be confusing. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in a log cabin in Kentucky. When he was a child, he moved to Indiana and as a young man moved to Illinois. While he was living in Illinois, he became a lawyer and served in the state House of Representatives. He later served in the U. S. House of Representatives and eventually ran for president. Abraham Lincoln wore a stovepipe hat. He was elected president in 1860 and led our country through the Civil War. Sadly, he was assassinated in April of 1865. Abraham Lincoln was very tall.
ACTIVITY 1 Choose the irrelevant sentence for the options provided. (1) Pope John Paul" reigned as pope of the Roman Catholic Church for almost 27 years until his death. (II) He was the first non-Italian pope since the 16 th century. (III) During his reign, the pope traveled extensively, visiting over 100 countries, more than any of his predecessors. (IV) Even in 1992 as he was diagnosed with Parkinson disease, he continued with his travels. (V) He maintained an impressive physical condition throughout the 1980 s.
ANSWER TO ACTIVITY 1: Option 5 is an irrelevant sentence because Pope’s physical conditions were not good and he was suffering from Parkinson disease.
ACTIVITY 2 Choose the irrelevant sentence for the options provided. (I) Seismic waves are the vibrations from earthquakes that travel through Earth. (II) The Richter magnitude scale was developed in 1935 by Charles F. Richter of the California Institute of Technology to compare the intensity of earthquakes. (III) They are recorded on instruments called seismographs. (IV) Seismographs record a zigzag trace that shows the varying amplitude of ground oscillations beneath the instrument. (V) Sensitive seismographs, which greatly magnify these ground movements, can detect strong earthquakes from sources anywhere in the world.
ANSWER TO ACTIVITY 2: Option 2 is an irrelevant sentence The whole paragraph talks about the seismic waves whereas, option 2 talks about the history.
CONCLUDING SENTENCE • Gives the paragraph a strong finish • Sometimes called a clincher sentence • Ties together the information in your supporting sentences and reminds your readers of the importance of your main idea • Ties the whole paragraph together • Makes the main idea stick in the reader’s mind
A concluding sentence is the last sentence of the paragraph. • Sometimes it restates the main idea of the paragraph • It can also be a sentence that leaves the reader with a thought or feeling about the topic
CONCLUDING SENTENCE A concluding sentence is usually the last sentence that which revises the central theme of a paragraph. Example 1) Whales, one of nature's largest mammals, can be divided into two categories. (2) Baleen whales are one kind of whale. (3) Baleen whales have a type of keratin called baleen that hangs in their mouths and sifts food from the ocean waters. (4) Baleen whales can consume up to 9, 000 pounds of fish a day. (5) The toothed whale is the other type of whale. (6) The toothed whales have teeth instead of baleen. (7) They gnaw and chew on their meals. (8) Like the baleen whales, the toothed whales consume large portions of food each day. (9) Though many varieties of whales exist in our oceans, they are all categorized according to whether they have baleen or teeth inside their gigantic mouths.
CONCLUDING SENTENCE Concluding sentence demonstrates the importance of the topic or the central idea. It is also a transition to the next paragraph. Answer (9) Though many varieties of whales exist in our oceans, they are all categorized according to whether they have baleen or teeth inside their gigantic mouths.
DO’S FOR CONCLUDING SENTENCE Do stick to the main points. Do allow for a smooth transition between the concluding sentence and the topic sentence of the next paragraph. Example Concluding sentence "For these reasons, sea level rise is a climate change impact. “ Topic sentence in following paragraph: "Another key stressor from climate change is extreme weather. "
DO’S FOR CONCLUDING SENTENCE Do focus and be specific about how your supporting sentences contribute to the concluding sentence. Do arrange the body of the paragraph in a sequence that flows to lead up to the concluding sentence. Do make sure that a concluding sentence is necessary for your paragraph, as some short paragraphs may not require one.
DONT’S FOR CONCLUDING SENTENCE Do not simply rephrase your topic sentence. It would be redundant. Use well chosen words to conclude the paragraph Example In conclusion", In summary", In closing", As shown in the essay. "
CONCLUDING SENTENCE Example Are complete sentences and complete thoughts. They appear at the end of the paragraph. Thesis: The most memorable moment in my life was the 1987 Minnesota Twins World Series win. It usually restate or tie back to the topic. It also restate/tie back to the controlling idea in other words. Restate: The Twins victory that day sealed their world title and made my day.
ACTIVITY 1 Read the following paragraph and identify the best answer: Humans have known that earthworms have been vital to enriching Earth's rich soil all throughout history. Egyptian Queen Cleopatra called earthworms sacred. The Greek philosopher Aristotle said earthworms were the intestines" of the soil. In 1881 Charles Darwin stated, "It may be doubted whethere are many other creatures which have played so important a part in the history of the world. "
ACTIVITY 1 Read the following options and identify the best answer: The options are: a) Could Earth support mankind without the earthworm? b) People throughout history have understood that earthworms are extremely important. c) Charles Darwin was a scientist. d) Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and scientist.
ANSWER TO ACTIVITY 1 Op tion B
ACTIVITY 2 Read the following paragraph and identify the best answer: Have you ever bitten into a nice juicy apple only to find that a worm had already been there? The apple worm is really the caterpillar of the codling moth. The young hatch from eggs the size of pin heads and feast on apples for about a month. When the caterpillar is about a half-inch long it leaves the apple and spins a cocoon. After a month the adult moth emerges.
ACTIVITY 2 Read the following options and identify the best answer: The options are: a) Apples are an extremely healthy food to eat. b) Moths and butterflies are different in several ways. c) Sometimes three generations of the codling moths may live in the orchard in just a year. d) The codling moth is a pesky varmint.
ANSWER TO ACTIVITY 1 Option C