Module 4 Topic 2: Paragraph Structure and Topic Sentences
Let’s Review A paragraph should start with a sentence that introduces the topic and the main idea of the paragraph in a topic sentence. The middle of the paragraph is called the body, and is consists of sentences that explain or support the topic sentence. These sentences are called supporting sentences. There are two types of supporting sentences: major and minor The major supporting sentences support the topic sentence. The minor supporting sentences support the major supporting sentences. The last sentence is called the concluding sentence, which ends the paragraph by reminding the reader of the main point of the paragraph.
Sample Response Your goal for this course is to write a complete memorandum in response to a prompt. Although you are under a time constraint, you must still stick to basic paragraph structure. A paragraph should include at least 5 sentences and must have enough details to support the topic sentence. The following slide is a sample response to the following prompt: You have been hired to assess the control environment of a small start up before its IPO. Based on current job descriptions, you have just learned that management of system access to the general ledger system has been delegated to the head internal auditor.
Dear President, Upon reviewing the job description for the head internal auditor position of the company, a segregation of duties concern was identified. According to the current job description, the head internal auditor is functioning as the system administrator for the general ledger application. The primary responsibility of the internal auditor is to determine that the internal control environment is adequately set up and functioning as intended. In order to remain unbiased, the internal auditor must not be directly responsible for carrying out any of the internal controls of the company. Industry best practices recommend that system access control be delegated to the business line and IT operations departments. Approval and removal of system access and privileges should be initiated and approved by the accounting department while the IT operations group may grant the logical access to the system. Removing system access responsibilities from the internal auditor will resolve the segregations of duties issue and allow the internal auditor to objectively monitor the internal controls of the company. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding my recommendation. Thank you, Dina Marie
Let’s take this apart… What is the topic sentence? Upon reviewing the job description for the head internal auditor position of the company, a segregation of duties concern was identified. From this one sentence, it should be obvious to the reader what the memo will be about. What are the major and minor supporting ideas? Major: Describe and explain the problem Minor: Role of the Internal Auditor Minor: Segregation of duties issue Major: Provide a recommendation to fix the problem Minor: Delegate responsibilities to the business line & IT departments What is the concluding sentence? Removing system access responsibilities from the internal auditor will resolve the segregations of duties issue and allow the internal auditor to objectively monitor the internal controls of the company. This functions as a summary of the paragraph.
Topic Sentences Your memorandum should always start with a clear sentence that will indicate exactly what your paragraph will be about. It should include: the topic or subject a controlling idea which limits the topic to a specific area. Examples: Being an accountant has many benefits. Being an accountant has many disadvantages. The topic in both sentences is “being an accountant.” The controlling ideas are different. Can you predict what the major supporting ideas might be if these were the topic sentences of a paragraph? It should be very clear to the reader where the paragraph is heading.
Mini-Case Study General Comments What was the topic and controlling idea for your mini-case study? Topic: Best place for the new office in a foreign country Controlling idea: the name of the city Let’s review your topic sentences: Because where there is a good Business Climate, you can have your business as usual as in your country. I made some recommendation for the best place for the office. I will recommend the best place for the office. Make sure that the topic sentence includes the controlling idea which would be the city that you selected. Remember, in American style of writing, you must state your topic at the start of the paragraph.
Mini-Case Study General Comments Using the data that you were provided, each major supporting idea should be your analysis of one of the factors. For example: #1 Major supporting idea: Political stability Minor supporting idea: Safety of employees Minor supporting idea: Monetary stability The minor supporting ideas need to directly support the major supporting idea. All these points should support the decision you made in the topic sentence.
Mini-Case Study General Comments Make sure that your assignment is in paragraph format. All the sentence should follow each other, and NOT start on a new line. A paragraph should include enough details to support the topic sentence. For this assignments I would recommend at least 10 sentences. Make sure you have a clear topic sentence that includes the topic and controlling idea. Be clear about your controlling idea. State which city you are recommending. Each major supporting idea must be different. Each major supporting idea should be supported by 1-2 minor supporting ideas. The concluding sentence SHOULD NOT introduce any new ideas, such as the name of the recommend city.
Now let’s apply what we know… Revise your mini-case study from Module 3 based on this week’s lesson on topic sentences and paragraph structure. Step 1: Be sure that it includes a clear topic sentence, major and minor supporting ideas, and a concluding sentence. Underline the topic sentence Number your major supporting ideas Underline the concluding sentence Step 2: Be sure that you have included a variety of sentence structures Highlight the simple sentences in YELLOW Highlight the compound sentences in BLUE Highlight the complex sentences in GREEN Step 3: Add transition words or prepositional phrases to connect sentences. Step 4: When you are done with the assignment, look for the link to upload the document or email it to me directly.
Click below to access this week’s timed writing prompt….