Methods For Writing Topic Sentences


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Methods For Writing Topic Sentences

  1. 1. Methods for Writing Topic sentences Step Up to Writing
  2. 2. #1 Power (Number Statements) <ul><li>A Power (Number) statement is a sentence that contains a number word. The number word is the focus of the sentence. It tells your reader that a list of information will follow. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Helpful number words: </li></ul><ul><li>A couple of a number of </li></ul><ul><li>Numerous some </li></ul><ul><li>Various a myriad </li></ul><ul><li>Many four </li></ul><ul><li>Several two </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><li>Three cities have serious pollution problems. </li></ul><ul><li>In winter I enjoy watching several high school sports. </li></ul><ul><li>I enjoy four kinds of music. </li></ul><ul><li>The parade was wonderful; two exciting things happened. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Avoiding “There are” <ul><li>When writing power statements, there are, these are or here are can become a trap. Instead try starting with a who, what, where, or when. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Topic = Friends </li></ul><ul><li>Who: Tamara and Eva are my two best friends. </li></ul><ul><li>What: The word friendship means two things. </li></ul><ul><li>Where: At school I have several good friends. </li></ul><ul><li>When: Last summer my best friend Sam traveled to three unusual places. </li></ul><ul><li>Topic = School Lunches </li></ul><ul><li>What: Pizza is the most popular item at lunch for two reasons. </li></ul><ul><li>Where: At Woodland Elementary, students have many choices at lunchtime. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Topic=Immigration research <ul><li>Scotland has a special place in my heart for several reasons. </li></ul><ul><li>Russia is interesting for three reasons. </li></ul><ul><li>Korea is a wonderful country for a myriad of reasons. </li></ul><ul><li>Italy is a very special country for three reasons. </li></ul><ul><li>Norway is a unique country for numerous reasons. </li></ul><ul><li>Several features of Scotland have peeked my interest. </li></ul>
  8. 8. #2 Occasion/Position Statements <ul><li>An Occasion/Position statement is usually a complex sentence. </li></ul><ul><li>The Occasion: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>is the first part of the topic sentence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduces your reason for writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the dependent clause </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be any event, problem, idea, solution, or circumstance that gives you a reason to write. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Occasion/Position Beginnings While When Since Even if As long as Whether Until In order to Even As if Wherever Unless In order that Before As Where Though If Because Although Whenever So that Even though As soon as After
  10. 10. <ul><li>The Position: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the second part of the topic sentence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>States what you plan to prove or explain in your paragraph </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the independent clause in the complex sentence. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Examples <ul><li>Even though bike helmets are sometimes unfashionable and uncomfortable, all cyclists should wear them. </li></ul><ul><li>If students use chemicals to do science experiments, it is important that they learn the proper way to dispose of them. </li></ul><ul><li>When I want to relax, I listen to the music of George Gershwin. </li></ul><ul><li>Although baseball cards are just pieces of cardboard with pictures on them, some of them are worth a lot of money. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Coming to America Examples <ul><li>Although Japan is located on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, many Japanese people have crossed it to become American citizens. </li></ul><ul><li>Although I have never seen Italy, my ancestors were Italian. </li></ul><ul><li>Unless pictures of my grandparents were shown, you would never know that I am actually French. </li></ul><ul><li>Since I have never seen Poland, I am fascinated by the pictures. </li></ul><ul><li>Since Italian food is my favorite food to eat, I am excited to learn more about Italy from which my ancestors came. </li></ul><ul><li>Even if I never understand the Finnish my family speaks, my ancestors have passed on more than just their language. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Creating an Introductory Paragraph <ul><li>Begin with a thesis statement or topic sentence: </li></ul><ul><li>Although Charles Lindbergh was sometimes called “Lucky Lindy,” no one would dare refer to his 1927 flight across the Atlantic as a feat of luck. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Introductory Paragraph cont…. <ul><li>Once you have a topic sentence add a plan: </li></ul><ul><li>Although Charles Lindbergh was sometimes called “Lucky Lindy,” no one would dare refer to his 1927 flight across the Atlantic as a feat of luck. </li></ul><ul><li>His successful flight was clearly due to extensive planning, talent as a pilot, and raw courage. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Introductory Paragraph formula <ul><li>Topic sentence + Plan = Introduction </li></ul>
  16. 16. Introductory Paragraphs examples <ul><li>There are many things I like to do in the summer. Two are my favorite . </li></ul><ul><li>There are three people in the world for me to admire. In this paper I have listed the people I admire and why I admire them. </li></ul><ul><li>Although I have taken many wonderful vacations, my trip with my two best friends to New York City is one I’ll always remember. This was a fantastic trip because of the sights we saw, the people we met, and the laughs we shared. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Introductory Paragraph Practice <ul><li>After I heard The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, I recommended the book to my friends. This book was great because ____________ and ____________. </li></ul>
  18. 18. #3 However Statements <ul><li>Create a compound sentence using however in the middle of the sentence. Place a semi-colon (;) before the word however and a comma (,) after the word however . </li></ul><ul><li>Usually the first part will be the occasion (reason for writing); the second part will state the position (what you plan or explain). </li></ul>
  19. 19. Examples <ul><li>The new rules for the school cafeteria seemed unfair to the students; however , the rules have made the cafeteria a better place to eat. </li></ul><ul><li>My father is very strict; however, he has good reasons for all of his rules </li></ul><ul><li>Ants are very small creatures and may seem insignificant; however, scientists around the world study these insects. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Other conjunctive adverbs to try <ul><li>As a result in fact meanwhile </li></ul><ul><li>Otherwise consequently instead </li></ul><ul><li>therefore still next </li></ul><ul><li>Furthermore nevertheless likewise </li></ul>
  21. 21. Examples <ul><li>The new Little League coaches were not happy with the old practice schedule; instead, they presented a plan that gave each team equal access to the practice field </li></ul><ul><li>The teacher was upset the number of late assignments; consequently, late assignments received a ten percent reduction on the score. </li></ul>
  22. 22. #4 And, But, and Or Statements <ul><li>Use a compound sentence with one of the following conjunctions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>but, or, yet, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for, and, nor, so </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember to use a comma before the conjunction. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Examples <ul><li>Some people find it difficult to program a VCR, but most will succeed if the just remember to follow these guidelines. </li></ul><ul><li>Reptiles are all alike because they have backbones, breathe with lungs, and have scales, yet reptiles come in a variety of sizes and shapes. </li></ul><ul><li>Anne Frank, a Jewish girl, spent two years hiding from the Nazis during World War II, and her bravery and courage is retold in the book Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Example <ul><li>Birthday parties are full fun activities and they are time for many surprises. </li></ul><ul><li>Friends and family arrive with gifts yet birthday parties need delicious delectable treats. </li></ul>
  25. 25. #5 The List Statements <ul><li>A common method for writing a topic sentence is to list the categories that you will talk about in your paper. </li></ul><ul><li>There are several types of lists you can use. </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>List of words: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All college students need money, encouragement, friends, and courage. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The corner store offers the best in candy selection, prices and service. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When I set out to buy a new car, I looked for a vehicle that was reliable, safe, and economical. </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>List of phrases: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>My grandparents prefer to vacation in Mexico, in the Pacific Northwest, and in the tropics. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Mattson’s love their new home but are having trouble with the dishwasher mounting and the front sidewalk. </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>List of dependent (can’t stand on their own) clauses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When I received my kitten, when I graduated with a master’s degree and when I got married, I realized life is worth living. </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>List of independent (can stand alone) clauses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High school graduates can attend community college, they can enroll in state universities, or they can study at private schools throughout the United States. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not mix words, phrases or clauses. If you start with a phrase, all parts of the list should be a phrases. If you start with a noun, all parts of the list should be nouns. This is known as keeping the list parallel. </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. #6 Get Their Attention <ul><li>A Declarative Statement uses a strong verb (action word). </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Children will love the new flavored cereals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aunt Susan’s foolproof holiday recipes saved me and impressed my family. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fourth grade test scores at Woodland Elementary soared. </li></ul></ul>