Topic Sentences - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Topic Sentences


... The rain forest is home to many creatures. Monkeys, toucans and macaws live in the rain forest. Blue Morpho butterflies and anteaters also live in the rain forest ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Topic Sentences

Topic Sentences
  • Where they are found and what they do.

  • A topic sentence is the central idea of a
    paragraph. It is an overview of what readers
    should see in a single paragraph.
  • Think of a topic sentence as
  • the umbrella for the paragraph
  • it the information contained in
    the paragraph

(No Transcript)
Why do we use topic sentences?
  • To help readers
  • by allowing a reader to know exactly what they
    are going to find in a paragraph

Why do we use topic sentences?
  • To help writers
  • by providing writers with a way to organize their
  • thoughts and ideas

Sample Paragraph No. 1
  • Look at this paragraph and think about the main
  • The rain forest is home to many creatures.
    Monkeys, toucans and macaws live in the rain
    forest. Blue Morpho butterflies and anteaters
    also live in the rain forest.
  • The animals described in the above paragraph are
    examples of the different creatures that can be
    found in the rain forest. The topic of this
    paragraph comes in the first sentence which
    explains that a variety of animals can be found
    in the rain forest.

Sample Paragraph No. 2
  • Now think about the next paragraph and once again
    consider the topic
  • There are many fun things to do at the beach.
    Swimming is one thing that can be done at the
    beach. Snorkeling is another thing that can be
    enjoyed. Playing beach volleyball can be a lot of
    fun. It is also fun to look for shells. Some
    people simply like to sunbathe. 
  • The first sentence is the topic. It explains that
    there are many things that we can do at the
    beach. The other sentences describe what these
    things are.

Sample Paragraph No. 2
Sample Paragraph No. 3
  • Now consider the following paragraph
  • Talk about bad days today is a classic. First, I
    woke up to hear my parents yelling in my ear
    because I didnt clean my room. Then I went to
    school to find out I had failed my science
    project. At lunch, while walking out of the
    cafeteria I tripped over somebodys bag and made
    myself look like a fool. Finally, I came home to
    learn that I might have my I-Pod taken away, and
    it wasnt even my fault! And its only two in
    the afternoon!

Sample Paragraph No. 3
Sample Paragraph No. 4
  • My life is full of risks. As a stair builder who
    works with heavy machinery, I risk cutting off a
    finger or a limb every day. Each Monday and
    Thursday, I risk four or five dollars on the
    state lottery. Every time I take my beat-up, 1981
    Chevy Caprice Classic for a drive, I risk a break
    down. However, the biggest risk Ive ever taken
    was my decision to attend DeVry Institute this

Sample Paragraph No. 4
What are the supporting ideas?
What is the central idea?
Are topic sentences always the first sentence of
a paragraph?
  • No, not always. Sometimes there is no one
    sentence that summarises the main idea. In this
    case you should read the whole paragraph and
    think about what the general idea is.

Sample Paragraph No. 6
  • In 1951 Henrietta Lacks died of cancer. Her
    cells, however, are still alive today. They are
    studied in cancer-research laboratories all over
    the world. Rarely do cells continue to grow once
    they are separated from a living body. But the
    cancer cells which killed Henrietta Lacks only
    eight months after the disease was detected were
    so potent, they survive today. HeLa cells- the
    name is derived from the first two letters of
    Henriettas name- were instrumental in the
    development of a vaccine against polio.
    Ultimately researchers hope that the HeLa cells
    will lead them to a cure for cancer.
  • Is this paragraph about
  • a. Henrietta Lacks
  • b. cancer cure
  • c. HeLa cells

  • Sometimes the topic sentence is the last sentence
    of a paragraph.

Sample Paragraph No. 5
  • I cant help but marvel in awe. The students at
    Odyssey are truly a cut above the rest when it
    comes to character. Not only do they accept all
    people, but they strongly support them. When one
    student struggles in a subject, other students
    jump in to help. Often, when someone is having
    a bad day, students steer clear, but not at
    Odyssey. These students do what they can to
    uplift others spirits. A low rumble of teamwork
    is the noise you will hear at Odyssey. Students
    work together to promote learning and their noise
    levels are respectful to others concentration.
    The superior quality of character at Odyssey
    makes it a wonderful place to learn.

What are the supporting ideas?
What is the central idea?
Sample Paragraph No. 5
Sample Paragraph No. 7
  • One early theory likened human memory to a muscle
    that had to be regularly exercised in order to
    function properly. This theory was eventually
    replaced by the notion that remembering was like
    writing, with experience the pen and the mind a
    blank page. But eventually this theory was also
    rejected. In its place came another hypothesis-
    that human memory functioned with a complex and
    well-stocked library catalogue. With access to a
    key word you could look up any piece of stored or
    catalogued information. But over time that theory
    has also been discarded. Human memory may in fact
    be too sophisticated and too complex to be
    explained through any one single simile or