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What Is a Paragraph? The Topic Sentence

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Presentation on theme: "What Is a Paragraph? The Topic Sentence"— Presentation transcript:

1 What Is a Paragraph? The Topic Sentence
Ku-Yaw Chang Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering Da-Yeh University

2 The Topic Sentence State the topic and the controlling idea of the paragraph A complete sentence Usually (not always) the first sentence in the paragraph 2007/3/12 Software Engineering

3 Important Issue (1/3) A complete sentence
A subject, a verb and (usually) a complement Not complete sentences Driving on freeways The importance of gold How to register for college classes 2007/3/12 Software Engineering

4 Important Issue (2/3) Contain both a topic and a controlling idea
Limit the topic to a specific area to be discussed Examples Driving on freeways requires skill and alertness. Gold, a precious metal, is prized for two important characteristics. Registering for college classes can be a frustrating experience for new students. 2007/3/12 Software Engineering

5 Important Issue (3/3) Give only the main idea, not specific details.
Examples The Arabic origin of many English words is not always obvious. The slang expression so long is probably a corruption of the Arabic salaam. too specific English is a difficult language to learn. too general 2007/3/12 Software Engineering

6 The Topic Sentence Position The first sentence The last sentence
The first and last sentence of the paragraph Sandwich-style 2007/3/12 Software Engineering

7 Practice One Step 1 Step 2 Step 3
Decide which of the following sentences is the topic sentence of the paragraph Step 2 Write TS on the line next to that sentence Step 3 Decide the order of the supporting sentences and number them SS1, SS2, SS3, and so on 2007/3/12 Software Engineering

8 Paragraph 1 It enables customers to do several banking transactions twenty-four hours a day. In addition, a customer can transfer funds between accounts or get a cash advance on a credit card. An automated teller machine (ATM) is a convenient miniature bank. For example, a customer can use an ATM to deposit money and withdraw a limited amount of cash. 2007/3/12 Software Engineering

9 Paragraph 2 After an attack by a great white, 462 stitches were required to sew up an Australian scuba diver. With their razor-sharp teeth and strong jaws, great white sharks are very dangerous. Nevertheless, one did just that near a public beach in Australia in 1985. Even when they attack humans, however, great whites do not usually eat them. In 1997, a great white shark bit a man surfing at a beach in California and left three shark teeth in his legs. It bit in half and totally devoured a young female swimmer. Great whites do not usually attack humans, but when they do, they always cause serious injury and even death. 2007/3/12 Software Engineering

10 Two Essential Parts The topic The controlling idea
Name the subject (or main idea) of the paragraph The controlling idea Makes a specific comment about the topic Indicate what the rest of the paragraph will say about the topic 2007/3/12 Software Engineering

11 Two Essential Parts Convenience foods are easy to prepare.
The native foods of American’s immigrant population are reflected in American cooking. The average American teenager consumes enormous quantities of junk food. 2007/3/12 Software Engineering

12 Practice Two Circle the topic and underline the controlling idea in each of the following sentences. Driving on freeways requires nerves of steel. The Caribbean island of Trinidad attracts tourists because of its calypso music. Spectacular beaches make Puerto Rico a tourist paradise. In my opinion, many TV commercials for cosmetics lie to women. Owning an automobile is a necessity for me. 2007/3/12 Software Engineering

13 Writing Topic Sentences
Neither too general or too specific Too general American food is terrible. Too specific American food is tasteless and greasy because Americans use to many canned, frozen, and prepackaged foods and because everything is fried in oil or butter. Good American food is tasteless and greasy. 2007/3/12 Software Engineering

14 Writing Topic Sentences
Do not include too many unrelated ideas (not be unified) Too many ideas San Francisco is famous for its temperate climate, its many tourist attractions, and its cosmopolitan atmosphere. Good San Francisco is famous for its cosmopolitan atmosphere. 2007/3/12 Software Engineering

15 The End

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