The Organization of Main Ideas

The Organization of Main Ideas - The Organization of Main...

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The Organization of Main Ideas Placement of the Main Idea in Paragraphs Most paragraphs contain a controlling statement called a “topic sentence.”  In each topic sentence  you will find a word or phrase—often at the end of the sentence—that identifies the subject or  focus of the paragraph.   “Pattern 1” Paragraphs Most paragraphs begin with a topic sentence.  These are “Pattern 1” paragraphs, sometimes  called “deductive paragraphs,” that begin with a claim followed by specific examples or support.   “Pattern 2” Paragraphs More rarely, the main idea will come in a topic sentence placed at the end of the paragraph.  These paragraphs, suggesting the scientific method of exploration, are sometimes called  “inductive” or “exploratory paragraphs.”  That is, they invite the reader to examine several related  pieces of information or concepts that generate a rather obvious interpretation or conclusion.  That  interpretation or conclusion is written at the end of the paragraph, reflecting the natural  consequence of the exploration.  Again, the main idea of that exploration is usually found in a word  or phrase contained in the topic sentence. Implied (Unstated) Main Ideas Still other paragraphs will lack a written topic sentence or will contain a topic sentence stated either  so broadly or generally that the main idea is only suggested, implied, or assumed.  These  paragraphs often demand careful attention and concentration.  To identify the main idea, as you  read the paragraph, ask yourself, “What do these details have in common?”  “Where does the  author seem to be taking me?”  “What seems to be the point of this discussion?”  Try to state that  common element, that direction, or that point as a complete sentence. The Hierarchy of Controlling Statements The coherency within an essay is controlled by a series of controlling elements.  Topics sentences  are only one of the controlling elements.   Single-word/Phrase Transitions Some controlling elements are simple transitional words like 
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This note was uploaded on 06/24/2009 for the course ENGL 1302 taught by Professor None during the Spring '08 term at Tarrant County.

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The Organization of Main Ideas - The Organization of Main...

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