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Topic Sentences and Supporting Paragraphs

Topic Sentences and Supporting Paragraphs - Topic Sentences...

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Topic Sentences and Supporting Paragraphs Topic Sentences When you write, you form paragraphs. A paragraph is a group of sentences that relate in topic and thought. A paragraph generally consists of three to five sentences and usually begins with a topic sentence. A topic sentence is a general statement that announces what the paragraph is about. By starting a paragraph with a topic sentence, your audience can immediately identify your topic. This construction also helps you, the writer, stay focused on your subject. Consider the following example of an essay introduction: The first sentence is the topic sentence: It tells the readers they will learn about past narratives. The sentences that follow the topic sentence relate to the topic sentence because they provide examples of past narratives. Finally, the last sentence is the thesis of the essay, which expresses the author’s opinion on the topic and previews what the entire paper will be about. You will learn more about writing effective introductions later in this course. Supporting Paragraphs Every paragraph after your introduction must be a supporting paragraph. A supporting paragraph backs up or proves your thesis. All supporting paragraphs should include a topic sentence. You can then develop the supporting paragraphs within your paper using one or more of the following methods: Examples and illustrations Data, facts, or historical or personal details A simple story, or narrative Descriptions Division and classification Throughout past centuries, many important narratives have been left in journals. For example, there is Anne Frank, the young girl who wrote about her life while hiding from the Nazis during World War II and Lewis and Clark, who wrote about their 19 th -century adventures while searching for a passage to the Pacific Ocean. Journals bring value not only to those who read them but also to the authors themselves, as a means of self-discovery, a way to work through emotions, and an opportunity to improve writing skills.
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