DEMONSTRATION ONLY: This demonstration presents an abbreviated version of the complete PLACE course. Click 'Next' at the bottom of the screen or make a selection from the links on the left to begin. Not all links are available for the demo.
Apply Revision Strategies to Topic Sentences
A good topic sentence is neither too general nor too specific. A topic sentence should be:
- general enough to include all the information in the paragraph.
- specific enough to discuss completely in a single paragraph.
For example, how many sentences do you think it would take to support this topic sentence adequately?
Today, laws ensure that disabled people can lead normal lives.
Would the paragraph discuss the Federal and State legislation? All kinds of disabilities? Opportunities for employment? Access to buildings? Enforcement of these laws? One paragraph could not discuss all of these areas. The topic sentence is not specific enough.
A better topic sentence for a paragraph might be:
Today, federal laws ensure that physicall disabled people have access to public buildings.
Notice how both the subject and the direction are more specific in the final, revised topic sentence.
Select the topic sentences below that are too general for a paragraph. Revise them by limiting the subject and what the paragraph will show about it. Be sure the final topic sentence is narrow enough to discuss completely in a paragraph. Answers will vary.
You can do many things to get in shape.
There are many ways to prepare for a career.
Modern machines make life easier.
Clothes can reveal a person's personality.
Math is often used on the job.