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0006 Understand the Influence of Purpose and Audience
0007 Unity, Focus, and Development
0008 Apply Principles of Organization
0009 Sentence and Paragraph Construction
Recognize Effective Topic Sentences
Fragments and Run-On Sentences
0010 Apply Correct Usage in Standard English
0011 Apply Knowledge of Mechanical Conventions
Practice Writing Tests
0012 Analyzing and Revising Sentences
0013 Produce a Written Summary
0014 Prepare an Organized, Developed Composition

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0009 Apply Principles of Sentence and Paragraph Construction in Writing

Recognize Effective Topic Sentences

Using several examples gives your readers a variety of ways to see what your topic sentence means. Without examples, it is hard for readers to picture what you are talking about. For example, what is the following paragraph talking about?

Boy, what a beauty! Look at that shape. That interior looks like a million dollars. I bet it is really fast.

You know that the writer is very excited about what he is seeing, but can you see the car in your own mind? Notice how the revised paragraph lists five examples of what makes this car beautiful.

Boy, what a beauty! You can't beat the classic features of the SWB Ferrari. That wire mesh softens the shark-nosed grille, and the swooping roofline makes it look light. Those gentle slooping fenders make it even more streamlined. That looks like real leather inside. Someday I am going to buy a classic SWB Ferrari. Those slotted quad exhaust pipes are the last things the other guys will see as I leave him in the dust.

List the examples of the Ferrari's beautiful features. As you make your list, think how it helps you to see that part of the car. The first example is given to help you get started. Click to check your answers.

  1. grille

  2. ______________________

  3. ______________________

  4. ______________________

  5. ______________________


Read the following paragraph. Notice the examples help you explore the idea. Identify the transitions linking the details. Click to check your answers.

You can tell if paper money is counterfeit by checking the texture, color, and details. Take out some paper money and feel it. Does it have a slightly rough surface from the tiny engraving lines, or is it smooth? Next, look at the colors. Are they flat and dull? Now, examine the lines of shading or detailed patterns with a magnifying glass. Are they crisp and straight? Also, are the eyes in the portrait lifelike? If the bill does not pass these tests, I hope you are looking at a dollar and not a twenty because someone passed you a counterfeit bill.

Based on the previous paragraph, list four examples illustrating the topic sentence. Click to check your answers.

  1. ______________________

  2. ______________________

  3. ______________________

  4. ______________________