Focus Great Topic Sentences

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					E.Q.: How can a clear topic sentence
improve the focus of a piece of writing?
                                      Top Bun
                                 Topic Sentence

 Topic sentences are like small thesis statements.
 They state the main idea of the paragraph.
 The rest of the paragraph must expand, describe, or prove what
  the topic sentence states in some way.
 Topic sentences make a point and give reasons or examples to
  support it.
Similar to a thesis
 statement a good
 topic sentences states:
  the main idea (an
   interesting subject)
  then adds what you
   want to say about
   the topic (your
   specific feeling about
An interesting subject + your specific feeling about it=
a good topic sentence
                    Your specific feelings could include:
                         To survive at Camp Green Lake the campers in Tent D must take several
advantages               There are several advantages to being the leader of Camp D.

reasons for              Clyde Livingston was Stanley's hero for a number of reasons.
the causes of or         Bad luck followed Elya Yelnuts everywhere as a result of breaking his
the effects of           promise to Madame Zeroni.
                         By following these simple directions you can make nail polish from
the steps for
                         rattlesnake venom.
the way to or the        Stanley learned to avoid being caught on the Warden's cameras by
method                   following these steps.
parts, kinds, or types   The Texas desert contains many types of dangerous creatures.
                         The campers in Tent D appeared to be ready to fight for the smallest of
qualities of
difficulties of          To understand Zigzag's weird behavior you must be aware of several
or obstacles to          problems he had faced before coming to Camp Green Lake.

 From the book, Holes
     Practice 1
     Write T before the sentence in each pair that would make a
     good topic sentence. Write D before each sentence that
     would make a good detail sentence.

__________ Texas has 267,000 square miles.

__________ Texas is so big that you can find many things
           to do.
__________ A bully is a boy or girl who acts mean or
hurtful to others.
__________ Bullies sometimes hit, kick, or push to hurt

_________Heavy downpours on Earth's deserts can
drastically change the landscape of these regions.
__________ Ground-hugging shrubs and short woody
trees survive better in the desert than evergreen trees.
__________Kayaking is one camp sport.

__________ Basic push-ups and pull-ups will
           improve your upper body strength so
           that you will be better prepared to
           conquer camp activities.
__________There are several ways for accurately
          telling how old fossils are.

__________ The animal dies and sinks to the sea
         Practice 2
         Read each paragraph below. Think of the main idea for each. Then, in
         your journal, write a topic sentence that tells the main idea.

     Many desert animals are nocturnal. They sleep during
     the day in burrows below the surface of the desert or
     hide in shaded areas. They come out at night to eat.
     Some desert animals do not need to drink water. They
     get water from the foods they eat. Most desert
     animals are small.

Which of these titles best reflects the main topic?

a) Animal Survival
b) Ways Desert Animals Survive
c) Arabian Camels
d) A Harsh Environment
       Some bullies act the way they do to try to make
       themselves feel more important or more popular. Other
       bullies are acting out or copying things they have seen.
       Most bullies do not realize or understand how they are
       hurting others.

Which of these titles best reflects the main topic?

a) Angry, Bully, Hate
b) How to Be a Bully
c) The Art of Playing Soccer
d) Reasons for Bullying
    The first rubber-soled shoes were developed and
    manufactured in the United States in the late 1800s. The shoe
    went through several variations until 1917 when the first
    canvas-top rubber-sole shoe was sold to the public. Henry
    Nelson McKinney, an advertising agent for N. W. Ayer & Son,
    named the new shoes "sneaker" because they were quiet as
    you walked.

Which of these titles best reflects the main topic?

a) The Invention of Keds
b) Sport Sandals
c) Modern Athletic Shoes
d) Melding Rubber to Cloth
Practice 3
In your journal: Go back to one of your daily writing prompts

• Write your prompt or an interesting fact about the main idea
• List several specific feelings related to your main idea

• Use these ideas to write a new topic sentence for the daily
  writing prompt you chose.

• Turn the daily writing prompt into a complete hamburger
   paragraph…don’t forget to incorporate some of your earlier
   feelings into the juicy details.

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