Essay writing exercise:
1. Guide Book: Paragraph Development, 1995 NCCU, Center for Public and Business Administration Education(CPBA), Lesson 1 The Topic Sentence, Paragraph Unity;
(a.) The first sentence of a paragraph is usually called the topic sentence. You may have noticed in your reading of certain English texts that it is possible to place the topic sentence at the end of the paragraph(as a kind of conclusion), or even in the middle(as a kind of link between the two parts). It is even possible not to have a topic sentence at all; in this case, we say that the topic sentence is implied or suggested.
(b.) How do you limit a topic in a topic sentence?
2. Exercise: Using control words from the eight categories to limit topic.
ex1. Sapphire is mined from Eastern Australia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, China (Shandong), Madagascar, East Africa, and in North America in a few locations, mostly in Montana…(place)
ex2. Sapphire has become more popular within the last five years… (time or period of time)
ex3. Sapphire is bright blue in color…(quality)(description)
ex4. Sapphire and emerald have a great deal in common…(showing similarities)
ex5. Sapphire is softer than diamond…(showing differences)
ex6. Six different colors could be represented by the precious stones and jewels: ruby, amber, emerald, sapphire, amethyst and obsidian…(a number of things; a list)
ex7. Jaguar made in sapphire color makes the car more popular…(effect)
ex8. Sapphire color is preferable for several reasons…(cause; reason)
(c.) Usually, key words chosen from one to three categories will be adequate to limit your topic to the kind of information which can be developed into one paragraph.
3. Exercise: Write a topic sentence of the topic: Sapphire
ex1. There are many reasons for Jaguar made in sapphire color increased popularity in Taipei…(number, description, place)
ex2. Taiwanese generally prefer sapphire to emerald…(place, differences)
DB, November 27, 2012