Writing Effective Topic Sentences

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worksheet for writing topic sentences

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Name______________________

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Writing Effective Topic Sentences

A topic sentence helps the writer keep on track. It also gives the reader an idea of what the paragraph is about. Test your topic sentences with the following questionnaire. Are they doing everything they are supposed to?

Topic Sentence Questionnaire

1. Does the sentence tell what the paragraph is about?

2. Does the sentence state the main idea clearly?

3. Is the sentence interesting enough to catch the readers attention?

4. Is the topic limited enough to be developed into one paragraph?

5. Does the sentence cover all the related ideas in the paragraph?

Directions: Write a topic sentence to begin or end each of the following paragraphs. Test your topic sentence with the questionnaire.

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Captive young chimps not only learn easily all kinds of theatrical stunts, but seem to delight in doing them and in the applause they earn. Even in their natural surroundings, in Africa, they are highly dramatic. When a group comes upon a good supply of fruit, young and old are likely to stamp and pound on the roots of large trees and raise a chorus of wild hoots and screams. Chimpanzee observers described chimpanzees as carnival performers since they will perform for hours.

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Bacteria bring about the decay of dead plants and animals, thus supplying valuable fertilizers to the soil. The earth would soon be buried beneath its own waste materials if these countless billions of tiny organisms did not help us to get rid of the waste. One type of bacteria that is present in our intestines assists in the process of digestion. Other bacteria are useful in making cheese, vinegar, and other foods, as well as in tanning hides.

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People first measured time by watching the changing lengths of shadows. The ancient Egyptians used the sundial to measure time. After dark, there was no way to tell time. Other people in ancient times used water clocks and hourglasses.

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The Queen directs and orchestrates the actions, instincts, and characters of all other ants in the colony. She controls how much each ant develops, and into what kind of worker--drone, protector, warrior, etc. In addition to the clearly defined social system, ants also have an advanced chemical communication system in which they trade scents and smells with each other through chemicals to communicate. This is why any olfactory interruption in an ant-line disorients the ants. Those persons who nonchalantly step on ants miss out on this fascinating micro universe.

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One reason insurance is so important is the possibility of medical emergencies. A heart attack or other serious medical condition can affect anyone, at anytime. If a person does not have insurance, they are often left with multiple thousands of dollars in debt to cover hospital and medical bills.

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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.7. __________________________________________________________________

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Flossing everyday is important for healthy gums. Flossing keeps teeth clean by eliminating plaque. Without flossing, gums are more likely to develop the disease gingivitis. Another way to keep gums healthy is to use mouthwash. Mouthwash kills the germs that cause gingivitis and other gum diseases. Mouthwash also leaves breath feeling fresh. 8. __________________________________________________________________

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First, get a couple of eggs from the refrigerator, and after cracking them open, stir them together with a fork until evenly blended. Second, add a little milk and vanilla, and then begin dipping your toast in the mixture until the egg soaks into the bread. Third, cook the pieces on a low temperature in the skillet for five minutes, standing close by to ensure that it doesn't burn. When finished, serve with syrup, whip cream, and your favorite jam.

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