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The first sentence of this paragraph is the topic sentence.It tells the reader that the paragraph will be about reality television shows, and it expresses the writer’s distaste for these shows through the use of the word .
If the purpose of the essay is actually to evaluate education in only one particular state, or to discuss math or English education specifically, then the topic sentence is misleading.
When writing a draft of an essay, allow a friend or colleague to read the opening line of your first paragraph.
All the sentences in the rest of the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.
This section covers the major components of a paragraph and examines how to develop an effective topic sentence.
It serves to orient the reader and provides an indication of what will follow in the rest of the paragraph. This topic sentence declares a favorable position for standardizing math and English education.
After reading this sentence, a reader might reasonably expect the writer to provide supporting details and facts as to why standardizing math and English education might improve student learning in many states.
This chapter has already discussed its purpose—to express a main idea combined with the writer’s attitude about the subject.
The body of the paragraph usually follows, containing supporting details.
A strong paragraph contains three distinct components: The foundation of a good paragraph is the topic sentence, which expresses the main idea of the paragraph.
The topic sentence relates to the thesis, or main point, of the essay (see Chapter 9 “Writing Essays: From Start to Finish” for more information about thesis statements) and guides the reader by signposting what the paragraph is about.