One way to explain topic sentences

by Mr. Sheehy

I can’t number how many times I’ve attempted to tell students the function of a topic sentence. I also like to challenge students to put clincher statements at the end of supporting paragraphs (or sections), and today I said it in a way that I hope will actually work:

Pretend the reader is asking you as you begin, “So where are you going with this?” and at the end of the paragraph, “So what is your point in telling me all that?” Your topic sentence answers the first question, your clincher answers the second.

Perhaps it will work. Or perhaps this student will stare at my comment on his essay like I’m speaking Bulgarian.

Aug 29 2010 010

I’ll find out when he writes his next paper, I suppose.

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