A topic sentence must have a subject and an attitude. It consists of a topic or subject matter and a restricting statement. Subject claims what we write about and the attitude implies Why we write. A Topic Sentence can be concluded that it is a summary of all information in the paragraph.
Compare the following topic sentences:
a. Newsweek is a magazine
b. Newsweek is an objective magazine
A Topic sentence in item (a) is not a good topic sentence. It has no attitude. It is different with the topic sentence in item (b), it has an attitude, that is objective.
A paragraph must consist of relevant information. To make sure how the topic sentence works, it should be clearer so that can control the information in the paragraph. The sentences function to help include relevant information and exclude any irrelevant ones.
The position of Topic Sentence can be: 1) at the beginning (the first sentence of paragraph), 2) in the middle (somewhere), 3) at the end (last sentence). As the beginner, if possible, we should place the topic sentence at the beginning to have a clear guide to finish the rest of paragraph and have good control over the contents (what information included), so the readers will be more prepared to follow and understand the paragraph.
A writer, besides, is responsible to develop the topic sentence, has to develop supporting ideas as well. There are two kinds of supporting sentences: 1) Major supporting sentences (MASS), and 2) Minor supporting sentences (MISS). MASS back and develop the topic sentence directly, they add and some relevant, new information about the main idea. MISS contribute useful information to the paragraph, support the MASS directly and the topic sentence indirectly.
Learn the following paragraph:
The BBC World Service radio station broadcasts various highly selected programmes. “News Hour” might be worthwhile mentioning first. Listening to the 60-minute report from around the world, listeners can catch up with the important latest events. “Good Book” is another concrete example. The producer of this programme always chooses a new and high quality book to review. “Rock Salad” certainly should not be excluded from this list because a great number of listeners enjoy this music show. Next, we might as well mention “Drama by Radio”. Finally, we ought to consider “In Praise of God” as one of the highly assorted programmes too. Indeed, the BBC in Bush House has been admired far and wide.
What do you think about the paragraph above?
Is it a good paragraph or not? Elaborate your reason!
To write a good paragraph, we should once again develop the topic sentence well; the sentence needs to be well-supported. Every sentence, however, ought to contain a new piece of information. Otherwise, the information which is irrelevant or redundant, it must be omitted from the paragraph.