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Paragraphs

A paragraph is a group of sentences that share one main idea. One paragraph may be complete on its own or it may be part of a longer assignment, like an essay or a report. Every paragraph has the same three parts:

  1. Topic Sentence
  2. Supporting Sentences
  3. Concluding Sentence

Topic sentences

A topic sentence introduces the main idea of a paragraph, so every paragraph needs a topic sentence. It lets the reader know what the rest of the sentences in the paragraph will be about. It is usually the first or second sentence within a paragraph. Here are some examples of strong topic sentences:

A good topic sentence will also tell the reader what kind of paragraph he or she will be reading.


Main Idea

The main idea can't be too general or specific. If it is too specific, the supporting sentences will have nothing to describe; therefore, your topic sentence should not be a fact. Also, if it is too general, the topic sentence will be too unclear or there will be too much to write in just one paragraph. In addition, we do not announce our topics in paragraphs. Here are some examples of weak topic sentences:


One Main Idea

A paragraph should only have one main idea. The paragraph includes details and examples to explain the main idea. For example, in the paragraph below, the main idea is in the first sentence. The rest of the paragraph explains this idea. Therefore, that first sentence is the topic sentence.

People have the ability to choose a career in aviation. So many people around the world focus on their immediate surroundings without exploring opportunities outside their comfort zone. Individuals who have desire to pursue a career in aviation must seek opportunities and knowledge by visiting airports, seeking out people in the aviation field and searching the internet. Clearly these people will have the best opportunity to fulfill a desire to have a career in aviation.


Exercise

Open the exercise to begin the activity. Follow the instructions in the document.