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  1. #1
    sara88 is offline Member
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    Default Topic sentence: Topic and the controlling idea.

    Hello everyone.
    I've done this exercise on my own; it's about being able to recognize the topic and the controlling idea in the topic sentence.
    This is from the process of an academic writing of a paragraph.
    I'll underline the controlling idea and write in red the topic. So please correct me if I'm wrong.
    1) Driving on freeways requires an aggressive attitude.
    2)The caribbean island of Trinidad attracts tourist because of its calypso music.
    3)Living in an american college dormitory can be a stressful experience for newly arrived international students.
    4)A major problem for international students is taking essay examinations.
    5)Participating in class discussions in English is a problem for I students.

    thanks a lot in advance.

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Topic sentence: Topic and the controlling idea.

    Re:
    Driving on freeways requires an aggressive attitude.
    I can see that "Driving on freeways" is the topic, but I don't understand how "an aggressive attitude" can be the controlling idea. It is not an idea at all. (Perhaps you could elaborate on what is meant by "controlling idea".)

    As for sentence 5, try:
    Participating in class discussions in English is a special problem for international students.

    or

    Participating in class discussions in English is difficult for international students.

    or

    International students have diffulty participating in class discussions.
    It seems that each of your sentences does itself express an idea.

    Let's talk more.

    (Don't thank me yet. I haven't helped you yet.)


  3. #3
    sara88 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Topic sentence: Topic and the controlling idea.

    Ok Ron. no more thanks for Ron.
    First of all, these sentenses are not mine. They are an exercise from a book. Therefore I just tried to respond without changing something. However you are right Ron because the controlling idea doesn't have to be too general.
    Now back on track(I learned this idiom here from you guys!!), let me explain a bit what I mean by a controlling idea:
    "A paragraph has three major structrul parts: a topic sentence, supporting sentences and a concluding sentence.
    The topic sentence states the main idea of the paragraph. It not only names the topic of the paragraph, but it also limits the topic to one or two areas that can be discussed completly in the space of a single paragraph. The specific area is called the controlling idea.
    Ex:
    Gold, a precious metal, is prized for two important characteristics."
    Topic Controlling idea
    Taken from 3Writing academic English" written by Ann Hogue and others.P17.

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    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Topic sentence: Topic and the controlling idea.

    OK. Tell me more. You are doing a good job of teaching me.

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    sara88 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Topic sentence: Topic and the controlling idea.

    What do you want me to tell you Ron??!!
    Any question!!

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    Default Re: Topic sentence: Topic and the controlling idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by sara88 View Post
    What do you want me to tell you Ron??!!
    Any question!!
    What I am interested in is the idea of the controlling sentence. Perhaps you can tell me more about that? Give me a couple of examples of its use in a paragraph? Perhaps you have a link to a website which illustrates that idea?


  7. #7
    sara88 is offline Member
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    Default Re: Topic sentence: Topic and the controlling idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    What I am interested in is the idea of the controlling sentence. Perhaps you can tell me more about that? Give me a couple of examples of its use in a paragraph? Perhaps you have a link to a website which illustrates that idea?

    ok Ron, it's my pleasure to clarify it for you.
    Actually I have no idea whether there are websites discussing this subject or not, All what I can post is from some books I've been using lately.
    Now here's more:
    " The topic of a paragraph is usually introduced in a sentence; this sentence is called the topic sentence. However, the topic sentence can do more than intruduce the subject of the paragraph. A good topic sentence also serves to state an idea or attitude about the topic. This idea or attitude about the tpoic is called the controlling idea; it controls what the sentences in the paragraph will discuss. All sentences in the paragraph should relate to and develop the controlling idea.
    Ex:
    Smoking cigarettes can be an expensive habit.
    In this sentence the topic is tha habit of smoking cigarettes; the controlling idea is that smoking can be expensive. A paragraph that develops this topic sentence should demonstrate that smoking can indeed be an expensive habit.(......). Indeed there are many controlling ideas one could have about the topic of smoking cigarettes."
    Taken from the book "Refining Composition Skills" wrtten by Regina L.Smalley and others. P.17to18.

    I hope this will help. I'll provide more details as well as other examples whenever i have time.
    Sara

  8. #8
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Topic sentence: Topic and the controlling idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by sara88 View Post
    ok Ron, it's my pleasure to clarify it for you.
    Actually I have no idea whether there are websites discussing this subject or not, All what I can post is from some books I've been using lately.
    Now here's more:
    " The topic of a paragraph is usually introduced in a sentence; this sentence is called the topic sentence. However, the topic sentence can do more than intruduce the subject of the paragraph. A good topic sentence also serves to state an idea or attitude about the topic. This idea or attitude about the tpoic is called the controlling idea; it controls what the sentences in the paragraph will discuss. All sentences in the paragraph should relate to and develop the controlling idea.
    Ex:
    Smoking cigarettes can be an expensive habit.
    In this sentence the topic is tha habit of smoking cigarettes; the controlling idea is that smoking can be expensive. A paragraph that develops this topic sentence should demonstrate that smoking can indeed be an expensive habit.(......). Indeed there are many controlling ideas one could have about the topic of smoking cigarettes."
    Taken from the book "Refining Composition Skills" wrtten by Regina L.Smalley and others. P.17to18.

    I hope this will help. I'll provide more details as well as other examples whenever i have time.
    Sara
    Good explanation!


  9. #9
    Lujayne is offline Newbie
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    Smile Re: Topic sentence: Topic and the controlling idea.

    Hi, Sara, I'm from Algeria too...so nice to meet you
    and thanks for the information about the topic sentence
    you know, I'm studying English at the university
    so, I wanted to share some information related to this topic:
    first of all , one paragraph in English carries just one idea, and the topic sentence which we find most of the time at the beginning represent the main idea we are going to develop in our paragraph.
    And the controlling idea helps in putting the limits in our development.
    By the way, in the second sentence: The caribbean island of Trinidad attracts tourist because of its calypso music. I think that the controlling idea here, is "its calypso music" because what attracts the tourist is the music , so we're going in our paragraph to talk about this music and why does it attract the tourists , not any thing else.
    It was just my opinion, and I hope I didn't bother you ...
    If you want to discuss that topic more together, I'll be ready..
    thank you..

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