How to Identify the Topic & Controlling Idea in a Sentence

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How to Identify the Topic & Controlling Idea in a Sentence

In formal writing, the topic sentence is usually the first sentence in a paragraph (although it doesn't have to be). Keep reading for the two main parts of a topic sentence as well as topic sentence examples in different subjects. The topic sentence should identify the main idea and point of the paragraph. To choose an appropriate topic sentence, read the paragraph and think about its main idea and point. First, read the topic sentence and make sure you understand it. If you don’t know what the controlling idea sentence is saying or what it means, you may have a hard time identifying its topic and controlling idea. If the topic sentence you are analyzing is not isolated or identified as part of a grammar worksheet, read the entire paragraph to which the sentence is connected.

The controlling idea is either an opinion that needs to be proven or an idea that leads to a list of things that need to be developed. Controlling statement examples like, “Colorado has the most beautiful mountains” is an opinion. Someone may think that Montana or Tennessee has more beautiful mountains. ” can help identify the controlling idea of an opinion-based topic sentence. Identifying lists requires a “What are…” question. For example, “The life cycle of a frog has two stages.” What are the two stages?

The Writing Process

Readers often lose patience if they are unable to quickly grasp what the writer is trying to say. The clearest and most efficient way to communicate in an informational document is to position the topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph. Statistical supporting details are something you have likely seen or heard multiple times in your life thus far.

Often, the controlling idea of a paragraph will appear in the form of a topic sentence. In some cases, you may need more than one sentence to express a paragraph’s controlling idea.

How do I decide what to put in a paragraph?

Plan the ideas you want to include to support your topic and controlling idea. Make sure each detail supports both the topic and the controlling idea. If you think of something that is not related to both, leave it out of the paragraph; maybe you need a new paragraph for that information. While this process will not produce a final version of a controlling idea for our specific story, it will allow us to start writing our first draft with a solid guide in mind. In academic writing, the topic sentence is usually the first sentence in a paragraph . The last place, the least common place for a topic sentence, is in the middle of the paragraph.

define controlling idea

It is the beating heart of your novel, the message of your story. It’s what you, as an author, have to say about the world, or want to teach the reader. The controlling idea is mastered with considerable practice. From this single sentence the reader knows that the topic of the paragraph is the SLR camera and that the paragraph will discuss mastering the basics of using this camera.

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In this case, the supporting sentences are placed before the topic sentence and the concluding sentence is the same as the topic sentence. Each of the following sentences in the paragraph supports the topic sentence by providing further information about a specific reality television show.

define controlling idea

What is the difference between a controlling idea and a central idea relating to informational writing? At times, those who govern also regard particular circumstances as too uncomfortable, too painful, for most people to cope with rationally.

Controlling Idea:

‌Rephrase your controlling idea in the final box of the graphic organizer‌. The statement should reassert your position but sound distinct from your controlling idea statement. Is general enough to invite exploration of the topic. when revising an informative essay it is important to consider If the topic sentence is too specific (for example, Webster's New World Dictionary has more than 40,000 words.), there will be nothing else to say on the subject. Complete the sentence with one of the following words.

define controlling idea

Additionally, the reader knows that such mastery comes with practice, the writer's opinion or perspective. Just as a large company might have many department heads but only one CEO, the reading selection can have many topic sentences but only one controlling idea.

Thesis Statement and Controlling Idea

The supporting details in the paragraph will develop or explain the topic sentence. Read all the supporting details in the paragraph and think about the ideas they discuss. Generally, your thesis is placed at the end of your introduction and is a concise and simple sentence that combines your topic and your position on the topic.

Other transition words that show order include third, also, and furthermore. You should avoid introducing any new ideas into your concluding sentence. A conclusion is intended to provide the reader with a sense of completion.

How to Write a Thesis Statement for a Critical Lens Essay

A writer will use a topic sentence as a way of explaining to the audience what the paragraph is going to be about. Any sentences which appear after the topic sentence should give further information about the topic sentence or should give facts about it in order to prove the claim define controlling idea that it has made. The following sentences might also serve as a way to further describe the topic sentence by giving more details about it. For example, if the topic sentence is about animals kept as domestic pets, the following sentences should relate back to that subject.

define controlling idea

A topic sentence is used to summarise all of the information within a paragraph. When writing in a more formal style, the topic sentence will usually feature at the beginning of the paragraph, although this is not a set rule. On your own paper, write one example of each type of concluding sentence based on a topic of your choice. Sometimes, the topic sentence appears in the middle of a paragraph. A good topic sentence provides an accurate indication of what will follow in the rest of the paragraph. When you change the controlling idea, you are still writing a paragraph about the topic , but now you “control” or limit the content of your paragraph to the controlling idea.

IV Placement of Topic Sentences

A topic sentence needs to be much more specific than your thesis statement but it should relate clearly to it. Every paragraph should include a topic sentence that identifies the main idea of the paragraph. A topic sentence also states the point the writer wishes to make about that subject. Generally, the topic sentence appears at the beginning of the paragraph. A paragraph’s topic sentence must be general enough to express the paragraph’s overall subject.

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  • If the topic sentence is too specific (for example, Webster's New World Dictionary has more than 40,000 words.), there will be nothing else to say on the subject.
  • What UT offers has nothing to do with Anna’s talents!

People provide warmth, affection, understanding, and most of all, love. Money can’t love you back, and it does not guarantee happiness.

It is a single sentence that is usually in the conclusion of the introductory paragraph. It helps to develop and organize the body of the thesis. It also contains the controlling idea of an essay and maintains its unity. Through this sentence, the opinions and the judgements of the writer too can be identified. The writer explains his/her thinking about the main topic, idea, or focus of the paragraph. The last sentence of this paragraph is the topic sentence. It draws on specific examples and then makes a general statement that draws a conclusion from these examples (animals’ senses are better than humans’).

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