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Topology of Topic Sentences

posted: 11.6.06 by Barclay Barrios

Have students review the section of the handbook on topic sentences before class. Ask them to bring in a copy of their current draft with all of the topic sentences removed. In peer revision groups, share these drafts and have the peers craft topic sentences that would work in the paragraphs. The student should then compare these to her or his original sentences. This exercise has a number of advantages: students get practice identifying the topic sentences of their own paragraphs (or learn to recognize when their paragraphs do not have them), they get practice writing these sentences for peers, and finally they get a sense of whether or not their paragraphs are clearly focused, based on whether or not the topic sentences they get back accurately reflect what they feel is the content of the paragraphs.

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Categories: Drafting, Grammar & Style, Peer Review, Revising
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