The information contained within a paragraph is based on the topic sentence of a paragraph. The topic sentence is generally the first sentence and expresses the main idea to be developed within the paragraph.
a) Look at the topic sentences below and discuss what kinds of information you would expect to follow.
1. The government of the United States of America consists of three main branches.
2. The world-wide increase in road transport is a serious threat to the natural environment.
3. Deforestation has a direct effect on food supplies.
4. Although development in the Third World is intended to increase self-reliance, the actual result is often increased dependence on the West.
5. There is a mistaken idea that, because of pocket calculators, children no longer need to learn how to do basic arithmetic.
6. When it comes to the arts, there is a clear case for subsidy.
7. There are no grounds for subsidising the arts.
8. The British attitudes towards food are very different from the attitudes in my own country.
9. My grandfather/grandmother is/was very easy/difficult to get on with.
10. There are no justifications for any country possessing nuclear weapons.
11. There are a number of reasons to justify a country possessing nuclear weapons.
b) With two or three other students, discuss your answers.
c) Take one of the sentences a write a paragraph.