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Developing a Topic

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Basics on the topic Developing a Topic

How do we develop a topic in our writing? Find out with Jane and Ernie!

Transcript Developing a Topic

“Jane, I finished my article for Sofahealth. Will you read it and let me know what you think?” “‘Exercise is beneficial for you. Everyone should exercise more!’ Ummm, it doesn’t say anything.” "Sure, it does." In order for Ernie to write an effective article, he will need to learn about developing a topic. When writing a piece on a specific topic, you need to develop, or further explain, your main idea. First, we develop our thoughts by adding evidence to support our topic sentence. Evidence can be given through facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or examples. Then, we elaborate on our topic. We can elaborate by explaining our understanding of the evidence and making personal connections to the information. We link the evidence and our elaboration with transition words. Finally, we wrap up the main idea about the topic with a concluding sentence. Let’s use Ernie’s article as an example of how to develop a topic. We will use this graphic organiser to map out our thoughts. Ernie’s topic sentence is, ‘Exercise is beneficial for you.' We will develop this idea by paraphrasing a fact we read about the benefits of exercise, like this. According to experts, exercise improves your brain health, enhances your mood and strengthens your bones and muscles. Another type of evidence could be a direct quote from an expert that supports the topic, like this. ‘Well known paediatrician, Dr. Sam Stone says, "Studies show that children who exercise regularly have better self-esteem and do well in school."’ Now we need to elaborate on this information. We will show our understanding of these facts by putting them in our own words and making a personal connection. We can say, ‘in other words, exercise is key to making your mind and body stronger. For example, when I come back into class after playing football at break, I am more focused on my schoolwork and I feel good.’ Notice we connected our ideas about the topic by using the transitions, 'in other words' and 'for example'. Finally, we wrap up the main idea about the topic with a concluding sentence. Ernie's paragraph concluded with a call to action for the reader. He said, 'Everyone should exercise more'! Now, we can take our developed ideas and write them into a paragraph like this. ‘Exercise is beneficial for you. According to experts, exercise improves your brain health, enhances your mood and strengthens your bones and muscles. Well-known paediatrician, Dr. Sam Stone says, "Studies show that children who exercise regularly have better self-esteem and do well in school." In other words, exercise is the key to making your mind and body stronger! For example, when I come back into class after playing football at break, I am more focused on my work and I feel good. Everyone should exercise more!’ There is not one correct way of developing a topic. In fact, you should show variety with the different types of evidence you give to support your topic's main idea as well as the way you elaborate on the information. While Ernie submits the article for next month's issue, let's review. Remember, when writing a piece on a specific topic, you need to develop or further explain your main idea. First, we develop our thoughts by adding evidence to support our topic sentence. Then, we elaborate on our topic by explaining our understanding of the evidence and making personal connections to the information. Finally, we wrap up the main idea about the topic with a concluding sentence. "I feel better already!"

1 comment
1 comment
  1. Nice

    From Kanni, 8 months ago

Developing a Topic exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Developing a Topic .
  • Order the steps for developing a topic.

    Hints

    To conclude means to bring something to an end or to reach a final decision.

    To elaborate means to give more details, or further explain something that has already been mentioned.

    Evidence can be thought of as proof, and is used to support an initial idea or statement.

    Solution

    The steps for developing a topic are:
    1) Write the topic sentence.
    2) Add evidence to support this topic.
    3) Elaborate on your ideas.
    4) Add a concluding sentence.

  • Match the terms to their definitions.

    Hints

    Evidence can be thought of as proof, and is used to support an initial idea or statement.

    To conclude means to bring something to an end or to reach a final decision.

    To elaborate means to give more details, or further explain something that has already been mentioned.

    Solution
    • Topic sentence = The main idea of the writing.
    • Evidence = Facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or examples.
    • Elaborate = Explaining our understanding of evidence or making personal connections to information.
    • Concluding sentence = The last sentence to wrap up the main idea.
  • What can be used as evidence?

    Hints

    Evidence is used as proof that the topic sentence is real and correct.

    Evidence cannot be personal thoughts or feelings.

    There are 5 correct choices and 3 incorrect choices.

    Solution

    Evidence can be given through

    • Facts
    • Definitions
    • Concrete details
    • Quotations
    • Examples

  • Matching topic sentences to elaboration.

    Hints

    Once you read the topic sentence, look for an elaboration that is linked to that same idea.

    Remember that elaboration can be evidence such as facts, quotations or examples.

    Elaboration on a topic should not be a personal opinion or thought.

    Solution

    The correct pairs are as follows:

    • Learning a musical instrument can make you smarter. = Researchers have found that learning to play an instrument can enhance your memory and spatial reasoning skills.
    • There is too much plastic pollution damaging our oceans. = Some plastics take over 500 years to decompose.
    • It is important to wear sunscreen on hot days. = Dr Ravi Moore says, "Wearing sun protection will prevent signs of ageing and protect your skin from damaging UV rays."
    • Rest is essential for humans. = Spending time at rest allows for reduced stress, improved mood and can even increase concentration levels.

    The sentences, I once saw a bird trying to eat some plastic on the beach and My dad is great at playing the guitar are not elaborating on the topic sentences, they are just opinions or observations.

  • Find the topic sentence and concluding sentence.

    Hints

    Both the topic sentence and the concluding sentence state the main idea of the writing, but the topic sentence does it first, and the concluding sentence does it last.

    To conclude means to bring something to an end or to reach a final decision.

    Solution
    • The topic sentence of this text is, 'Exercise is beneficial for you.'
    • The concluding sentence of this text is, 'Everyone should exercise more!'
  • Fill in the graphic organiser.

    Hints

    The topic sentence is the main idea of the writing piece, and comes first.

    Evidence can be facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or examples.

    To elaborate on something means to explain your understanding or make a personal connections to information.

    The concluding sentence should wrap up information and repeat the main idea.

    Solution
    • Topic sentence: Good nutrition is essential.
    • Evidence: Fibre lowers risk of heart disease.
    • Elaboration: Junk food can give me a stomach ache.
    • Concluding sentence: Eat your fruits and vegetables!