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Introducing a Topic in Paragraphs and Sections

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Basics on the topic Introducing a Topic in Paragraphs and Sections

How do we organise informative texts? Informational texts start with an introduction and end with a conclusion. A topic sentence needs to be interesting and be followed my paragraphs that give more details. Learn more in this video.

Transcript Introducing a Topic in Paragraphs and Sections

"Ernie? What was that?" "Oh that? Just a little earthquake, nothing to be worried about." "How can you be so sure?" "Because of this!" "You just happen to have written an article on earthquakes?!" Let's see how Ernie organised his informative text by learning about introducing a topic in paragraphs and sections. When writing an informational text, the primary purpose is to share information with the reader about a topic. Informational texts are organised into paragraphs starting with an introduction, followed by the main paragraphs and ending with a conclusion. Each paragraph starts with a topic sentence. A topic sentence tells the reader the most important information or main idea of your paragraph. And it needs to be interesting, so the reader wants to read on to know more. Let's look at each paragraph of Ernie's text a little more closely, starting with the introduction. Earthquakes are a sudden, sometimes violent, shaking of the earth. Earthquakes actually happen all the time. The way an earthquake feels depends on where you are, where the earthquake is, and how big the earthquake is. Even if you've never felt an earthquake, it's always a good idea to be prepared. Here, Ernie states the main topic of his writing, earthquakes, using adjectives to grab the reader's attention. The following sentences describe the subtopics of the main paragraphs. These let the reader know what they will learn about the topic. Let's look at his first subtopic: The National Earthquake Information Centre detects about twenty thousand earthquakes per year. That's fifty-five per day! Although that is a large number, we don't feel all of them because some are too little or they occur deep beneath the earth's surface. Here, Ernie starts his main paragraph with statistics about the number of earthquakes per year, which makes a strong topic sentence. Then he gives more supporting facts and details. Notice that his details are still focused on the main topic: earthquakes. The next subtopic says: During an earthquake, you may feel an intense shaking or just a small tremble. That's because if you're closer to an earthquake, you're going to feel it more strongly. If you are further away, you might hardly feel anything. Also, a bigger earthquake will be felt further away than a smaller earthquake. What is Ernie's topic sentence? This is Ernie's topic sentence which is followed by supporting details. Do all of the details support his topic sentence? Yes, each detail gives more information on what you might feel during an earthquake. Here's the third subtopic: Knowing what to do during an earthquake can help keep you safe. If you're indoors, drop to the ground, take cover under sturdy furniture and hold on until the shaking stops. If you're outside, go to an open area away from buildings and trees and stay low until the shaking stops. Following these tips will help keep you safe during an earthquake. What is Ernie's topic sentence? Ernie started his body paragraph with this topic sentence and then followed it with supporting details. Write one supporting detail Ernie used in the comment section below this video! Now, let's look at the last paragraph: the conclusion. An earthquake is the shaking and rumbling of the earth's surface. These occur constantly around the world. The size, location and where you are in relation to the earthquake will affect how it feels to you. Knowing what to do during an earthquake can help keep you safe if you ever experience one. Conclusion paragraphs start with the topic sentence, just like the introduction and body paragraphs. The following sentences restate the subtopics and summarise the ideas of the body paragraphs. This gives the reader a sense of closure. Before we check in with Ernie and Jane, let's summarise. Remember, an informational text shares information with the reader about a topic, beginning with an introduction, followed by main paragraphs that give details about the subtopics and ending with a conclusion. Each paragraph starts with a topic sentence which states the most important information, and it needs to be interesting so the reader wants to know more. "Jane, what are you doing?" "Preparing for the next earthquake!"

Introducing a Topic in Paragraphs and Sections exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Introducing a Topic in Paragraphs and Sections.
  • Introducing a topic in paragraphs and sections.

    Hints

    A topic sentence introduces what a paragraph is about. Topic sentences are in each paragraph throughout a text.

    Informational texts are organised the same as paragraphs or other types of writing, with a beginning, middle and end.

    There 3 correct choices.

    Solution

    TRUE

    • Informational texts are organised into paragraphs, starting with the introduction, followed by body paragraphs and ending in a conclusion.
    • A topic sentence tells the reader the most important idea of the paragraph.
    • A topic sentence should be interesting so the reader wants to know more.
    FALSE
    • A topic sentence should be serious so the reader knows to pay attention.
    • Only the introduction paragraph uses a topic sentence.

  • Name the paragraph.

    Hints

    The conclusion paragraph gives the reader a sense of closure. Do you feel closure from reading this paragraph?

    The introduction paragraph presents the main ideas of the informational text. Does this paragraph introduce new themes?

    Solution

    This paragraph is an introduction paragraph because:

    • It introduces new ideas
    • It gets the reader's attention so they want to read more

  • Complete the paragraph.

    Hints

    A topic sentence should be interesting or exciting so the reader wants to know more.

    A topic sentence tells the reader the most important idea of the paragraph.

    The sentences after the topic sentence offer facts and supporting details, it is always the same general idea as the topic sentence.

    Solution

    Earthquakes can be sudden and violent. How strong an earthquake feels depends on where you are, where the earthquake is, and how big the earthquake is. Earthquakes often begin suddenly and are hard to predict. Even if you've never felt an earthquake, it's always a good idea to be prepared, as you won't expect one!

    The second, third, and fourth sentences reference and support earthquakes sometimes being sudden (you won't expect one!), (earthquakes often begin suddenly) or violent (how strong).

  • Complete the paragraph.

    Hints

    A topic sentence should be interesting so the reader wants to know more.

    The last sentence of a paragraph should draw information from previous sentences to a close.

    The topic sentence should present the main idea of the paragraph.

    Solution

    Understanding tornadoes is important! Tornadoes are one of nature’s most powerful forces, capable of causing tremendous destruction in a matter of minutes. From their formation processes to their destructive power, let's explore the science behind these awe-inspiring phenomena. We will also explain tips for how you can protect yourself.

  • Outline an informational text.

    Hints

    What is another word of saying beginning or start?

    When you meet someone for the first time, you introduce yourself. This is the beginning of a conversation.

    What is another word to make a decision, or close a topic?

    Solution

    Informational texts begin with an introduction paragraph, followed by body paragraphs and ending with a conclusion paragraph.

  • Complete the paragraph.

    Hints

    Find the topic sentence and conclusion sentence first.

    The topic sentence should present the main idea of the paragraph.

    The last sentence of a paragraph should draw information from previous sentences to a close.

    Solution

    Hurricanes are some of the most powerful storms. These storms are characterised by a rotating, organised system of clouds and thunderstorms that originate over warm waters near the equator. Hurricane winds can reach speeds of 160 mph, unleashing flooding and creating storm surges. Fortunately, scientists can predict when hurricanes will arrive and how large they may be. People living in hurricane-prone areas can prepare for the worst by taking precautions and being prepared.