6.      Ensuring Paragraph Unity: Support the Topic Sentence

Version A
Read the following topic sentence and then answer the question that follows.
Topic Sentence:
The uses of the Clydesdale breed of horse have changed significantly in the past century.

Which of the following sentences do not support the topic sentence? Check all that apply.

To be unified, the information in each paragraph must adequately explain, give examples, define, or in some other way support your topic sentence. Therefore, your essay should provide enough supporting information or evidence to back up your topic sentence. Some types of evidence include specific examples or details, personal experience, reference to research, facts, statistics, and testimony from authorities. Without such specific evidence, your reader will not accept your ideas. Also, it is important to remember that length alone does not provide adequate support. If a paragraph is filled with vague generalities or repetitious ideas, it might be long, but it doesn’t fully support the topic sentence.

Read the paragraphs and answer the questions that follow. The topic sentences appear in boldface.

Body Paragraph 1
Languages all over the world are vanishing; these endangered languages should be brought back to preserve our global linguistic diversity and cultural history. One endangered language that should be preserved for its unique complexity and historical importance is the Navajo language. Navajo is a tough language to learn and is hard to grasp. Without early exposure, most people cannot master it. The U.S. military used Navajo Native Americans in WWII because they were so difficult to understand. These Navajos became code talkers. This makes Navajo both a unique and historically important language that should be preserved.

Body Paragraph 1 support the topic sentence effectively.

Which revisions would include more supporting information or evidence? Check all that apply.

Body Paragraph 2
Moreover, it is not just the unique and complex language of Native Americans that should be preserved. Languages from remote corners of Europe are also dying off. For example, the Scot language is getting less use, and at times, is extinguished, which happened to the Scot language of Cromarty. So, this means that a unique and complex language is lost to us.
Body Paragraph 2 support the topic sentence effectively.

Which revisions would include more supporting information or evidence? Check all that apply.

Body Paragraph 3
Some speakers of endangered languages aren’t just trying to preserve them; they are also trying to revitalize these important parts of their heritage. For example, the last 25 speakers of Iquito, a language spoken in the Amazon Basin of Peru, are passing down their native tongue after centuries of pressure to assimilate to Spanish. These surviving Iquito speakers are aging—the youngest is 52 years old. Therefore, teaching the language to the next generation cannot wait. So, the indigenous speakers of Iquito and students from the University of Texas at Austin are now working together to preserve the language by creating a dictionary to document it and by teaching it through community classes. This is altering the fate of one of the few indigenous languages from the Amazon Basin still in existence.
Body Paragraph 3 support the topic sentence effectively.

Which revisions would include more supporting information or evidence? Check all that apply.

Version B

Read the following topic sentence and then answer the question that follows.
Topic Sentence:
At the 2012 London Olympics, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt proved to be both a winner and a showman.

Which of the following sentences do not support the topic sentence? Check all that apply.

To be unified, the information in each paragraph must adequately explain, give examples, define, or in some other way support your topic sentence. Therefore, your essay should provide enough supporting information or evidence to back up your topic sentence. Some types of evidence include specific examples or details, personal experience, reference to research, facts, statistics, and testimony from authorities. Without such specific evidence, your reader will not accept your ideas. Also, it is important to remember that length alone does not provide adequate support. If a paragraph is filled with vague generalities or repetitious ideas, it might be long, but it doesn’t fully support the topic sentence.

Read the paragraphs and answer the questions that follow. The topic sentences appear in boldface.

Body Paragraph 1
DNA sequencing is on the verge of revolutionizing the diagnosis and treatment of diseases—a revolution that spurs many ethical questions. First, DNA sequencing is dramatically changing detection of diseases. Currently, the detection of disease happens after symptoms appear in the tissues, organ, or bone where it originates. But now, some medical researchers are looking toward our DNA.

Body Paragraph 1 support the topic sentence effectively.

Which revisions would include more supporting information or evidence? Check all that apply.

Body Paragraph 2
Although DNA sequencing offers people insight into future medical problems, it also can become a Pandora’s box. Should everyone really have access to knowledge of their future health problems? Many people want to know, but some doctors are reluctant. Doctors worry that people will find out things they might not want to face about their medical fate. Moreover, ethicists believe this could lead down a path where people face discrimination based on the information in their DNA sequence.

Body Paragraph 2 support the topic sentence effectively.

Which revisions would include more supporting information or evidence? Check all that apply.

Body Paragraph 3
However, despite the ethical questions surrounding DNA sequencing, people want it, and, in some cases, they have gotten it with beneficial results. According to an NPR survey, 81.45% of people would have their DNA sequenced if they could afford it. One family, the Wests, could afford DNA sequencing and became the first family to do so. John West, who is the former CEO of a sequencing technology company, explains, “We were interested in getting a look ahead as to what might be in our family’s medical future, and I think we found that it was useful in that regard.” For example, the sequencing revealed that the Wests are prone to blood clots. Now, the Wests know to change their eating habits to avoid blood clots, including consuming more vitamin K.

Body Paragraph 3 support the topic sentence effectively.

Which revisions would include more supporting information or evidence? Check all that apply.

Version C

Read the following topic sentence and then answer the question that follows.
Topic Sentence:
The Mars Science Laboratory, which landed on the surface of Mars in August 2012, is equipped with several fascinating science instruments.

Which of the following sentences do not support the topic sentence? Check all that apply.

To be unified, the information in each paragraph must adequately explain, give examples, define, or in some other way support your topic sentence. Therefore, your essay should provide enough supporting information or evidence to back up your topic sentence. Some types of evidence include specific examples or details, personal experience, reference to research, facts, statistics, and testimony from authorities. Without such specific evidence, your reader will not accept your ideas. Also, it is important to remember that length alone does not provide adequate support. If a paragraph is filled with vague generalities or repetitious ideas, it might be long, but it doesn’t fully support the topic sentence.

Read the paragraphs and answer the questions that follow. The topic sentences appear in boldface.

Body Paragraph 1
Before changing your diet, you should make sure that you are switching to one based on nutritional research versus popular ideas. One common dieting myth is that some foods have “negative calories,” meaning that digesting the food burns more calories than the food itself contains. In some magazines, I have seen women encouraged to eat such foods. These foods often don’t sound appetizing to eat. Some people eat these foods to lose weight; they think their bodies will use up a greater percentage of calories to digest these than their bodies would use to digest other foods. In fact, some people believe celery burns so many calories that they can actually get thinner by eating it, which must be too good to be true.

Body Paragraph 1 support the topic sentence effectively.

Which revisions would include more supporting information or evidence? Check all that apply.

Body Paragraph 2
Another common myth is that brown foods are better for you. In fact, there are a lot of foods that are brown because of food dye. So, brown foods won’t always make you lose weight. You must be eating the right kinds of brown foods to get the health benefits.

Body Paragraph 2 support the topic sentence effectively.

Which revisions would include more supporting information or evidence? Check all that apply.

Body Paragraph 3
Another common misconception is that cutting carbohydrates is the best way to lose weight. However, new research from the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests otherwise. The best type of diet is neither a low-fat diet nor low-carb diet, but instead a low-glycemic diet. A low–glycemic diet is one where 40% of calories come from carbohydrates, 40% come from fats, and 20% come from proteins. According to Dr. David Ludwig from Boston’s Children’s Hospital, “Our findings suggest that actually trying to restrict either carbs or fat is not the best way [to achieve long-term weight loss] and instead to focus on the quality of fats and the quality of carbs.” For example, instead of going to a diet of all steak and bacon, medical researchers find that people should balance fiber-rich, natural carbohydrates, such as steel-cut oats, with healthy fats and proteins, such as nuts and olive oil. Based on my personal experience, the low-glycemic diet works. I tried a diet of quality fats, carbs, and proteins for six weeks. Unlike when I was on an all-protein diet, I found that the variety of foods helped me to stick with my new nutritional plan. This diet was, by far, the most successful in helping me meet my weight-loss goals.

Body Paragraph 3 support the topic sentence effectively.

Which revisions would include more supporting information or evidence? Check all that apply.

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