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The Master Reader Page 1
ACTIVITY 3-1 Marking the Basic Parts of a Paragraph
Directions: To better understand the elements of the basic paragraph form,
complete these tasks using the following paragraph.
1. Underline the topic sentence and label it TS.
2. Write E above sentences that provide examples that support the topic
3. Write D above details used to illustrate and develop examples.
4. Underline the concluding sentence and label it CS.
1 November 2010
Registering for college classes requires thinking ahead and
planning for the long haul. To begin with, it is wise to take all
prerequisite classes as soon as possible. If students wait to take their
prerequisites (the required classes they need to complete before taking harder or more specialized classes), then it may be more difficult
for them to get into those higher level classes later. Also, if students
put off taking prerequisite classes, they take the risk that they will
be unavailable or full when they are ready to take them. Students
should also avoid taking all of their “dessert” classes early on in
their college careers. If they take all of their favorite courses the
first year of college, then they will not have the option to do so later,
when they would benefit from being able to take some classes they
enjoy. Furthermore, students should always have a back-up plan
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when they register for classes. They should be prepared for the
chance that the schedule they have created is not possible. For
instance, if they plan to take biology in the fall, but all the sections
are full when they go to register, then they will need to have considered other options. For instance, they could take a different science
course or decide to meet their science requirement during the next
quarter or semester. Finally, students should always check with an
advisor as they plan their initial strategy for registering and continue to do so intermittently as they register for classes in following
years. Advisors help students ensure they have taken all the
necessary courses they need to successfully complete their intended
degrees. In brief, the main idea that students should keep in mind
the first time they register for classes is that they should look at the
big picture and their long-term goals and not just focus on classes
for one quarter or semester.
ACTIVITY 3-2 Creating Good Topic Sentences
Directions: Mark the following topic sentences as TB (too broad), TN (too
narrow), or TS (good topic sentence). If a topic sentence is too broad or too narrow, rewrite it on the line provided so that it makes a specific point you can support
in the space of a paragraph.
TB Fruit is a delicious category of food.
Star fruit is an unusual and tasty fruit that provides surprising
Answers will vary. Sample answers provided.
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Trees help the environment in several ways.
A few basic items are required in order to play baseball.
Hang gliding is a fun but pricey hobby.
Football fans are the most intense fans in American sports.
_______ 1. Trees add to our lives.
_______ 2. One piece of equipment needed for baseball is a glove.
_______ 3. Hang gliding requires buying or renting a hang glider.
_______ 4. Football is a popular sport.
_______ 5. Cats and dogs are very different.
_______ 6. Pizza is a food made with cheese and bread.
_______ 7. Taking online classes requires a computer.
_______ 8. Worms benefit the planet.
_______ 9. Some people are allergic to peanuts.
_______ 10. American teens are struggling with obesity.
Cats and dogs require different care and diets.
Pizza is popular with kids for many reasons.
Online classes require certain skills and some basic equipment.
Worms improve soil in several beneficial ways.
There are a few common food allergy culprits.
Answers will vary. Sample answers provided.
most to least important or least
ACTIVITY 3-5 Patterns of Order
Directions: Which order pattern would you choose for each of the following
paragraph topics? Some topics may work with more than one order pattern; if so,
list all that apply.
1. A typical morning for you ___________________________________________
2. How to get the most out of a class ___________________________________
3. Finding your way around your local grocery store. ____________________
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4 and 7
They do not support the topic sentence.
ACTIVITY 3-6 Test for Unity
Directions: Read the following paragraph and list the two sentences that do not
belong. Then explain briefly, on the lines provided, why they don’t belong in this
1 Deciding on a career path is an important task during college.
2 Though some students already know exactly what career they want to
pursue when they graduate, many students take classes as a way to figure out what jobs might interest them. 3 College courses provide the
opportunity to find out more about specific subjects and learn useful
skills. 4 Some people never go to college at all, though, and head
straight to a job after high school. 5 Taking a variety of classes, especially in the first two years, is a great way for students to find out what
subjects they find most interesting. 6 Based on this information, they
can begin to explore what jobs are available in those fields. 7 Some students have to work while they are taking courses in order to pay their
tuition. 8 Next, through the process of attending classes, meeting new
people, and working on group projects they can discover what kind of
people skills they have and the types of interaction they enjoy. 9 Using
this information and taking into account the subjects they like and do
well in, they can then begin to narrow down their job choices and start
taking classes that will enable them to get a degree that will help them
with their job goals. 10 Indeed, taking courses in college is an excellent
way for a person to figure out a good career path.
Sentences that don’t belong: __________________________________________
Explain why: ________________________________________________________
4. Steps for learning to ride a bike. _____________________________________
5. Reasons we need a new park in our neighborhood ____________________
most to least important or least to most
ACTIVITY 3-7 Provide Transitions
Directions: Choose transitions from the preceding tables, or use a transitional
word or phrase of your own, to fill in the blanks below and make this paragraph
flow more smoothly. Answers will vary. Sample transitions provided.
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The most famous landmark in St. Louis, Missouri, is the St. Louis
Arch, an engineering marvel and a popular tourist attraction. The
Arch was designed by Eric Saarinen and completed in 1947.
____________________, the Arch is the tallest national monument in
the United States at 630 feet. At its base, the legs of the Arch are
630 feet apart. ____________________, the Arch weighs 17,246 tons.
Nine hundred tons of stainless steel was used to build it, more than
for any other project in history. It is ____________________ the tallest
structure in St. Louis that people can enter. The legs of the Arch are
hollow and contain a unique tram system for transporting visitors to
an observation deck at the top. ____________________, it is a popular tourist attraction for several reasons. ____________________,
visitors who ride to the top get spectacular views of St. Louis and the
Mississippi River and can see for thirty miles on a clear day. Each
year, approximately one million visitors ride the trams to the top of the
Arch. ____________________, depending on whether they enter the
Arch from the south or the north, they can learn about the construction of the Arch or the St. Louis waterfront during the nineteenth
century. ____________________, the St. Louis Arch is an important
monument that displays engineering ingenuity and attracts numerous
visitors each year.
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To begin with/First
To sum up/In conclusion
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