English composition. topic + controlling idea

Topic sentence/create an answer key. Do not forget your cover page

Each of the following paragraphs is missing a topic sentence. Select the letter of the topic sentence that best fits the paragraph.

1. For example, you can’t pick up a newspaper these days without reading about some outrageous or gruesome crime. The top television news story is usually a murder or other violent incident. We need to read and hear about the good news stories, too. Otherwise, we will continue sending the message that only violence is worth reporting. What kind of message is that for our children?

a. Our society is becoming more and more violent every day.

b. Television news coverage focuses only on violent news.

c. All of the media have become increasingly negative by focusing only on violence.

2. As a result of live television, people can receive news as it happens. For example, during the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, CNN viewers could see the second plane hit as the news was covering the first plane’s attack. Because of “live” reporting, people feel as though they are participating in history, not just reading or hearing about it afterward. It has changed the viewer’s role completely.

a. These days, there is more live television coverage than ever before.

b.” live” television reporting has changed the way we see the news.

c. CNN changed the way we saw the news during the September 11 attacks.

3. Experts recommend limiting viewing to one hour per day during the week and up to two hours per day on weekends. They should be educational in content and promote discussion between the parent and child. Programs on animal behavior and family value, and programs that teach basic learning skill are highly recommended.

a. Watching television is not bad for children and it’s fine for teenagers and adults, too,

b. Watching television is fine for children as long as you limit the hours and monitor the programs.

c. Programs for children should be educational in content so that the time spent watching TV is not wasted.

4. What we see on the nightly news has been carefully selected by the news department at the television stations. Because the station is interested in making money, the news that is selected is not necessarily the most important news rather the news that will attract the most viewers. As a result, we only see the news that has been chosen for us, which is not always the most informative.

a. It is very important that the news make money.

b. The news director selects the news with the help of the reporters.

c. The news is not simply what we see, but what the news director at the television station wants us to see.

II. The topic sentences in the following paragraphs are underlined. They are incomplete because they do not have a controlling idea. Rewrite each using a topic and a controlling idea.

1. Celebrities have jobs. Being a movie star or sports star is their jobs. It is what they are good at. They should not be under the continual scrutiny of the media just because of their profession. They have the right to a private life just like you and I.

Example: Celebrities deserve private lives like any other person.

2. The news is different. In the old days, people got their news by word of mouth. As society became more literate and printing costs decrease, newspapers became the medium. Radio then brought a sense of immediacy to the news. Television added the visual impact. Now, we have the internet, which gives up-to-the-second news about any news event any time we want it. Who knows what the news medium of the future will be?  

Rewrite: ____________________________________________________________________

3. Politicians are public figures.  As a president, one is supposed to represent the qualities of honesty and integrity. Remaining faithful to your husband or wife is the purest example of these qualities. If the president is unfaithful to his or her spouse, how can we trust that he or she is honest in handling presidential duties? Therefore, the media have the responsibility to inform us when a public figure is unfaithful.

Rewrite: ____________________________________________________________________

 4. Reading is hard. As with any program of exercise, you have to discipline yourself and make reading the newspaper a part of your everyday routine. And just as exercise makes your body stronger, reading makes your mind stronger. It broadens your interest, gives you the ability to think critically about important issues, and enables you to participate in interesting conversations. In conclusion, reading the paper, like any exercise, is time well spent.


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