Controlling Idea in Essays Definition and Examples

The controlling idea shows the direction the paragraph will take. Topic sentences also need to relate back to the thesis of the essay. The thesis statement is like a road map that will tell the reader or listener where you are going with this information or how you are treating it. A topic sentence essentially tells readers about the rest of the paragraph. All sentences after it have to give more information about that sentence, prove it by offering facts about it, or describe it in more detail. For example, if the topic sentence concerns the types of endangered species that live in the ocean, then every sentence after that needs to expands on that subject. In academic writing, the topic sentence is usually the first sentence in a paragraph .

controlling idea definition

Your job wasn’t to inform the principal; your job was to get him or her to do to change the rules. Paragraph development progresses with an example that illustrates the claims made in the previous sentences.

Controlling Idea & Key Detail Task Cards

A less obvious, but still powerful, way of inserting theme into your manuscript is the use of thematic patterning. Thematic patterning is not the reoccurrence of specific language, as with Leitwortstil, but rather the reoccurrence of ideas, concepts, images, and moments, often in the form of motifs. Let’s start this discussion with can you start a paragraph with a quote theme and then move on to controlling idea. The controlling idea itself may provide specific limitation. In either case, this limited scope, then, serves to unify the paragraph, since any discussion must be within the parameters of the controlling idea. It is important to distinguish between a topic and a controlling idea.

controlling idea definition

This impression of piranhas is exacerbated by their mischaracterization in popular media. For example, the promotional poster for the 1978 horror film Piranha features an oversized piranha poised to bite the leg of an unsuspecting woman. Such a terrifying representation easily captures the imagination and promotes unnecessary fear. While the trope of the man-eating piranhas lends excitement to the adventure stories, it bears little resemblance to the real-life piranha. By paying more attention to fact than fiction, humans may finally be able to let go of this inaccurate belief. Sentences for completing a paragraph — While the trope of the man-eating piranhas lends excitement to the adventure stories, it bears little resemblance to the real-life piranha.

How a Controlling Idea can Dramatically Improve your Content

Another impact of ICTs on journalists is the fact that for 20 years, technology has been one of the most popular subjects for publishing. Connect and share knowledge within a single location that is structured and easy to search. Interactive resources you can assign in your digital classroom from TPT. Why is there no article in front of the school becaus… Only the user who asked this question will see who disagreed with this answer. Likewise, graduating from high school is important for many different reasons. After you have figured that out, write down the important details you want to include and see what they all have in common.

  • The following topic sentences have controlling ideas.
  • The topic is “To be an effective CEO” and the controlling idea is “certain charactristics.”
  • The topic sentence should identify the main idea and point of the paragraph.
  • We consulted these works while writing this handout.
  • The cause is basically the ‘how’ or ‘why’ behind your value.

It is done piece by piece, each step builds upon another, and the final project must be structurally sound to last. A topic sentence should draw the reader into the paragraph.

What is the Story Theme definition?

Our example paragraph will be about human misconceptions of piranhas. The supporting details in the paragraph will develop or explain the topic sentence. Read all the supporting details in the paragraph and think about the ideas they discuss. The topic sentence should identify the main idea controlling idea definition and point of the paragraph. To choose an appropriate topic sentence, read the paragraph and think about its main idea and point. Generally your thesis is placed at the end of your introduction and is a concise and simple sentence that combines your topic and your position on the topic.

Generally, the topic sentence appears at the beginning of the paragraph. A paragraph’s topic sentence must be general enough to express the paragraph’s overall subject.

Problem: the paragraph has no topic sentence

So, the top slice of bread explains the topic of the paragraph. And, the bottom slice tells the reader how the paragraph relates to the broader argument. In the original and revised paragraphs below, notice how a topic sentence expressing the controlling idea tells the reader the point of all the evidence. This TIERED/LEVELED activity includes four sets of manipulatives. I recommend printing on cardstock and laminating for reuse.

  • We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.
  • Developing a tight and original controlling idea is an essential part of the writing process.
  • It is important to distinguish between a topic and a controlling idea.
  • Limiting the scope of the paragraph through the controlling idea may happen in one of two ways.
  • A large number of fish may be trapped in a single pool, and if they are hungry, they may attack anything that enters the water.

In formal writing, the topic sentence is usually the first sentence in a paragraph (although it doesn’t have to be). Keep reading for the two main parts of a topic sentence as well as topic sentence examples in different subjects. The topic sentence should not be too general or too specific. When considering the options, look for a topic sentence that is general enough to show the paragraph’s main idea instead of just one of its details. The answer should be specific enough that the reader understands the main idea of the paragraph.

Script Development

Announcements (like This paragraph will discuss how to build a bird house.) hold little attraction for readers. Is general enough to invite exploration of the topic. If the topic sentence is too specific (for example, Webster’s New World Dictionary has more than 40,000 words.), there will be nothing else to say on the subject. As you can see, the controlling idea expresses a specific opinion, viewpoint, or focus. It goes beyond simply stating the topic of the essay and provides insight into what the essay will be about.

controlling idea definition

A working thesis functions like a seed from which your paper, and your ideas, will grow. The whole process is an organic one—a natural progression from a seed to a full-blown paper where there are direct, familial relationships between all of the ideas in the paper. The controlling idea is the point of the paragraph. It guides the ideas that provide support for the paragraph and limits the scope of the paragraph. Here is an example of a topic sentence with a controlling idea that guides the support for the paragraph Running provides many healthful benefits.

Controlling Idea & Key Detail Bundle

Remember that topic sentences set the tone for the paragraph and should relate back to the thesis or the main idea of the paper. A carefully thought-out topic sentence helps you, the author, to stay focused. It also gives readers the tools they need to clearly understand what you have to say.

controlling idea definition

A topic is a subject that you discuss, while a controlling idea is a point that you are trying to make about the topic. In this example, you can see how the phrases “the first” and “the second” help the reader follow the organization of the ideas in the paragraph. Despite the fact that piranhas are relatively harmless, many people continue to believe the pervasive myth that piranhas are dangerous to humans.

controlling idea definition

Although most people work hard to buy a good home or a nice car, those are not the things that they care about the most. At the end of their lives, they don’t want to hug their cars, or the walls of their fine houses. They want to be surrounded by the people they care about and who care about them. Of course it is important to make money to survive, but love is important to live happily.

Has difficulty understanding even short answers in this language. Is it possible for two people to remain close without sometimes quarreling? Another way to reduce teen pregnancy rates is improved education. All scenes must argue for or against the Controlling Idea, otherwise the story loses dramatic tension. Every scene presents freedom from the Capitol as attainable or unattainable.

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