Activity 3

Choosing a Topic Sentence

Instructions: Read this entire paragraph before choosing the sentence below that is most appropriate as the topic sentence. Remember, the topic sentence states the main idea of the whole paragraph.

(Topic Sentence)________________________________________________________. Students sometimes feel so anxious about getting the classes they want and need that they camp out in front of the registrar's office the night before registration begins so that they will be first in line when the doors open. Being first in line, they say, increases their chances of getting a seat in the classes they want. For example, Michelle, a sophomore at City College, and two of her classmates set up camp outside the registrar's office at 8 p.m. the night before registration was to begin. They brought sleeping bags, a boom box, a cooler of soft drinks, and a grocery sack of munchies to make their overnight excursion more comfortable. The next morning when the doors opened at 8 o'clock they were at the front of the line, which by 8:30 a.m. had grown to about 500 and stretched across the college mall, past the classroom buildings, and into the parking lot. Michelle and her friends successfully registered for all of the classes they wanted and were finished with registration before 9 a.m. However, a night on the pavement did not guarantee satisfaction for Bob, who camped out from 11 p.m. until the next morning. Despite his efforts, Bob did not get the exact schedule he wanted. As a result, he may have to put off graduation for another semester unless he can pick up through drop and add the course he needs.

--Riddell, A. & Southard, A. H. (1996). Success in basic writing (2nd ed., p. 32). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Which of the following is the best topic sentence for the paragraph above?

(a) Standing in line is often necessary.

(b) College students can be sure to get the classes they need if they're willing to wait long enough in line.

(c) Spending the night in a long line can actually be fun.

(d) Registering for college classes can be a time-consuming and frustrating experience because competition for classes is fierce.

Check your answer to see how you did.

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