Idea: Writing Better Paragraphs
paragraph’s topic sentence is a general statement about the writing
subject that includes a controlling idea. What is a controlling idea?
The controlling idea is how you’re going to write about the topic. Will
your treatment, for example, be positive or negative? In a paragraph
about drug control, is drug control good or bad? If you have to write a
paragraph about welfare, what will you say about it? Is
good or a bad idea? Or how about the topic, “Housing for the Homeless?”
A title tells your reader what your writing is about. Will your
title be “Housing for the Homeless: An Excellent Idea,” or will it be
“Housing for the Homeless: A Bad Idea?” Or will your
called “Housing for the Homeless in New Westminster,” where you live?
Your controlling idea “controls” how and what you write about your
topic. A paragraph about homeless housing in New Westminster, for
example, will not include information about what is being done in
Burnaby or Vancouver, just in New Westminster.
You are the
paragraph writer, so you decide what you are going to say about the
topic. The controlling idea is your expressed point of view on your
writing topic, reflected in your title.