Example 1. 

Summer is a wonderful time to spend at West Beach. It is a beach with light- colored, soft sand. The coastline goes on for a long way and many people enjoy walking along it. Children like to play in the surf and walk along the rocks that are visible at low tide. This is a fun beach for people of all ages.

The topic is West Beach
The main idea (what the writer is saying about the topic) is that summer is a wonderful time at West Beach
The Topic Sentence is “Summer is a wonderful time to spend at West Beach.”

 Example 2. 

The movie Apollo 13 was a blockbuster for the summer of 1995. It is an exciting story about space exploration. In the movie, the astronauts get in trouble while they are trying to return to Earth. People in the audience are on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens. What makes it even more exciting is that it is a true story.

The topic is …………………………………………………………………………….
The main idea is .…………………………………………..……………………………
The topic sentence is …………………..…………………..……………………………

 Example 3. 

Most teenagers and young adults do not know what they want to do for the rest of their lives. It is a big decision. There are a number of things you can do to narrow the choices. For example, you can take an interest test, do some research on your own about a career, try volunteer work in the field in which you are interested, or “jobshadow”, in which you spend a day with a person who is working in a field that interests you. These are just a few helpful ideas as you begin to choose a career.

The topic is …………………………………………………………………………….
The main idea is .…………………………………………..……………………………
The topic sentence is …………………..…………………..……………………………

 Example 4. 

The United States seems to be in love with the idea of going out to eat. Because of this, a real variety of restaurants has come about specializing in all kinds of foods. McDonald’s is the king of a subgroup of restaurants called fast-food restaurants. Chances are, no matter where you live, there is a McDonald’s restaurant near you. There are even McDonald’s in the Soviet Union. Now McDonald’s is trying something new. It is called McDonald’s Express and there is a test site in Peabody, Massachusetts. It is part of a Mobil gas station. This allows you to fill up with gas and fill up on food at the same time. What will they think of next?

The topic is …………………………………………………………………………….
The main idea is .…………………………………………..……………………………
The topic sentence is …………………..…………………..……………………………

 Example 5. 

In the philosophy of John Dewey, a sharp distinction is made between “intelligence” and “reasoning.” According to Dewey, intelligence is the only absolute way to achieve a balance between realism and idealism, between practicality and wisdom of life. Intelligence involves “interacting with other things and knowing them,” while reasoning is merely the act of an observer, “. . . a mind that beholds or grasps objects outside the world of things….” With reasoning, a level of mental certainty can be achieved, but it is through intelligence that control is taken of events that shape one’s life.

1. What is the topic of this passage?

(A) The intelligence of John Dewey
(B) Distinctions made by John Dewey
(C) Dewey’s ideas on the ability to reason
(D) How intelligence differs from reasoning in Dewey’s works

Click to see the correct answer The correct answer is (D).