Controlling Idea Teaching Resources

It can be useful to think of the ‘topic’ as the ‘what’, and the ‘controlling idea’ as the ‘why’ – ‘why bother? ‘ and note that this generally applies to formal writing – particularly to essays or persuasive writing. The closer you can get to simple truths or experiences, the better.

A topic sentence needs to contain the topic of your paragraph and a controlling idea. The last place, the least common place for a topic sentence, is in the middle of the paragraph. The medial topic sentence usually functions as a transition between two ideas or details. This works how to introduce quote when you want to show that there are two points to an issue, but the one you are arguing, the second point, is stronger, more specific, or more important. This topic sentence is generally introduced with a transition signal. Still unsure about writing your own controlling idea?


Students have to cite evidence and formulate a controlling idea for the soliloquys in ACt 3 Scene 3. In a few, the topic sentence shows up in the center or toward the end. In others, the theme sentence is suggested or missing inside and out.

  • For example, if we are telling an ACTION story, our controlling idea will involve life and death.
  • Crime in poverty-stricken areas occurs as a result of systemic discrimination.
  • Classroom is the educational resource for people of all ages.
  • I’ll provide more details as well as other examples whenever i have time.

Identifying the topic and the controlling idea of a sentence may not be easy at first. With practice, it can be more of an automatic process. There are also many practice exercises and quizzes online like that can help you work on the process. In academic writing, the topic sentence is usually the first sentence in a paragraph . 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 and point of the paragraph.

air crept through the corrugated ramp that led to the airport terminal Some people inside the airport

Teacher chooses one poem to do whole group, then the second day hands out poems to read independently as a smaller group and analyze. Finally they write a controlling idea about love after discussing all of the poems. This can go on to be a bigger writing assignment like the Controlling Idea essay on the English Regents Exam.

controlling idea examples

For example, if you want to write about your favorite movie, think about all the reasons that you like it. Be sure not to include too many things or else you will end up with an essay instead of a simple sentence. Once you have decided on your details, you are ready to write the topic sentence. For a body paragraph in an essay, a controlling idea is a word or a phrase in the topic sentence of the paragraph that indicates what the paragraph is about. Notice how the writer provided three reasons to back up the phrase “several reasons” in the controlling idea. All three reasons related to the topic “cats are very good pets.” Also, the last sentence in the paragraph connects directly back to the topic sentence .

Function and Elements of a Topic Sentence

It is the change the AUTHOR is trying to evoke in the reader. The topic is “dogs make wonderful pets” and the controlling idea is “because they help you to live longer.” Write a topic sentence for the following paragraph. During the 1990s, I really enjoyed watching Friends on television every Thursday night. I really wanted Rachel’s haircut—I think every girl wanted Rachel’s haircut back then! Rachel’s haircut went really well with the Guess Jeans that were so popular in the 1990s.

All the sentences in the rest of the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence. This TIERED/LEVELED activity includes four sets of manipulatives. I recommend printing on cardstock and laminating for reuse. The students will match expository essay thesis statements to the most effective and appropriate supporting paragraph. Set one, three, and four have six pieces and set two has eight. Before the pieces are cut out, they correspond so the teacher can create a key, if necessary.

III Parts of a Topic Sentence

When you ask a language student what a paragraph is, they often say that a paragraph is a controlling idea examples group of 3 sentences. In fact, it does not matter how many sentences you put together.

controlling idea examples

Sentence 3 gives you another example of Anna’s gifts. Not many people finish high school and go to college when they are 15 years old. This essay will consider whether talent is required in the rap music industry. The unrealistic demands of union workers are crippling the economy for three main reasons. This paper will discuss the likelihood of the Democrats winning the next election.

Dracula controlling idea essay

Make sure each detail supports both the topic and the controlling idea. If you think of something that is not related to both, leave it out of the paragraph; maybe you need a new paragraph for that information. Let’s look at some examples of a topic and possible controlling ideas.

People provide warmth, affection, understanding, and most of all, love. Money can’t love you back, and it does not guarantee happiness. Some of the richest people in the world are miserable, while some of the poorest people in the world are happy because they have the simple joy of loving people in their lives. Topic sentences that entertain are sometimes found in magazines or other less formal writing. If you thought the purpose of this essay was to give information, you didn’t understand the task.

Making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is easy if you know the steps

The story theme is tightly coupled to the the VALUE at stake in our global GENRE. For example, if we are telling an ACTION story, our controlling idea will involve life and death. If it’s a CRIME story, justice and injustice. If it’s a LOVE story, love and hate, and so on. Every topic sentence will have a topic and a controlling idea. The controlling idea shows the direction the paragraph will take.

  • 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.
  • For example, if you want to write about your favorite movie, think about all the reasons that you like it.
  • Beneath each example, write a phrase that demonstrates how the example supports your controlling idea.

When a good paragraph does not have that sentence written in it, we say that the main idea is implied. The main idea is clear because the details in the paragraph show you what the topic is and what the writer is saying about the topic. This topic sentence declares a favorable position for standardizing math and English education. This practice activity is meant to get students thinking about the text and how to find controlling idea and supporting details. I have found success using similar activities with my students. Eventually, this will lead students to developing their own questions, and understanding test questions better.

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Now that you know the main parts of a topic sentence, take a look at how they look in different subjects. Note that each example includes both a topic and a controlling idea. While writing each topic sentence, you should ask about basic things. Whether the topic is related to the previous content/para. This simple step will help you in using different words in the same topic sentence and make it contextual.

A topic is a subject that you discuss, while a controlling idea is a point that you are trying to make about the topic. Every paragraph, sentence, and word should support the thesis statement in some way. The topic is “crime in poverty-stricken areas” and the controlling idea is “systemic discrimination.” The topic is “To be an effective CEO” and the controlling idea is “certain characteristics.” The topic is “graduating from high school” and the controlling idea is “many different reasons.”